CHICAGO (STMW) — CTA and Pace riders will rollout its new Ventra transit fare card Sept. 9 but Chicago Card customers and students can begin using the card in August.

The Ventra card allows riders to use a single card for CTA and Pace transportation, according to a CTA release.

Customers pay $5 to purchase the Ventra card and the amount is immediately refunded to the card for transit use upon registration online or by phone, CTA said.

CTA and Pace announce future dates and locations where customers can obtain Ventra cards and waive the initial $5 one-time fee, CTA said.

University students will begin receiving U-PASS cards coded for the Ventra system the week of Aug. 5th, the CTA said.

More than 100,000 emails were sent to Chicago Card Plus and Chicago Card registered customers to make sure their mailing address is updated to receive their new free Ventra cards by mail, CTA said.

Customers who pay with magnetic stripe fare cards and unregistered Chicago Card customers will be able to transfer balances to their Ventra cards at select locations starting in September, CTA said, although spending down balances on current cards remains the simplest method of transitioning to Ventra.

Information about Ventra can be found at, and All Ventra customers starting August 5 can call (877) NOW VENTRA (699-8368). Starting August 12, customers can visit the new Ventra Customer Service Center at 165 N. Jefferson Street, Chicago, IL 60661 to learn more about Ventra. Sales of Ventra cards at that location will begin September 9.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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