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CTA’s New Ventra Cards Make Their Debut Monday

The CTA's new Ventra card. (CBS)

The CTA’s new Ventra card. (CBS)

Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) — It’s billed as your one-stop ticket to transportation in Chicago.

It’s called the Ventra card. On Monday, it will officially be used to pay for rides on CTA, Pace and eventually Metra.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

The goal is to streamline all transit use, using one form of payment.

Student Amanda Porras was among the first to get a Ventra card as part of the test phase of the program.

“It’s been easier to get on the bus. You just swipe it and go in,” she says.

Before, she had to take the time to feed money into a machine.

CTA spokesperson Brian Steele says the goal of the Ventra card is to modernize Chicago’s transit system.

“The Ventra system will be able to read any card that is ‘contactless.’ In other words, you don’t have to swipe a card. You simply hold it close to a reader and it reads the information off of that,” he says.

Steele says that means you can use your own contactless credit or debit card for CTA or PACE rides. You can also use a Ventra card that you purchase at a kiosk, online or by phone, or at a transit card retailer.

Steele says it’s also easy to load value on the Ventra card using credit or cash.

“You simply tap your Ventra card against the reader,” he says, and then add value through a credit or debit card or by paying cash.

You will still be able to use your current transit cards on PACE and the CTA through Dec. 15. Metra is discussing with the CTA right now how they can implement the new system, too.

They are required by law to have it in place by the end of 2015.

Chicago transit riders can purchase cards at VentraChicago.com or by calling 877-NOWVentra.