Latest Ventra innovation makes travel on CTA and Pace easier than ever
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today unveiled the latest innovation to the Ventra fare-payment system—the Ventra Card on Google Pay—further expanding convenience and flexibility for customers.
“The addition of Google Pay as a Ventra payment option helps make it easier to get where you are going. Whether you’re a resident or visitor, hopping aboard Chicago’s world-class public transit system is now as easy as a tap of your Android mobile device on a bus or at a train station,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "Just as the City of Chicago gladly re-opens its doors and welcomes you back, we’re making it even faster to get there thanks to our innovative partnership with Google.”
Now, CTA and Pace riders will be able to simply tap their NFC-enabled Android™ phone at CTA rail stations or aboard CTA or Pace buses to pay for rides using Ventra Card in Google Pay. Customers will not be required to carry a plastic Ventra card. After adding their Ventra card to Google Pay, there is no need for riders to unlock their phone; they can simply ‘wake up’ their phone to tap and go with Ventra Card in Google Pay.
“We are always looking for new ways to make the CTA travel experience more convenient for our riders and adding Google Pay as a fare payment option is a great way to help achieve that goal,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are excited to add Google Pay as a touch-and-go payment option for our customers at a time when we want to provide as many contactless fare payment options as possible.”
Google Pay and the Ventra app work seamlessly together. Getting started in the Ventra app, customers can add a new Ventra card to Google Pay or transfer a registered, plastic Ventra Card to Google Pay. Within either the Ventra app or Google Pay, customers can see their transit balance, check either pass expiration date, and review their recent travel history. Customers can add transit value and passes from the Ventra app.
“We want to make everyday things fast and easy with Google Pay,” said Alan Stapelberg, Product Manager, Google Pay. “Commuters using Ventra cards can now use Google Pay as their ticket to ride public transport on the CTA and Pace network making commuting stress free.”
“Pace is pleased to add Google Pay to our menu of payment options and better serve our passengers through technology," said Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue. "Offering our passengers more ways to pay fares allows them to choose the best option for them and makes regional connectivity easier than ever."
A Ventra Card on Google Pay can’t be loaded onto more than one phone at a time. Customers should load their Ventra card onto the phone they wish to use to ride. The Ventra Card on Google Pay works on NFC-enabled Android phones running Android 5 or later.
Full fare Ventra Cards—including those configured for O’Hare employees and Northwestern passes—can be added to Google Pay. . Ventra Cards issued through special fare programs like RTA Reduced Fare, Student Ventra Cards or UPass cards cannot be added to Google Pay at this time.
Introduced in 2015, the Ventra app is the first transit app in the nation that allowed customers to pay for rides on multiple transit systems. The free app was developed and launched by the CTA in partnership with Metra, the Chicago area’s commuter rail system, and Pace. Today, the Ventra app includes an integration with Chicago’s Divvy Bikeshare system and customers can add their Ventra Card to iPhone and Apple Watch.