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Fare Definitions

Ventra® is the fare payment system for the CTA and Pace. Riders are encouraged to purchase a Ventra Card and register a transit account at ventrachicago.com or by calling 1.877.NOW.VENTRA. Registered Ventra Card users can load multi-day passes and transit value to their card, and have their balance protected if the card is lost or stolen.

If paying cash, exact fare is required on all buses. Drivers do not carry money or make change.

Reduced Fare Card/Permit
Reduced Fare Cards/Permits may be obtained through the RTA by calling 836-7000 (from any Chicagoland area code). A Medicare card, along with another source of identification with a photograph and date of birth, is acceptable to obtain the RTA Reduced Fare Card/Permit. Children ages 7-11 do not need to show a Reduced Fare Card/Permit to receive the reduced fare. Reduced fare riders who have a Ventra account should have their account “entitled” to identify which type of discount they qualify for. See below for more information on how to receive the correct type of entitlement.

Seniors
Persons 65 years or older must apply in person to obtain a Reduced Fare Card/Permit. Please call the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000 or visit the RTA Reduced Fare Program page for a registration location near you. Seniors who get a Ventra-compatible Reduced Fare Permit automatically have a Ventra account with the senior entitlement. That entitlement makes seniors eligible to load reduced fare products to their Ventra cards and automatically ride fixed route buses at a reduced fare when they use the transit value in their Ventra account. Seniors wishing to pay cash should present an RTA Reduced Fare Permit to ride for less--usually half the regular fare.

Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities who present the RTA Disabled Reduced Fare Permit are entitled to reduced fares--usually half the regular fare—when they ride fixed route buses. Please call the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000 for an application form. Persons with disabilities who get a Ventra-compatible Reduced Fare Permit automatically have a Ventra account with the “disabled” entitlement. That entitlement makes persons with disabilities eligible to load reduced fare products to their Ventra cards and automatically ride fixed route buses at a reduced fare when they use the transit value in their Ventra account. Persons with disabilities wishing to pay cash should present an RTA Reduced Fare Permit to ride for less--usually half the regular fare. Reduced fares do not apply to ADA Paratransit Service fares.

ADA Paratransit
Persons with disabilities who present the RTA’s ADA Paratransit Reduced Fare Permit are entitled to reduced fares--usually half the regular fare—when they ride fixed route buses. Please call the RTA Travel Information Center at 836-7000 to learn how to become certified for the ADA paratransit entitlement. Persons with disabilities who get a Ventra-compatible Reduced Fare Permit automatically have a Ventra account with the ADA Paratransit entitlement. That entitlement makes persons with disabilities eligible to load reduced fare products to their Ventra cards and automatically ride fixed route buses at a reduced fare when they use the transit value in their Ventra account. Persons with disabilities wishing to pay cash should present an RTA Reduced Fare Permit to ride for less--usually half the regular fare. Reduced fares do not apply to ADA Paratransit Service fares. Please note you cannot pay your ADA paratransit fare with a Ventra card.

Ride Free (Benefit Access, formerly “Circuit Breaker”)
Seniors or persons with disabilities who are enrolled in the Benefit Access program ride for free when they ride fixed route buses. Persons enrolled in the Ride Free program who get a Ventra-compatible Ride Free Permit ride any Pace, Metra or CTA route for free but will not have a Ventra account so they cannot load transit value to pay for companions with their card. The Ride Free program does not apply to ADA Paratransit Service fares.

Students
Reduced fares apply to students going to and from school activities, twelfth grade or lower, on weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. A student who uses Ventra should get the student entitlement associated with his/her Ventra Card. See this information for details about the student entitlement. That entitlement allows students to purchase reduced fare passes with their Ventra cards. Those students can also ride fixed route buses at a reduced fare during school hours using the transit value in their Ventra account. Students paying cash can ride at a reduced fare when a valid school ID is presented. Student fares are not valid on weekends or holidays.

Children under Age 7
Children under the age of 7 ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult passenger. A maximum of two children can ride free with each fare-paying adult passenger. Under no circumstances will children under 7 years of age be permitted to travel alone.

Transfers
Riders who use transit value on a Ventra card will automatically have the correct transfer cost deducted when they board a second time (including Pace and CTA buses and CTA trains). Customers paying with cash will have to pay the full fare of the route at the time of boarding. Transfer fare will be deducted from Ventra transit value when used to board two other Pace buses following the initial ride. These boardings must be taken within two (2) hours of the beginning of the initial ride. Reverse riding on the route of purchase using Ventra transit value is allowed within the two-hour time limit. Reverse riding is NOT allowed using free local transfers. Local transfers are available in Aurora, Joliet, Elgin and Waukegan, and are valid for one hour. Surcharges apply when transferring to Premium Fare routes. Transfers are not available using contactless debit/credit cards (a.k.a. “tap” or N.F.C.) unless the card is registered with Ventra.

Questions or Comments
If you have any questions, please contact Pace Customer Services.

 

 

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