The $5-a-month penalty is intended to encourage frequent use of transit, officials said. But frequent use also favors the companies under contract with the CTA on Ventra because the companies receive a fee for every fare transaction.
The Tribune requested a breakdown of the revenue the CTA stands to receive from the new fees, but officials said those numbers were not immediately available.
The Ventra system is expected to save the CTA $50 million over 10 years by reducing costs associated with fare-payment and processing, maintenance of fare equipment and handling cash, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.
In separate action Wednesday, the CTA board approved a 32 percent increase for the University Pass, which provides unlimited rides on CTA to more than 130,000 college and university students in the CTA service area.
The increase, to take effect in the fall, works out to $15 per student per semester, costing the schools a total of $1.07 a day per student, up from 81 cents, officials said. The University Pass cost is added to tuition fees at 52 participating schools, officials said.