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Last Updated - 08/10/2020 - 12:04PM

CTA, Metra and Pace Release New, Updated Ventra App

(September 25, 2020) - 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace today launched a completely redesigned version of the Ventra mobile app, the widely used app to buy fares and manage travel on the region’s transit systems.

The new app, built from the ground up especially for Chicago-region transit users, features a brand-new look and a host of customer-friendly features and improvements—all designed to make it easier and more convenient for customers to ride trains and buses throughout the region.

“Over the last five years, the Ventra app has proven to be an indispensable tool for Chicago-area transit riders,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “CTA, Metra and Pace have worked very closely—and incorporated feedback and experiences from our customers—to re-envision the app to bring even more convenience and flexibility to our customers.”

Among the free app’s new features:

  • A brand-new home screen, offering customers a quick-view of their Ventra Card balances, available Metra mobile tickets, transit times for favorite stops, nearby transit and more.
  • Door-to-door trip planning that allows customers to plan travel aboard CTA, Metra and Pace, including the option to save common destinations to the app's home screen for quick directions.
  • Integrated nearby Divvy station availability, and, if customers also have the Divvy app on their phone, they can skip straight to getting a QR code to undock a bike.
  • Customers can also easily see nearby transit arrival times within the app using their phone’s location (GPS), or by panning the map to see arrival times for other locations. They can also easily search for transit stops by route, name or location.
  • Seamless process to buy and use Metra mobile tickets and ability to instantly move Metra mobile tickets from one device to another device.

The app retains and improves its existing features, including account management, loading of transit value/passes, account notifications and purchasing and displaying mobile tickets for Metra. This version also introduces a new Metra fare product that will only be sold as a mobile ticket – the “Round Trip Plus” that allows unlimited daily travel between the fare zones selected.

“More than half of Metra customers are already using the Ventra app to buy and display their tickets, which shows how convenient and useful it is,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “Now we’ve made it even more convenient and useful. And in the time of COVID-19, it’s also the safest way to buy and display tickets because it limits close contact and interactions between customers and employees.”

“Ventra, now more than ever, helps our customers stay safe with contact-less, cash-free fare payment,” said Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue. “The new app, especially the regional trip planner, will be a valuable and convenient resource for our passengers.”

Over the next few days, the app will automatically update to the new version for customers who have automatic updates enabled on their phones. Customers can tell they have the most recent version if the Ventra icon on their phone has changed from white to blue. Customers who don’t have automatic updates enabled will have to download the new version from the App Store or Google Play.

Once the new Ventra app is installed, customers will need to log in with their existing Ventra username and password to view their transit value and passes and retrieve their Metra mobile tickets. (Customers can go to the Ventra website, ventrachicago.com, to retrieve either their username or password.) Follow the prompts when first logging in to retrieve Metra tickets, or select “Tickets” in the bottom-right corner of the home screen and then select “Move tickets to this device.”

This app is the first step toward launching additional future functionality, including adding a Ventra Card to phone wallets on both major smartphone platforms. Though riders have long been able to tap-and-go with contactless bankcards loaded onto phones, loading a Ventra Card into a phone wallet will allow all the features of a Ventra Card, like managing fares and passes, autoload and using pretax transit benefit funds.

Following today’s launch, CTA, Metra and Pace anticipate launching the Ventra Card in Apple Wallet soon. Launch of Ventra Card in Google Pay is expected February 2021.

When the first version of the app debuted in 2015, it was the first of its kind to allow customers to pay for rides on all three transit systems – CTA, Metra and Pace – from their mobile devices, transforming the way people across Chicago take transit each day. The app has seen more than 5 million downloads since its debut.

More information about the app can be found at ventrachicago.com. Customers can also interact with Ventra via Twitter (@VentraChicago) and on Ventra Chicago’s Facebook page. Information is also available on CTA, Metra and Pace websites at www.transitchicago.com, metrarail.com and www.pacebus.com.

 

 

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