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Pace Ramps Up Efforts To Educate Commuters About Ventra

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CHICAGO (STMW) – Travelers apprehensive about how the transition to the Ventra fare-collection system will affect getting around are the target of a new Pace outreach campaign.

Pace employees will be staged at 14 transit stations in the city during the next two weeks in an effort to inform customers about fare policy changes, according to a statement from the transit agency.

On Monday, the suburban bus transit system Pace and the CTA halted the sale of magnetic-striped fare cards in favor of the new plastic Ventra card, a fare-payment system that can be used on both forms of public transportation and can be used like a debit card for purchasing other goods.

Pace staff, dubbed outreach “ambassadors,” will be available to distribute information and answer questions during evening rush hours from Oct. 7 to 9 at Joliet Union Station, Elgin Transportation Center, Aurora Transportation Center and Waukegan Metra Station; on Oct. 10, 11 and 15 at the Pace Harvey Transportation Center, Pace Chicago Heights Transfer Center, Midway CTA Station and 95th/Dan Ryan CTA Station; and from Oct. 16 to 18 at the Rosemont CTA Station, Pace Schaumburg Transportation Center, Davis CTA Station, Forest Park CTA Station, Crystal Lake Metra Station and Yorktown Center.

“Change is never easy, so we’re launching this outreach effort to provide riders with the information they need to know to ensure a smooth transition to a more convenient and efficient way to pay fares and use public transportation,” Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski said in the statement.

Magnetic-striped cards can still be used until Dec. 15, but the old transit card vending machines will be completely removed from stations by Nov. 15.

Pace plans to resume the outreach campaign in December when the magnetic stripe and Chicago Card systems are fully phased out.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)