About Riding with Transit Value

Transit value is money stored that’s used to pay for regular fares. It’s held in a Ventra transit account, which automatically associated with your Ventra Card or if you load value onto your contactless bankcard before using it to ride.

See CTA Fares or Pace Fares for information on how much is deducted as you ride.

Transit value basics

  • Transit value can be used to pay for regular fares on both CTA and Pace.
  • Fares are calculated and deducted from your value balance automatically as you ride.

Loading value

Load transit value to your transit account in these places:

  • At Ventra vending machines (in every ‘L’ train station)
  • At more than 1,300 Ventra retail locations (Currency Exchanges, drugstores, and more)
  • Online* (via this website)
  • At the Ventra Customer Service Center at 567 W. Lake St. in Chicago.
  • Over the phone, via an automated hotline* (1-877-NOW-VENTRA)
  • In the Ventra app

Set up autoload so transit value is automatically loaded whenever you run low.

Note: All vending machines accept cash, credit and debit. Payments accepted by retailers may vary. Online and phone transactions can be performed with registered Ventra Cards, only.

Good to know

  • You can apply transit value that's already been added to your transit account toward the purchase of passes online, in the Ventra app and at vending machines. You can also apply transit value to the purchase of Metra mobile tickets in the Ventra app.
  • You can use transit value to cover the fares of others traveling with you.
  • You can use transit value to pay a reduced fare for children (ask the bus operator or train station attendant to let you pay a reduced fare).
  • If you receive pre-tax transit benefit value, this will be listed separately and used up, first.
  • You can apply transit value (or transit benefit value) toward the purchase of a pass at vending machines or online.

Have both transit value and passes in your transit account?
Because your Ventra Transit Account can contain multiple fare payment options, your fare will be paid with the first payment method in your Ventra Transit Account containing sufficient value in the following order:

  1. Shorter duration joint CTA-Pace passes that are valid on both transit agencies
  2. Longer duration joint CTA-Pace passes that are valid on both transit agencies
  3. Shorter duration agency-specific passes that are valid on just one participating transit agency
  4. Longer duration agency-specific passes that are valid on just one participating transit agency
  5. Transit Benefit Value
  6. Transit Value

When you board and pay your fare, Ventra will automatically determine what types of passes and transit value are available in your account and your ride will be paid for accordingly. New passes will not be activated until the pass you are currently using expires, if you have an active pass that can cover your ride. A Ventra Transit Account can contain up to three passes at one time.

If there are no passes and insufficient transit value in your Ventra Transit Account, you will not be able to travel, or, if using a contactless bankcard or mobile device, you’ll be charged a PAYG fare, instead.

See the Ventra User Agreement for complete details.

 

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