A new era for public transit riders began Thursday, as you can now use paperless tickets.
That’s just one of the features of the new Ventra app that is now available for Android and Apple smartphones and tablets.
For Metra riders, your mobile device will become your ticket when using the app. On the CTA, the app can be used to add value to your Ventra card – but a card will still be needed to board buses and trains.
Transit agency officials announced last week the release of the long-awaited app, after completing a pilot program launched earlier this year. The goal of the app being to make public transportation payments easier for millions, allowing riders of all three transit agencies — Metra, CTA, and PACE — to manage accounts, add value to passes, and even download tickets onto their phones.
Earlier in the year, Metra officials said there were some bugs in the preliminary version of the app that still need to be worked out, but now released the app is free to download on a smartphone or tablet. Chicago Transit Authority’s Tammy Chase says the release marks just the first step toward a universal fare-payment system for Chicago and the suburbs.
Transit officials also hope the app will speed up boarding at bus stops, decrease crowding at train stations, and allow for seamless transfers between services. And in 2016, commuters will be able to use the app to touch their phones directly to a Ventra reader as they board.
For more information or to download the app, visit ventrachicago.com/app.