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CTA Ventra

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KC Ghost Rider

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
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131
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Kansas City, Kansas
Going to Chicago this Friday and need a 3-day CTA pass. My understanding is they switched to ventra. Does ventra come in a 3 day pass? How does this new system work and what are the best options? I don't need a long term card, just going to be there for 3 days. :help:
 

KC Ghost Rider

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
131
Location
Kansas City, Kansas
PerRock, outstanding information! So what I gleamed is one can buy these passes at CUS near the Metra counter or walk across the street to the CVS and a 3-days pass is available. This forum never disappoints :excl:
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,087
Location
KAL
PerRock, outstanding information! So what I gleamed is one can buy these passes at CUS near the Metra counter or walk across the street to the CVS and a 3-days pass is available. This forum never disappoints :excl:
That is correct.
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,407
I thought the CTA had abolished Magnetic strip fare card passes with VENTRA? So now you need a VENTRA card to load a $20 3-day pass on (that price has gone up a lot).
 

SarahZ

Conductor
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May 8, 2011
Messages
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Location
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I thought the CTA had abolished Magnetic strip fare card passes with VENTRA? So now you need a VENTRA card to load a $20 3-day pass on (that price has gone up a lot).
The 3-day pass has been $20 for a while, even with the strip cards. I used to wait until Groupon had 50% off so I could get them for $10.

The trick with the Ventra card is that it has a $5 fee for new cards. That's refunded toward your transit balance, but you still have to pay the $20 upfront, I believe. So, it ends up at $25 for the weekend, but then again, the Ventra cards can be used as debit cards if you register them online. If someone comes to Chicago and has a balance leftover, they could always use it toward a small purchase when they get home.

You can also get a disposable, one-day Ventra card for $10.
 

NorthShore

Conductor
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
1,013
Location
Chicago
There is a Ventra customer service location at the CTA Headquarters at Lake & Jefferson (actually, in a smaller office space off to the side on Jefferson, which is part of the larger building.) If one is going to come to Chicago more than once in any 18 month period, especially, I would recommend going there and signing up/registering a new card. Then you'll have it available when you return - and without the $5 registration penalty. Apparently, if the card is inactive for an extended period (18 months or more?) then there is a monthly maintenance charge which will start to drain any value which you have remaining stored.

Passes and value can be added at the Ventra machines, in stations, and at other locations. I just added a 30 pass at a CVS the other day. They used to sell you a mag stripe card. Now they use a Ventra tap machine connected with their register which allows the pass to be added directly to your card.

Important to know is that Ventra will automatically use any passes you have stored on its card in descending order (30 day, 7 day, 3 day, 1 day) before deducting individual fares. You don't get to choose any other ordering. So, for instance, if you wanted to use a 7 day pass which is on the card, but not start it until Monday, paying only for the individual ride you happen to use Saturday, it would be best to have a second Ventra card available for this purpose (you get to name them for online tracking.)

At the moment, Chicago Cards and mag stripe Transit Cards can still be reloaded, but at limited values. I think you can even still buy a mag stripe card at a station (though not use it as a day pass of any sort.) CTA has announced that there is now (again) a planned phase out transitioning, as they have accepted Ventra's standards as finally working and acceptable. However, I am unaware of any details of this yet.
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,407
I guess I got spoiled on my last two Chicago by those $8 or $9 CTA 3-day passes from Groupon. The last time I earned me a grand total of 8 AGR points since Groupon is in the AGR on line mall.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
8
Ventra passes are available at all stations in a single ride and day pass in ticket format, and in 3 day pass ticket format at OHare and Midway station. Anywhere else, you will need to purchase a Ventra card to get a 3 day pass. However, if you buy a card, load $15 on it, register it, and then buy a 3 day pass with transit value, you pay the same price as the 3 day ticket. There is also a 7 day ticket, but that is available only to groups.
 
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