March 11, 2014

Ventra-only CTA fare payment to come

After many delays, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace, a suburban bus service, will announce plans to phase out old fare-payment systems and move to Ventra-only payment systems by the end of March, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Currently, four out of five CTA riders use Ventra, and officials say that the move toward the new payment system and phasing out of the old system will occur in three stages. Passengers will no longer be able to add value to old fare cards, and magnetic stripe cards will later cease to be sold. Finally, buses and trains will stop accepting old fare cards.

The old payment system was planned to have been phased out by the end of last year, but Ventra had a rocky launch last summer. As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, one man received 270 Ventra cards in September, and according to DNAinfo Chicago, the CTA gave out $1.2 million in fare for over 930,000 free rides between early October and mid-December of last year.