The Chicago Transit Authority rolled out it’s new Ventra Card last October, becoming the first transit agency in the US to offer a fare payment card that can hold both passes and cash value, and that can be used as a debit card for non-transit transactions.
With Chicago’s transition to
contactless payment technology, CTA becomes the second US transit agency to allow open payment, joining the Utah Transit Authority in accepting payment from private debit and credit cards that have contactless technology, when boarding a bus or paying at a train turnstile.
For either Ventra or your private card, you would need to set up separate transit and debit accounts on the card, but once the transit account is set up, your private contactless card can hold passes, just like Ventra.
The transition has not been without hiccups. CTA has been holding off payments to the vendor, Cubic, Inc., until Cubic meets its contractual performance requirements. Cubic has been meeting the requirements in January, and will start receiving its contractual payments upon two consecutive months of meeting the performance standards.
Just three months after rollout, over 75% of rides are being paid for with Ventra. Here are some possible reasons why:
· The cash bus fare is $2.25. The electronic bus fare is $2. For reduced-fare riders, the fare is $1.10 cash or $1 electronically.
· There is a $5 fee to get the Ventra card, but it comes with $5 cash value loaded once you register the card within 90 days.
· CTA has 1-, 3-, 7-, and 30-day passes, all available through electronic media.
· Ventra can be used to pay for multiple riders.
CTA also offers Ventra Tickets, for single rides and 1-day passes.