Traveling throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs will soon be easier and more affordable than ever. Beginning Monday, February 20, all newly purchased passes, including 1-Day and 3-Day unlimited-ride passes will be accepted on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and now Pace Suburban Bus.
These enhancements build on the 7-Day and 30-Day pass price reductions and free transfers between CTA services that launched in fall 2021 and the new Regional Connect Pass launched in summer 2022. These new pass integrations are intended to make regional transit trips easier by offering seamless interconnectivity between the CTA and Pace, and in some cases, even making travel more affordable than before.
“Now more than ever, it’s vital we seek out new opportunities to eliminate the hurdles of taking public transit and allow Chicagoans and visitors alike to travel seamlessly throughout the region,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Public transit is the equity equalizer, and with these changes we are opening more doors and allowing anyone to get to farthest corners of our region for one low-price.”
One of the biggest benefits of this new agreement between CTA and Pace is that 1- and 3-Day passes will be valid for use on both systems at current prices. Additionally, the $5 surcharge on the former CTA-Pace 7-Day pass has been removed – meaning riders will get more mileage for their buck when using the new 7-Day pass ($20) across the two systems. All passes are available for purchase through the Ventra fare collection system.
“These changes improve access and provide customers with better fare payment options, flexibility, and lower fares. Pace is excited to continue our commitment with the other transit boards to offer fare products that ensure regional connectivity and affordability for our riders,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger.
All unlimited-ride passes, which will also be accepted across both transit systems, will maintain current pass pricing: 1-Day ($5), 3-Day ($15), 7-Day ($20) and 30-Day ($75).
These changes in fare payments are the result of two recently approved intergovernmental agreements between CTA and Pace. These agreements expand the relationship between the two agencies to accept additional passes on each other’s systems as well as streamline the revenue share for the passes based on shared pass ridership on each system.
In early 2022, all three regional transit systems – CTA, Metra and Pace – introduced the new Regional Connect Pass, which when coupled with Metra’s new “Super Saver” monthly pass, provides Chicago area residents unlimited rides on all three systems – at a reduced cost and with greater flexibility. Last year, the CTA lowered the cost of all its unlimited-ride passes and made transfers between CTA services free. Pace joined CTA to lower fares on shared, unlimited-ride passes. In addition, Pace has implemented a reduced fare structure for part-time users of their Vanpool Program and will eliminate or reduce transfer costs between Pace services on February 20.
Importantly, all enhancements apply to new pass purchases beginning February 20, 2023.
Information for Customers with Existing Unlimited Ride Passes:
- Customers with Activated 1, 3, or 7-Day Passes: Customers who purchased CTA-only 1-, 3- and 7-Day unlimited-ride passes prior to February 20, cannot use these passes to travel on Pace. Only unlimited-ride passes purchased on or after February 20, 2023, can be used for travel across both transit systems. CTA and Pace are unable to provide partial refunds for previously purchased and active passes, including the $5 surcharge on a previously purchased CTA/Pace 7-Day Pass.
- Customers with Non-Activated 1, 3, or 7-Day Passes: Any CTA and Pace customers who purchased 1-, 3-, or 7-Day pass on their Ventra accounts prior to February 20 that are not yet activated for use can have it converted into transit value, which can then be used towards the purchase of a new shared pass eligible for use in traveling on CTA and Pace. Customers can contact Ventra Customer Service (1.877.669.8368) to convert these passes into Transit Value. No cash refunds will be offered or issued.