Ventra is not a replacement for the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus. It’s a single card that replaces the following fare media*:
- Transit Card (pay per ride)
- 1-day pass
- 3-day pass
- 7-day pass
- 30-day pass
- 30-day reduced fare pass for seniors 65+ and customers with disabilities
- Chicago Card (pay per ride, linked to personal credit/debit card)
- Chicago Card Plus (pay per ride or 30-day pass, linked to personal credit/debit card)
- Military Service Pass
- There might be another pass type I’m forgetting
When people see how simple this really is, and how not inconvenient Ventra makes it for them and for CTA to administer, they will be shocked. You’ll hear things like:
“I can use my credit or debit card now to pay for passes at every vending machine?”
Previously, only certain stations had the correct vending machine. O’Hare airport is notorious for having three vending machines, none of which do the same thing but that do have overlapping functions.
“I can buy a 1-day or multi-pass at all 145 train stations, and not just at Walgreens or CVS, who tend to sell out? And with a credit or debit card?”
Yep. Isn’t that convenient?
“So you’re saying that when school is out and my U-Pass doesn’t get me unlimited free rides until the next semester, I can just hit up one of these 2,000+ retail locations and throw $20 – cash or credit, no difference – on there, or add a 3-day pass because I’m running around for internship interviews?”
Yes, that’s what I’m saying.
“Boarding this bus is way faster now that everyone has a contactless card. And this only took $5 at the vending machine, a 2 minute phone call after which I got that $5 back?”
You can even register online with your smartphone.
* Paper 1-day passes will be available. A single-ride paper ticket will be available.