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The First Major Deadline In The New Ventra Transition Timetable Arrives Thursday

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 28, 2014 3:30PM


Here’s a reminder for CTA riders clinging on for dear life to their old magnetic stripe and Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus farecards. Starting Thursday May 1 you’ll no longer be able to buy magnetic stripe farecards or add value to Chicago Cards as CTA and Pace Suburban bus move to a Ventra-only fare payment system by July 1.

Current data from the two transit agencies claim 84 percent of all CTA rides and 60 percent of Pace rides are taken with Ventra. There have been more than 153 million Ventra taps across the CTA and Pace systems. (How many of those are doubles because the farecard readers aren’t recognizing Ventra cards is anyone’s guess.

Of course, this means several thousand CTA and Pace riders will be scrambling for Ventra cards or transfer their remaining balances to one. Ventra’s website currently lists how to do this and the $5 Ventra card fee will be waived through July 7 at all retail outlets selling the farecards. Additionally there will be balance transfer events held Thursday, May 8 at the Jefferson Park Library, 5363 W. Lawrence Ave., from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 10, at Curie High School (cafeteria), 4959 S. Archer Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Additional balance transfer events are scheduled through June; details are available at the Ventra website.