University and college students in Chicago using a U-Pass to get around the city will be some of the first to trial CTA’s new Ventra card system, beginning this week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The transit fare card, which can be used on both CTA and Pace vehicles, will be in its first phase of distribution starting Monday. Rush University Medical School, Northwestern’s law school and Westwood College will be Ventra’s first customers.
The system will include new cards, new card vending machines and new readers with the capability to read a debit or credit card instead of a transit card. Students riding the CTA will each be distributed a U-Pass with Ventra capability.
After the city’s students, Chicago Card users will receive the next set of cards, starting Aug. 19. Everyone else, including reduced fare program members, will be able to get the new silver cards in September.
Until then, CTA and Pace are increasing efforts to educate riders about the new system with TV and radio ads, explanatory videos on the CTA and Pace websites, RTA emails, Facebook posts and tweets. Two informational Ventra buses will also roll around the city and at community events. People can enter, watch a video that explains the Ventra system, pick up some pamphlets and ask questions.
CTA and Pace are also looking into mobile options for travelers who want to pay their fare by phone, said Reese.
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