How-to: Paying at the Ventra Reader

Ventra readers are the device on buses and on the top of ‘L’ train station turnstiles where you pay your fare.

How to pay

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to pay:

  1. Touch your card/ticket/device to the yellow target on the reader.

That’s it. The reader will say “Go” if a fare was paid.

Good to know

  • The initial beep indicates the card was read—you can take your card off the reader once you hear it.

    If paying for more than one fare and tapping on a 'L' train station turnstile, each person must walk through the turnstile before the next fare is accepted. The “Touch below” screen will appear again on the reader allowing you to pay for the next fare.
  • If you’re paying for someone else who qualifies for a Reduced Fare, let the driver or station attendant know, first—they’ll need to put the reader in a special mode that will charge only a Reduced Fare on the next use.
  • Take your card or ticket out of your wallet before you pay—Ventra can accept multiple card types so, to avoid “card clash” (and be sure the card you intended to pay with is what’s read), touch only the card or ticket you wish to use.
ventra card reader

What if it doesn’t say “Go?”

  • If it says “Card not read” this means that your card wasn’t able to be read properly. Try again, and be sure to take your card out and hold it flat against the reader until you hear the first beep.
  • If it says “Stop,” note the text at the bottom of the screen for information about why:
    • “Stop – Insufficient fare” means you don’t have fare to cover your trip. Check your  transit account balance to see why.
    • “Stop – Repeated use” means that your card was touched again, unexpectedly. Ask for help from the driver or station attendant if you see this.
    • "Stop - See Customer Service" means that there's an issue with your transit account and you should contact Customer Service for help using this card or device.