By 2014, the number of participating Ventra retail locations throughout the city and suburbs is targeted to grow to nearly 2,000 locations across the Chicago area.
“Expanding the retail network is critical to making Ventra easily accessible to CTA and Pace riders,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Ventra will soon be conveniently available at neighborhood retailers as well as online, by phone and at all CTA rail stations.”
“The retail network, combined with the ability to monitor and add value to one’s account online or by telephone, is a major upgrade for Pace passengers when it comes to buying passes and paying fares,” said Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross. “We firmly believe that this added convenience will help to attract more people to public transit.”
In addition to major retailers, including CVS/pharmacy and Jewel-Osco, Ventra cards will be available at launch at hundreds of Currency Exchanges and independent neighborhood shops. Walgreens will begin offering Ventra cards at 159 locations shortly after the September launch. Ventra signs will appear in store windows as the new cards are available, Customers can also visit ventrachicago.com for an updated list of Ventra retail locations.
In addition to purchasing the Ventra card at retailers, customers will also be able to add passes and transit value to their Ventra card at these locations.
“The Ventra card is an exciting new transit product that will make it easier for Chicago-area commuters to get where they need to go,” said David Vite, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “Across the region, participating retailers of all sizes will provide their customers with access to this convenient new way to pay for transit.”
Together, the CTA and Pace provide more than 580 million rides each year. More than 80 percent of these riders take the CTA and/or Pace every day, and 40 percent buy their passes at retail locations. With the expansion of retailers offering the Ventra card, CTA and Pace customers will have better access to fare products where they live, work and socialize.
Ventra is the CTA and Pace’s new contactless payment system that will make paying for train and bus rides easier than ever. Riders will simply tap their Ventra card, Ventra ticket or contactless bankcard on a Ventra reader to board the CTA and Pace.