Ventra App: How to Buy a Metra Mobile Ticket

Buy Tickets

If you ride Metra, you can use the Metra app to buy mobile tickets and ride with the app.

Buy your tickets before you board so you're ready to go when the conductor comes around. Tickets are stored on your device and can be used even if you don't have cell signal on the train.

Here's how to buy your ticket:

  • From the app menu, choose Buy Metra Tickets.
  • Select the line and stations you intend to use and the type of ticket you want to buy. (Monthly Passes are only sold between the 20th and the 5th.)

    Prices are displayed for each ticket type between the stations you selected.

    You can buy reduced fare Metra mobile tickets, but when you use them you must present proper documentation to the conductor to prove your eligibility.
  • Confirm your selection. When you're ready to buy, choose Checkout.
    • If you haven’t created a Ventra account, the next screen will give you the options to Create Account or Log In or Continue Without an Account.

      If you continue without an account, tickets you purchase won't be protected against loss or theft. The next screen will ask for your payment information.
    • If you have an account and are already logged in, the next screen will ask you how you want to pay.
  • Payment options will include any credit or debit cards or Ventra transit value already added to your account (you can also add a credit/debit card if you haven't added one yet). You can also choose to split the payment between two options.

Your new mobile tickets will be stored under My Metra Tickets in the app for when you're ready to use them.

Available tickets include one-way, ten-ride, weekend and monthly tickets. You can also buy reduced fare tickets if you're an eligible rider, including seniors, people with disabilities or children.


Get transit benefits through your employer?

If you have an employer who can deliver your transit benefits to a Ventra transit account, you can have money loaded into your transit account and apply the value toward your ticket purchases in the app (it'll show as transit benefit value).

If you receive your benefits on a prepaid debit card, you can add this card like any other card and use it as a funding source.

If your ticket costs more than the transit benefit money that's available to you, you can split your payment between your transit benefit funding source and another payment method on checkout.




Frequently Asked Questions for Metra Tickets

Metra Mobile Tickets in the App

Paying in the App


Questions And Answers

Metra Mobile Tickets in the App

Should I buy my ticket before I get on the train?

Yes. Buying your tickets in advance helps make sure you’re ready to go when you get on the train. Tickets you buy are stored on your device until you use them (but unused One-Way and Weekend tickets expire 90 days after purchase; and unused Ten-Ride tickets expire a year after purchase.)

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How long are tickets I purchase good for?

One-way tickets and weekend tickets are good for 90 days from purchase.

10-ride tickets are good for a year from purchase.

Monthly tickets are good from the 1st of the calendar month they are good for and until noon on the 1st business day of the following calendar month.

Remember to buy your tickets in advance of when you ride so you've got a ticket and are ready to activate it as soon as you sit down on the train.

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Is there a surcharge if I buy a ticket in the app?

No – Metra mobile tickets cost the same as their paper counterparts.

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Can I use the app to buy Metra mobile tickets without creating a Ventra account?

Yes. But we highly recommend you create an account. It’s free and easy and it allows you to take full advantage of all the app’s features. You can store your credit or debit cards, including pre-tax transit benefits debit cards, so you don’t have to enter the information every time you buy a mobile ticket. It also allows you to split your payment between two cards – very handy for those who use a pre-tax transit benefits debit card that does not fully cover the cost of a Monthly Pass. It allows you to recover your mobile tickets if your phone is lost, stolen, damaged or replaced. And if you have a Ventra card, it allows you to check your balance, add value, add passes, get account notifications and more.

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Can I use the app to buy Metra mobile tickets even if I don’t have a debit or credit card to pay with?

Yes. If you’ve created a Ventra account and registered a Ventra card, you can log in and use transit value from that card’s account to buy a Metra mobile ticket. You can load value with cash at any Ventra vending machine or at any of about 1,300 retail locations around town, including most currency exchanges and drugstores.

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How do I use a mobile ticket in the app on board a Metra train?

