College Students Get First Shot At CTA's Ventra System

The new system continues to roll out in the next few weeks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5's Kye Martin takes you through the Chicago Transit Authority's new Ventra pay system, which begins this summer.

    The first wave of commuters on Monday will begin using the Chicago Transit Authority's new Ventra system, which lets riders use a single card for CTA and Pace transportation.

    College students enrolled in the U-Pass program will receive their new cards this week, and students at Rush Medical College and Westwood College get to use their cards today.

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    Transit agency officials tried to make their case for Ventra on Monday, saying its current payment system is "aging" and needs to be "modern and efficient," but those against Ventra say it's confusing and increases the price of public transportation. Christian Farr reports.

    For everyone else, the new vending machines will be fully activated in a few weeks. In the meantime, CTA riders may pay an extra 75 cents for a single ride if they use the Ventra machines.

    The $3 fare includes a 50-cent service charge and a 25-cent transfer charge. The same ride costs $2.25 at the old machine until it's phased out.

    Beginning in January a single-use Ventra ticket will be $3 but Ventra card users will pay $2.25.

    The CTA notes customers who use Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus will get their Ventra cards soon and can start using them the week of Aug. 19. Similarly Chicago Public Schools students with student Ventra cards can use them in time for the first day of school on Aug. 26.

    Seniors will get their new cards with current discounted fares from the RTA in September, and all customers can start using Ventra on Sept. 9.

    The full transition is expected to be completed by December.