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Q. and A. on Ventra cards

Q. What is Ventra?

A. Ventra is a new “open-fare” payment system that allows customers to use the same contactless card to pay fares on both the CTA and Pace transit systems. Riders can tap fare boxes with either the new, plastic Ventra card or any credit or debit card that contains a radio-frequency identification chip, indicated by the logo of four radio waves inside a circle.

Q. What do I do with my Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus?

A. One easy option is to spend it down to nothing. You should receive a Ventra card in the mail the week of Aug. 19. Activate it by calling (877) NOW-VENTRA, and your old Chicago Card Plus balance will be automatically transferred to your new Ventra card. To register your existing Chicago Card, call (888) YOUR-CTA.

Q. What do I do with old CTA magnetic-strip cards?

A. They will no longer be accepted by December, so use them up or transfer their balances to a new Ventra card, which will be possible at select locations starting in September. Balances can be transferred through March 2014, when Ventra will completely replace all existing fare payment cards. Pace passes also must be used up by this time.

Rosalind Rossi

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