When you board your train, select “My Metra Tickets” in the app and tap the ticket you’d like to use. You’ll be prompted to confirm activation. Then show your mobile ticket to the conductor when the conductor is checking for tickets. He or she will ask you to touch the screen; when you do the colors in the animation change. This is a quick way for the conductor to visually check that the ticket is valid.

If necessary, the conductor may also ask you to touch the QR code in the lower right corner of the ticket, which will enlarge the code and further verify the ticket as valid. You can navigate away from the app and return to reopen your mobile ticket (it’ll show as “In Use”) as many times as you need to during your ride.

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How does the Ten-Ride ticket work in the app?

When you buy a Ten-Ride ticket, you’ll see that you have 10 tickets of that type in your “Stored Tickets” under “My Metra Tickets” – it’s almost like having a little book of 10 One-Way tickets. When you go to use one of the rides, it’ll activate just one ticket and the rest will remain as “Stored Tickets” until you need them.

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What happens if I put my phone away and am asked to show my ticket again?

Metra mobile tickets stay active in the “Tickets in Use” section for a set amount of time – tickets for longer trips (as determined by the origin and destination, or zones) remain active longer than shorter trips. Monthly and weekend passes remain active for the month or weekend they are activated. If you put your phone away or leave the app to do something else, you can always go back and reopen it – just look for the “In Use” ticket. 

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What happens if something delays my train after I’ve activated my ticket?

If you activate your ticket and something happens that delays your train, no worries. Tickets that have been recently used will remain on your phone as “Expired” for three hours after they expire, and your conductor will know whether to accept an expired ticket as valid in such circumstances.

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Can I use Metra mobile tickets to ride any Metra line?

Yes! Mobile tickets in the app are accepted on all Metra trains.

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Can I use the Ventra app to travel to/from Hegewisch?

No – service to/from Hegewisch is provided by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (the South Shore Line), which does not accept Metra tickets.

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Can I use the app to pay for other people traveling with me on Metra?

Yes – You can activate multiple tickets in the app to cover the fares of people traveling with you on Metra trains! Just activate your ticket, then go back and activate another. You can even activate a reduced fare ticket for people traveling with you who qualify.

When the conductor comes around, show them your "in use tickets" list so they can see that you've activated multiple tickets and then select each one to show the animation proving each is a real ticket and what zones it covers.


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I just got a new phone and logged into the Ventra app. Why don't I see my tickets?

When you buy a mobile ticket for use on Metra trains, the ticket is downloaded and stored on your device.
By storing tickets on your device (rather than keeping them on our servers), your tickets are still available even if you need to use your ticket in a place where you don't have an Internet connection (such as when you're in underground stations or in a cellular "dead zone").
You can, however, move tickets bought while signed into the Ventra app from one device to another.
Learn more about how to move tickets to a new device.

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Paying in the App

How do I add a credit or debit card in the app?

If you're signed in, you can add payment cards by going to My Account from the app's main menu. You can also add payment methods on—they'll automatically appear in the app.

If you haven't done this in advance of trying to make a purchase in the app, you can also add one as part of the checkout process. The card will be stored in your account once you've completed the transaction.

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How do I use pre-tax transit benefit money through work for use in the app?

You set up pre-tax Transit Benefits through your employer, if they offer it. (If they don't, tell them you'd like it!)

There are two ways to use transit benefit money with the app:

  1. Have it delivered to a Ventra Card's transit account: If you can have money delivered to a Ventra Card's transit account, set this up to have transit benefit value automatically appear. This money can cover fares paid with a Ventra Card on CTA and Pace and can also be used as a funding source when you buy a CTA or Pace pass or Metra mobile ticket right from within the app.

    If you don't have enough benefit value to cover your pass purchase or a monthly Metra mobile ticket purchase, you can choose "split payment" to split the difference between your transit benefit value and another payment method.
  2. Use a prepaid transit benefit debit card as your payment method: If you've been issued a special transit-only debit card to where your benefit money is loaded, you can set up that debit card as a funding source in the app to pay for transit.

You can also split payments between two credit/debit cards in the app, so if the maximum benefit value is less than a Metra mobile ticket you wish to purchase, you can cover your purchase with two payments.

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