The CTA says that Ventra will allow riders to use a card, ticket, or their own "contactless bankcard" to pay for rides by adding transit value and passes.
"We've spent nearly two years building and testing this innovative system and are eager for customers to begin integrating Ventra into their daily lives," said CTA President Forrest Claypool.
The Ventra system is supposed to allow CTA bus and train and Pace bus riders to board vehicles and pay for their ride with a "tap" of a "contactless card." The CTA says there are no Ventra fees for daily transit use, and CTA and Pace fares will not change. It also indicates that buses will still accept cash.
Chicago Card Plus and registered Chicago Card customers will be notified by email or mail of the Ventra transition in July, and a few weeks later will receive Ventra cards and instructions, according to the CTA. The Ventra program is set to launch in August for "the first targeted group of users," which the CTA says will include Chicago Card Plus and registered Chicago Card users, and "students at schools participating in the U-Pass program."
The CTA says that in September, all CTA and Pace customers will be able to use Ventra and that Ventra cards will be generally available starting in September. It says that the old farecard system will be phased out gradually in October and November, and that the transition is to complete in December, although customers are to have an additional three months through spring 2014 to transfer balances from old fare cards to Ventra cards.