RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit Programs
Frequently Asked Questions
When will I receive my new Ventra Reduced Fare, Ride Free or ADA Paratransit permit?
All customers enrolled in RTA’s Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit programs should have received a new permit for use with the Ventra system on CTA and Pace. If you have not received your new permit, please call 312-913-3110 immediately.
How do I activate my new permit?
You need to activate your new permit by calling 1-877-450-5328 before using it on CTA and Pace. You will need to provide the card number and card expiration date located on the back of the card, as well as your birthday, when activating your permit. If you need assistance with activating your permit call the activation number and press ‘0’.
Can I still use my magnetic stripe Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit permit to board CTA and Pace buses and trains?
No. Beginning July 1, RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer use magnetic stripe permits on CTA, Metra and Pace. Pace customers paying with cash will no longer be issued a Reduced Fare Transfer Card. All customers will be transitioned to Ventra.
Cash will continue to be accepted on CTA and Pace buses and Metra trains.
How do I transfer my balance from my current permit to my new permit?
You can transfer balances through a Chicago Transit Authority mail-in option. For more information visit http://www.transitchicago.com/mailintransfer/.
What is Ventra™?
Ventra™ is the CTA’s and Pace’s new fare payment system that will make it faster and easier to access transit throughout the region. Ventra was developed by the CTA and Pace to unify their payment systems.
How do I use Ventra on CTA and Pace trains and buses?
After you activate your new permit you can add CTA and Pace transit passes, like a 30-day reduced fare pass, and transit value (incremental dollar amounts) to your Transit Account. Once you have added a transit pass or transit value, you simply “tap” your new permit to board CTA and Pace trains and buses.
What is a Transit Account?
A Transit Account is a secure individual account that can be registered to your permit. You can add transit passes, such as the 30-day reduced fare pass, and transit value to your Transit Account to pay for rides on the CTA and Pace.
Where can I be purchase transit passes and add transit value to my Transit Account?
You can purchase transit passes and add value in a variety of places, including online at www.ventrachicago.com, over the phone at 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368), at participating Ventra Retail Locations and Ventra vending machines at CTA rail stations.
How can I manage my Transit Account?
You can manage your Transit Account, view transit balances and add transit passes and value online with a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also manage your Transit Account over the phone, at participating Ventra Retail Locations and Ventra vending machines at CTA rail stations. When you activate your new permit you can obtain a username, password and account access code. You can have your username, password and account access code mailed to you and also provided to you over the phone. If you have already activated your permit and did not get your username, password and account access code during the activation process you will need to call 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368).
How do I pay my fares for Metra?
You use your new permit for program verification on Metra just as you do today. When purchasing a reduced fare monthly, 10-ride or one-way ticket at a Metra station you must present your Reduced Fare Permit to the Metra ticket agent. When purchasing a reduced fare ticket on-board a Metra train you must present your Reduced Fare permit to the Metra conductor. There is a $3.00 surcharge if you purchase a one-way ticket on-board the train when a ticket agent is on duty at the station where you boarded. Ride Free customers simply present their Ride Free permit to the Metra conductor on-board a Metra train.
Can I pay my fare on Pace ADA Paratransit Service using my new permit?
No. You must continue to pay your ADA Paratransit fare using cash or Pace ADA One Ride tickets. You will be able to use your new permits to pay for your rides on ADA Paratransit vehicles at a later date.
How can I get more information?
You can receive more information at www.ventrachicago.com or www.rtachicago.org or by calling RTA’s Customer Service Center at 312-913-3110.