Ventra card

The new Ventra card. (Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune / August 25, 2013)

Still have old CTA fare cards floating around?

Riders can mail in their old fare cards and have the balances transferred to registered Ventra cards until Sept. 1 as the CTA wraps up its transition to Ventra.

Starting July 1, only Ventra cards, personal bank cards, some phones and cash (on buses) can be used to pay CTA fares. The CTA won't allow disposable fare cards after June 30. It stopped accepting Chicago Cards last month.

The CTA started its mail-in fare card program June 1. Riders have mailed in more than 600 cards, representing nearly $5,000 in balances, CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said.

Riders can send in a maximum of eight old fare cards, which include disposable cards, Chicago Cards, reduced fare permits and 30-day unlimited ride passes unused in their original sealed packaging.

The CTA didn't used to accept 30-day passes for balance transfer. The CTA has held events for months where riders could hand over their old cards to CTA personnel and transfer the balance to their new Ventra card.

"Since we did announce a phased transition, there was time for people to use" the 30-day passes, Lukidis said. The 30-day pass will transfer to Ventra not as an unlimited pass but for as a stored value for the price the rider paid for the card, Lukidis said.

The CTA was set to fully transition to Ventra last year but slowed the switch so Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems could fix glitches, which the CTA said have now been fixed.

To transfer, riders need a registered Ventra card and a mail-in transfer form, which can be found at CTA stations and on buses. All old fare cards must have an expiration date of Dec. 15, 2013 or later. Stored value cards must total at least $5 in combined value.

Completed forms and fare cards can be mailed to CTA Fare Media Ops, 901 W. Division St., Chicago, IL, 60642.

 

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