CTA Approves New Ventra Card System

New payment system to go into effect this summer

The Chicago Transit Board approved a new payment system for passengers on its buses and trains.

The Ventra card system will debut sometime this summer, and will replace the current magnetic stripe cards and Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus.

CTA officials say the new system will allow for more flexible and convenient payment options because only a single Ventra card will be used. Passengers can load money onto the card at rail stations or select retail locations.

The cost remains the same -- $2 for the bus and $2.25 for the train -- but if you buy a single-ride disposable card with cash, expect to pay an additional 75 cents.

Some CTA customers objected to the penalty for buying the single-ride cards, saying it unfairly targeted the poor.

The CTA says the fee is meant to cover the cost of the disposable cards (with an embedded chip), and maintains that the additional fee is directed toward infrequent riders and tourists who are more likely to not have a Ventra card.

Riders can also get the pair the Ventra system to a personal credit or debit card equipped with a contactless chip.

The initial cost to buy a Ventra card is $5, but the money is credited onto the card.

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