How to pay in the Ventra app

On CTA and Pace, fare is paid when you tap your Ventra Card on a reader. Value or passes stored in your Ventra Card’s transit account are used to cover your rides as you travel. This app lets you manage your Ventra Card account from anywhere, however, you'll still need a Ventra card to ride Learn more about managing Ventra Cards or your options if you don’t have one.

On Metra, conductors visually inspect paper or mobile tickets after you board.  When using a ticket in the app, simply tap “use” in the Metra Tickets section of the home screen. This will launch the ticket on your phone and the train conductor/crew will inspect the Metra ticket on your phone’s screen.


How to buy fare in the app:

To load Ventra transit value or passes or buy Metra tickets in the app, you’ve got options:

  • Buy with credit/debit directly in the app: You can add and use your bankcard (with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover) to pay in the app and set up autoload for CTA/Pace fare and passes. This includes Transit Benefit Debit Cards issued through your employer’s transit benefits program.
  • Buy with a card stored in Apple Pay or Google Pay: You can use your phone’s built-in payment features for in-app payments to buy fare for quick and easy purchases.
  • Use your transit value or transit benefit value: If you have value loaded onto a Ventra Card registered with your account, you can use that value toward purchase of a transit pass on a Ventra Card or a mobile ticket for use on Metra. (Value cannot be used to pay for a Divvy bike at this time.)
  • Split a payment: If you want to use transit value or transit benefit value but don’t have enough for the pass or ticket in your account, you can split your payment between multiple funding sources.

Using cash?

The new Ventra app allows you to use cash value you've loaded to your transit account to pay for CTA or Pace passes and Metra tickets— just add value at hundreds of Ventra Vending Machines and  over-the-counter at retail locations all around town.

Even if you’re using cash, the app can help you keep track of your rides and balance and give you notifications when your balance is low or a ticket is expiring.

When you go to load a pass for CTA or Pace, or buy a Metra mobile ticket in the app, just choose "transit value" as your payment method at checkout to use the cash value you’ve loaded to complete your transaction.

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 the options menu (three vertical dots in the upper right of most main screens of the app) and select Payment methods to add a new credit/debit card, set up Apple Pay or Google pay, and change your preferences. 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.

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.