Pace to distribute free Ventra™ Cards at suburban locations

Distribution effort intended to ease transition, access to Ventra for suburban transit riders

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – Pace staff will be at suburban transit centers over the next few weeks in an effort to put Ventra cards directly into the hands of the agency’s customers to ease their transition to the new fare payment system. A total of nine events will occur during the weeks of November 18 and December 2. As a thank you for trying Ventra, Pace has pre-loaded the cards with $2 of transit value, enough for one adult fare and up to two transfers within two hours.

 “The network of retail locations that sell Ventra cards and allow customers to add passes or transit value to their account is still growing,” said Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski. “We felt that eliminating the step of locating a place to purchase a card was the easiest way to get our customers to begin using Ventra and learning about the benefits it offers.”

To receive one of the free cards, customers must fill out a registration form available on-site. A valid, state-issued photo ID must be presented in order for Pace representatives to verify name and address information. Customers have the option of waiting for staff to complete the registration process on-site to receive a card immediately or turning in a verified form and receiving their card by mail within 3-5 business days. To participate, customers must present their form in person; forms submitted via post will not be accepted. RTA Reduced Fare and Ride Free Program customers are not eligible to participate, as they already have or will soon receive a free, Ventra-compatible card from the RTA. Customers who already have a Ventra card are also ineligible to participate.

Once customers have their Ventra card, they can add passes or transit value at VentraChicago.com or by phone at 877-NOW-VENTRA, or at a participating Ventra retail location. Retail location information is available online or by phone. Before Ventra, Pace had only 50 retail locations at which customers could buy Pace passes. Ventra’s retail network now has nearly 300 suburban locations, and will eventually grow to 500. Earlier this year, Pace purchased twelve Ventra vending machines to place at suburban transit centers to maximize customer convenience, but the RTA has delayed processing of the sale. A timetable of when the machines will be available for customer use has not been determined.

November 18, 6am-7pm: Aurora Transportation Center; Inside Metra Station

November 19, 6am-7pm: Elgin Transportation Center; Inside waiting room

November 20, 6am-7:30pm: Joliet Union Station; 2nd floor

November 21, 6:45am-7:30pm: Waukegan Pulse Point; Inside bus

November 22, 6am-7pm: Harvey Transportation Center; Inside vestibule

December 3, 6am-7pm: Chicago Heights Transit Center; Inside bus

December 4, 6am-7pm: Wheaton Metra Station; Inside waiting room

December 5, 6am-9am: Crystal Lake Metra Station; Inside waiting room

December 6, 6am-7pm: Northwest Transportation Center; Inside bus


Patrick Wilmot (847) 228-4225


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