Ways to pay
How fare is paid when you ride
On CTA and Pace, fare is paid with value or passes stored in your Ventra transit account when you touch your card to a reader. This app lets you manage that account and what’s in it.
On Metra, conductors visually inspect paper or mobile tickets after you board. This app lets you buy mobile tickets using a credit/debit card or with Ventra transit value you’ve previously loaded.
To load Ventra transit value or passes or buy Metra tickets in the app, you’ve got a number of options:
Buying fare with credit/debit in the app
If you have a credit card or a checking account/prepaid debit card, you can use it to load transit value or passes and buy Metra tickets right in the Ventra app.
You can even securely store your payment info so loading fare or tickets is always a breeze.
Using transit value
If you’ve got value in a Ventra Card’s transit account, you can use that value to make purchases in the app, too—for example, you can load a 7-Day Pass to a Ventra Card using cash value that you’ve previously loaded into your Ventra transit account.
You can also use transit value as money to buy a Metra mobile ticket right in the app.
Using Transit Benefit value
Transit Benefit value is loaded by your employer if they participate in the program and you’ve elected to have them use your pre-tax wages to load fare into a Ventra account. If you have Transit Benefit value loaded, you can do all the same things with it that you can regular transit value (see above).
Prefer to use cash?
If you add value or passes to a Ventra Card's transit account with cash, this app is for you, too!
The app still can always quickly tell you your balance and notify you if your balance runs low. You can also use cash you've loaded to your Ventra transit account to pay for other things in the app, including passes and and Metra mobile tickets you use within the app.
To load cash into your Ventra Card's transit account, you can do so at any Ventra vending machine (located in all CTA 'L' stations) and right over the counter at about 1,300 retail locations around town (drugstores, currency exchanges, even many gas stations and neighborhood grocery stores).
When you go to load a pass for CTA or Pace or when you buy a Metra ticket in the app: just choose "transit value" as your payment method at checkout to use your stored cash value to complete your transaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 ventrachicago.com—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:
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.
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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