Ventra app down again Friday on 2nd day of new Metra fare structure; CTA, Pace issues also arise

Saturday, February 3, 2024
Ventra app still down Friday; issue impacting CTA, Pace, Metra tickets
Metra riders could not buy new tickets Friday. The train service is now providing guidance on bank charges for malfunctioning tickets.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Ventra app outage expanded on its second day and impacted Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace passes and tickets, Ventra said.

The outage comes one day after Metra rolled out a new fare structure.

Friday morning train commuters had trouble purchasing new Metra, CTA and Pace mobile tickets. Some also are having problems launching already purchased tickets, according to Metra.

"Riders unable to make purchases will be accommodated by transit personnel on buses, at rail stations and on the trains. We apologize for the ongoing inconvenience," Ventra said.

Metra said they are aware of the issue and are working with their vendor to resolve it.

"Any pending charges should be dismissed by your bank before posting to your account," Metra stated. "If a charge is posted but no ticket is populated, then contact Passenger Services at 312-MY-METRA (696-3872)."

Metra conductors are instructed to accommodate riders onboard. The rail agency took away any remaining ticket windows Thursday in an effort to push riders to use the Ventra app.

"When I came down here to come to work, it wasn't working," commuter Brannen Nelson said. "I have the app on my phone but I have (a card) too because I know sometimes (the app) doesn't work."

CTA issued a statement apologizing and saying in part, "Transit personnel will be prepared to accommodate any riders unable to purchase fares through the Ventra app."

Metra issued an apology to customers saying the vendor behind the app, Cubic Transportation, is working to solve the problem that started as many passengers tried to purchase their monthly tickets Thursday amid a new fare structure. That outage intermittently affected CTA and Pace riders as they tried to load more funds to the app Friday.

The new fares include fewer fare zones across the Metra system. Also a downtown to the suburbs ticket will cost $3.75.

"It is frustrating. We've done a lot of work to be ready for today, and it's frustrating that this technological problem comes up," Metra spokesperson Michael Gillis said. "We are just telling people the app is down; we are not requiring people to buy an extra ticket."

Plus, the 10-ride ticket has been replaced with a five-day pass. There is also a new program for low-income riders on all lines.

All SNAP recipient household members living in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties are eligible. For more information, visit

Metra said they don't know how long the Ventra app will be down. Problems seemed to be resolved by early Friday afternoon but how the app fares during the evening rush was yet to be seen.

Metra said with the loss of first of the month fares and those this morning, Cubic Transportation could be on the hook for as much as a $1 million in lost fares.

Cubic Transportation issued a statement, saying, "We are aware there is an operating issue with the Ventra mobile app and our team is working to get it back up and running as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing riders today and are committed to actively addressing it and making sure it doesn't happen again."

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