Here are the basics
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about Ventra with Apple Pay. Visit our detailed FAQ section to learn more.
Where can I use Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch?
Your Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch can be used at all Ventra readers on CTA buses, CTA ‘L’ station faregates and Pace buses (Ventra Card in Apple Wallet is not accepted on Metra trains or for payment on Pace paratransit services).
What Ventra Cards can be used on iPhone and Apple Watch?
Currently, only full fare Ventra Cards (including those configured for O’Hare employees) can be added to Apple Wallet. We’re sorry, but RTA and Student Reduced Fare cards, including U-Pass Cards, and free ride Ventra Cards cannot be added to Apple Wallet at this time.
Can I still use my plastic Ventra Card after converting the card to a Ventra Card in Apple Wallet?
No. Once a plastic Ventra Card is converted to a Ventra Card in Apple Wallet, the plastic Ventra Card is deactivated; it’s the same process as getting a brand new debit card from your bank, your balance is still available in the new card, but you can no longer use the old card. Customers should dispose of the plastic card once the card is converted to a Ventra Card in Apple Wallet. The plastic Ventra Card will no longer be able to have passes or value added to it or be used to ride transit.
What is Express Transit Mode and how do I enable it?
Express Transit Mode allows you to quickly pay for rides with Apple Pay on your iPhone and Apple Watch without having to wake or unlock your device, or open an app. You don't even need to validate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. Simply tap your device flat on the yellow target of the Ventra reader until you feel a vibration. You will see “Done” and a checkmark on your iPhone or Apple Watch display.
Express Transit Mode is automatically activated for the first Ventra card in Apple Wallet you add. Additional Ventra Cards will not be set up for Express Transit.
- Open the Wallet app on your iPhone.
- Select the Ventra Card you want to set up for Express Transit.
- Select the “…” (three horizontal dots) and select Express Transit. Follow prompts to authenticate.
On Apple Watch:
- Open the Watch app on your iPhone and select the Wallet and Apple Pay option.
- Select Express Transit Card option.
- Select the Ventra Card you want to set up for Express Transit and follow prompts to authenticate.
Can I have my Ventra Card on both my iPhone and Apple Watch?
Sorry, you can only have one Ventra Card in Apple Wallet on one device at a time (i.e., just your iPhone or just your Apple Watch). You can, however, have multiple Ventra Cards in Apple Wallet at a time, each with their own value and passes, on each of your devices.
Is there a limit in the number of times I can move my Ventra Card from iPhone to iPhone or iPhone to Apple Watch?
Yes. Each Ventra Card in Apple Wallet can be moved between devices (iPhone to Apple Watch or from one iPhone to another iPhone) with the same iCloud account up to five times in a year. If you need to move your Ventra Card in Apple Wallet after you’ve reached this limit for the year, call Ventra Customer Service at 1.877.NOW.VENTRA (1.877.669.8368) who can help.
Can I still pay with a credit or debit card in my Apple Wallet instead of a Ventra Card in Apple Wallet?
Yes. You can still ride using your debit or credit card in Apple Wallet for a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) fare on CTA and Pace – no Ventra app or Ventra Card in Apple Wallet is needed. Just tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on the yellow target and go, when you see the green "Go."
Learn more about contactless payments for mobile wallets/Pay apps here.