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Ventra Transition To Be Completed Tuesday

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 30, 2014 3:35PM

Photo credit: Ken "artistmac" Smith

The time is nigh. Today is the final day CTA and Pace suburban bus riders may be able to use Chicago Cards and magnetic stripe fare cards. Starting Tuesday the Ventra card will handle all fares on the public transit agencies, a transition that’s been 10 months in the making with several bumps in the road along the way.

Here are some other things you need to know moving forward.

Cash will only be accepted on CTA and Pace buses only. Pace riders paying their fares in cash will no longer be issued a transfer card. Seriously, suburban bus riders, take this to heart. As of post time, only 70 percent of Pace rides are being made with Ventra, compared to 98 percent of CTA rides. (To be fair, we've had minimal problems with our Ventra card since CTA announced its new transition timetable in the spring.)

To accommodate an expected rush of last-minute customers switching to Ventra, the $5 new card fee will be waived until July 7 at the over 1,300 drugstores, currency exchanges and other retail locations selling Ventra cards.

If you still have a Chicago card or magnetic stripe fare card with an outstanding balance and want to transfer it to a Ventra card, you have until Sept. 1 to do so. Forms and instructions are available on CTA’s website. The cards must have a minimum $5 balance and there’s a transfer limit of eight cards per customer.