Riders using the Regional Transportation Authority’s reduced fare, ride free, and ADA paratransit programs will soon be switching over to the new Ventra pay system, the RTA said.
More than 550,000 customers enrolled in the agency’s programs will receive new permits this fall enabling them to take advantage of the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace’s new contactless fare payment system, which uses a single card to travel throughout Chicago.
The CTA and Pace announced plans for Ventra last month and plan to implement the new system later this year.
Moving to Ventra marks the first time reduced-fare customers will be able to load 30-day passes to their permits and manage their transit accounts online or over the phone, according to Joe Costello, Executive Director of the RTA.
The RTA said it is mailing information to customers to notify them of the changes coming this fall. Riders will receive new permits at no charge, they said.
The new system will allow customers to pay reduced fares by “tapping” their permits at the new Ventra card readers at CTA Rail turnstiles or when boarding CTA and Pace buses.
The “tap” transaction will be faster than inserting cash or magnetic-stripe cards into fare equipment, which will speed boarding and improve service.
Customers will be able to add CTA and Pace transit value or load a reduced fare 30-day pass to their permits at CTA rail stations, online, over the phone and at 2,500 retail locations throughout Chicago.
Unlike current magnetic stripe permits, the transit value and passes loaded to the new permit will be protected if lost or stolen.
For more information about the transition visit the RTA’s website.