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CTA: Transit benefit riders need to switch to Ventra

The CTA today will begin e-mailing 53,000 riders enrolled in pre-tax transit benefits programs reminding them to activate their Ventra card so they can use their November benefits, the agency said today.

Starting Friday, benefits from these programs, which enable riders to purchase their CTA passes with pre-tax money, will load onto Ventra cards. For those who have not yet activated their Ventra cards, the CTA will allow these riders to continue to use their Chicago Cards until Nov. 15.

For riders in benefits programs who continue to use their Chicago Cards after Thursday, the transactions will post to their Ventra cards.

About 1,100 local employers participate in transit benefit programs, the CTA said. It's not known how many of the 53,000 employees have not yet activated their Ventra cards.

"We're just trying to get people to activate their card," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

Chase said the final batch of Ventra card mailings went out Oct. 17 so riders should receive their cards before Friday.

Riders in these programs who have not yet received their cards are encouraged to tell their transit benefits administrator, Chase said.

Ventra replaces Chicago Cards on Nov. 15. Chicago Card Plus balances transfer over when Ventra cards are activated. Chicago Card balances need to be spent down or transferred at a CTA balance transfer event.

Ventra replaces disposable magnetic stripe cards Dec. 15.

tswartz@tribune.com

 

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