Magnetic Stripe Permits Will Not Be Accepted As of July 1

CHICAGO – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is reminding seniors and people with disabilities to immediately activate their RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit Ventra permits. Beginning July 1, magnetic stripe permits will no longer be accepted on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace buses and trains. Customers who still have a balance on their magnetic stripe RTA Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit permits are encouraged to transfer their balances immediately to their new Ventra permits.

Seniors and people with disabilities who are enrolled in the RTA’s Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit programs should have received and activated their new Ventra permits. Permits can be activated by calling 877-450-5328. Customers who have not received their new Ventra permits should contact RTA Customer Service at 312-913-3110 immediately.

Ventra is hosting a series of balance transfer events throughout the region to assist riders in transferring any remaining balances from their magnetic stripe permits to their new Ventra permits. Customers can visit to view upcoming balance transfer events and read the balance transfer rules. A mail-in option is also available until September 1, to transfer balances from old Reduced Fare permits to new registered Ventra cards. Mail-in forms and instructions to transfer balances are available online at  Customers interested in enrolling in an RTA fare program can obtain an application on the RTA website at or at the RTA Customer Service Center, 69 W. Washington St., Pedway Level, Chicago. Customers can also call RTA Customer Service at 312-913-3110 to have an application mailed to them.

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Press Contact

With three transit systems and more than two million riders a day, there is always something interesting going on at the RTA. Get the latest scoop on everything all in one place. For all media inquiries, please contact Susan Massel, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at 312-913-3256 or at