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redeyechicago.com

Some Metra riders who use CTA, Pace to get Ventra-compatible card

By Jon Hilkevich

Tribune reporter

7:27 PM CDT, October 31, 2013

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Metra monthly pass customers who also buy passes on CTA and Pace will receive new types of cards starting in December that are compatible with the Ventra fare payment system, officials said Thursday.

Unlike CTA and Pace, Metra is not yet participating in Ventra, but it will be issuing a variation of the contactless Ventra card to its monthly pass customers who purchase the Link-Up and PlusBus fare media through Metra's regular sales options.

The Ventra Link-Up card will still cost $55, and it remains valid for unlimited rides on Pace at all times, and on the CTA on weekdays from 6 to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 7 p.m.

The Ventra PlusBus card will still cost $30 and be valid for unlimited rides on Pace at all times.

Both forms of Ventra cards will be valid for 30 days from the first date of use. The old magnetic stripe cards were valid during the month printed on the back. Metra advises customers to avoid using the new Ventra Link-Up and PlusBus cards before the first day of the month to avoid confusion and maintain consistency with using their Metra monthly passes.

Metra customers who also use CTA, Pace Link-Up and Pace PlusBus will no longer be issued magnetic stripe cards as of Dec. 1 and instead will receive Ventra-branded cards, officials said.

jhilkevitch@tribune.com

Twitter @jhilkevitch