Ventra card

CTA riders can mail-in old fare cards to transfer balances to Ventra through Sept. 1. (August 1, 2014)

CTA riders have one month left to transfer the balances of their old fare cards to Ventra.

Through Sept. 1, riders can mail in their disposable CTA cards with stored value, 30-day unlimited passes, Chicago Cards and reduced fare permits to the CTA to transfer those balances to their registered Ventra cards.

Riders have mailed in more than 3,700 cards with a value of more than $29,000, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. Prior to the mail-in option, the CTA held balance transfer events for months across the city.

In order to transfer value to cards, riders must have:

  • A registered Ventra card.
  • A mail-in transfer form.
  • Old fare cards with an expiration date after Dec. 15, 2013.
  • Passes in their original, unopened packaging.
  • At least $5 in combined value. No more than eight cards can be mailed in.

But riders should be warned as they make their transfers: The CTA caps the balance on Ventra cards at $300.

The agency completed its transition to Ventra last month after delaying the switch because of problems the CTA said Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems has now fixed. As of July 1, riders can only use Ventra cards, some personal bank cards, some phones and cash on buses to pay fares.

There are 2.3 million active Ventra accounts, Chase said.