The first round of Ventra cards, issued in 2013, has expired and must be replaced. To help, the agency said it's here to help during the transition.
The cards began expiring on Dec. 31, 2017, through 2022. For commuters whose card falls into this category, Ventra will send a courtesy email two months before the expiration date as a reminder to confirm their current mailing address and get a free replacement card.
Customers who registered their card at ventrachicago.com can relax, but users who load cards at vending machines will need to follow up, perhaps at CTA's headquarters at 567 W. Lake, where the customer service center is busy.
"As our customers replace their cards, we’re pleased to offer a new card look to our customers that is pleasing to look at and still provides customers with the same dependable, convenient service customers have enjoyed with a modern fare payment system," CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said in a statement.
Customers who tap their cards at Ventra vending machines will also receive expiration notifications.
“I love the card," Gene Leonard, a Ventra user, said. "It’s great, it’s easy, you don’t have to deal with cash. ... You can reload it on the second floor of the CTA, it’s great.”
The CTA offers the following tips for customers to obtain new cards:
• If you haven’t already, register your card at ventrachicago.com with your current address and a new card will be mailed to you for free.
• Registering allows customers to manage their accounts via the Ventra app or online, protects balances if cards are lost or stolen, allows for the setup of autoload of unlimited-ride passes or transit value, provides account notifications and more.
• If you’ve already registered your Ventra card but have moved since 2013, be sure that Ventra has your current address by logging into your account on ventrachicago.com, via the Ventra app or by calling customer service at (877) 669-8368.
• Because customers who do not register their Ventra cards will lose unused balances on their account once the card expires, CTA strongly recommends customers to register their cards ahead of time.
The new Ventra cards will no longer offer the prepaid debit account feature that was an option when the system launched in 2013
The new design is inspired by the Ventra "V," featuring a repetition of geometric triangles to create a pattern in varied hues of blue, a nod to Lake Michigan, the CTA said.