(CBS) — The end is at hand for the last of CTA’s old farecards.
Tuesday is the day CTA and Pace will stop accepting magnetic stripe farecards for payment of everyday fares.
The machines needed to recharge the old magnetic-stripe cards have been pulled out of stations and other purchase locations over the past month.
CTA stopped accepting the old Chicago Cards and Chicago Card Plus June 1, and a spokesman said 98 percent of riders have switched from older fare cards to Ventra.
CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry said the transit agency is confident that Ventra has become and will continue to be a reliable fare-collection system, although some riders say they continue to hear stories about malfunctioning card readers and cards supposedly loaded with cash that aren’t.
CTA touts convenience with the new cards — no need to buy new cards each day/week/month for those with passes, the ability to transfer pass balances if you lose a registered card, ad the ability to use it to make debit card purchases. Detractors cite the $3 price for single-fare cards, question the reliability of Ventra cards and say the prices for the card’s debit functions remain high.
Balances left on old cards can be transferred through Sept. 1, but it will require completed forms to be mailed in with the old farecards. Mayberry said brochures that include the forms can be obtained on buses and at ‘L’ stations; the forms also can be downloaded at the CTA and Ventra Web sites. You must have at least $5 of unused fares on the old cards for them to be transferable.