Ventra App: The Basics
Welcome to the Ventra app!
The Ventra app is your companion for riding CTA, Metra and Pace, linking how you pay fare throughout the Chicago area.
The app lets you manage your Ventra Card's transit account, buy mobile tickets to ride Metra trains and get notifications when your account balance is low or passes or tickets are due to expire.
It even gives you real-time arrival information on CTA, Metra and Pace all in one place.
The app's main menu
To jump between different parts of the app, tap the menu icon () to open the main menu. You can also swipe right (swipe your finger from the left edge of the screen to the right) in most parts of the app.
Sign in for the best experience!
The account you use to sign into the app is the same account you can use from the Ventra website.
Your online Ventra account stores your transit use history, orders, securely stores payment methods (so you don't have to enter a credit card every time you make a purchase) and lets you recover fare and tickets you’ve paid for in the event your phone or cards are lost or stolen.
Creating an account is free and just takes a few minutes.
And to make sure you’re able to access new functionality, it’s important your device’s operating system is up to date. If you have a device running on an operating system of Android 6 and older or iOS 9 and older, you should consider updating your device or operating system. Unfortunately, these systems are no longer supported by their manufacturers and this may limit app functionality.
My Ventra Cards
You can register Ventra Cards for use when riding CTA and Pace and manage your Ventra transit account from in the app—check balance, see your transit history, add passes, get account notifications and more.
If you don't have a Ventra Card, you can order one online or buy one at any Ventra vending machine or over the counter at around 1,300 Ventra retail locations around town.
Learn more about managing your Ventra Card's transit account in the app
Metra mobile tickets
You can buy and use Metra mobile tickets with the Ventra app—simply purchase a ticket, activate it when you board a Metra train, and show it to the conductor!
There’s no need to visit a ticket window first and no on-board fees when you use mobile tickets.
If you’re signed in, your tickets are protected in the event you lose your phone.
Learn more about buying & using Metra mobile tickets
Ways to pay
In the app, you can pay with a credit or debit card (including employee transit benefit debit cards) to load Ventra transit value, passes or buy Metra mobile tickets in the app.
You can also use transit value in your registered Ventra Card’s transit account to pay for Metra tickets or load passes in the app.
You can even split a payment between multiple funding sources.
It’s all up to you!
Learn more about paying in the app
The app also provides arrival/departure information for all three transit agencies in the Transit Tracker section—you can even search for stops near you or save favorites to get quick arrival information whenever you’re going to ride transit.
Learn more about how to use the Transit Tracker
The Ventra app can give you alerts when important events occur in your account—such as when balance gets low, when autoload occurs (if you’ve enabled it), when a pass is loaded, or a Metra mobile ticket is expiring.
Learn more about alerts & how to control them
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions And Answers
How do I download the app?
If you have an Android device, you can download the app from the Google Play Store.
If you have an iOS device (iPhone, etc.) you can download the app from the iTunes App Store.
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Do I need to have a credit card to use the Ventra app?
Nope—you can use the app to keep track of your fare and get real-time account notifications, even if you load cash at vending machines or over-the-counter at shops that sell Ventra.
You can even buy and use Metra mobile tickets using cash value you’ve loaded into your Ventra account.
If you’d like to load value or passes into your Ventra Card’s transit account, however, you will need to have a credit or debit card.
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Can I touch my phone to a Ventra reader to pay with the Ventra app?
For now, the app won't replace your Ventra Card, but it is something we plan to bring in the future. Touch-to-pay technology is advanced functionality that we're planning for a later phase of the app’s development.
Right now, we’ve been focused on providing great account management features, notifications, travel information and the all-new ability to buy Metra tickets on your phone.
(Note that Ventra readers do accept direct, contact payments for fare—if you just need a single ride and no transfers, you can already use Apple Pay and Android Pay at Ventra readers.)
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