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RTA mailing Ventra info to seniors, reduced-fare riders

Updated: May 24, 2013 6:26PM

Seniors and other CTA and Pace riders now using reduced or free transit fare permits should watch their mailboxes in coming days for informational notices about the CTA’s new Ventra fare payment system.

The mailings from the RTA also ask the 550,000 seniors, disabled and low-income transit riders now using RTA’s free- and reduced-fare permits to notify the RTA if they have any changes to their addresses before the Ventra rollout this fall.

Otherwise, such customers should receive their new Ventra free- or reduced-fare permits by mail this fall at no charge, said Jordan Matyas, chief of staff at the RTA, which administers special transit permits.

The informational mailings also serve as a test drive of the accuracy of customer addresses before Ventra cards are mailed, Matyas said. The agency has hired a mail service to track down any notices that bounce back to the RTA as undeliverable, Matyas said.

“Any mail we get returned, we’ll track down,” Matyas said. “We’ll find them. Everyone should know they don’t need to come in to get a [Ventra] card. All the cards will be mailed to them.’’

At no extra charge, the value of Ventra cards for users of free- and reduced-fare permits will be protected if stolen or lost.

To pay reduced or free fares on CTA and Pace under the new Ventra system, customers will simply tap their new Ventra cards on new Ventra card readers at CTA rail turnstiles or when boarding CTA and Pace buses.

Metra customers will use their new permits on Metra just as they do today.

Disabled Pace Paratransit riders initially will continue to pay for rides with cash or Pace ADA One Ride tickets but will be able to use their new Ventra cards at a later date, after Ventra readers have been installed in Paratransit vehicles, Pace officials said.

For more information on the new Ventra system, visit For details on RTA fare programs, try

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