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CTA and Pace launch digital Ventra Card for Apple devices

Chicago Transit Authority and Pace riders with iPhones and Apple Watches can now avoid touching card readers or vending machines.

Chicago Transit Authority and Pace riders with compatible Apple devices can now avoid touching readers or vending machines by using the digital Ventra card.
Chicago Transit Authority and Pace riders with compatible Apple devices can avoid touching readers or vending machines by using the digital Ventra card.
Sun-Times Media

Commuters with iPhones and Apple Watches are now able to use the Ventra electronic fare payment system on the CTA and Pace without needing to use a plastic fare card.

With compatible Apple devices, the fare card can be added to the device’s wallet for tap-and-go payment at train stations and on buses, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace announced Monday.

The Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch allows users to avoid touching readers or vending machines while functioning similarly to a plastic Ventra card. To use the digital card, users simply need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless payment reader at train stations or on buses until a checkmark appears on the display.

The digital card is available through the Ventra app, which allows customers to add transit value or passes to their cards, set up autoload and use pretax transit benefits from their employer.

This digital option is exclusive to Apple devices and can only be used on CTA and Pace Suburban Bus services, not on Metra or Pace Paratransit.

Special fare program cards, such as reduced fares for seniors and persons with qualifying disabilities, Student Ventra cards or U-Pass cards, cannot be added to the wallet app. It is also not possible to add a Ventra card to the wallet app on more than one device at a time, according to the CTA.