Students Suffering Higher Rates under New Transit Pay System

Chicago’s public transit buses and trains have been shakily transitioning over to a new fare system since late last year, but the problems with Ventra just keep rolling in.

Previously, students under the age of 20 were able to procure reduced fare CTA cards to help them get to summer school or work, allowing them to travel for $0.75 per ride as opposed to the regular $2.25 fare for trains, or $2.00 for buses.

This summer it hasn’t been quite as for easy for students to do so, WBEZ reports. Students with Ventra student fare cards have learned that the reduced rates they received during the school year stopped applying once the school year ended.

In the past, summer job programs like After School Matters handed out reduced fare cards to students enrolled in the program. There isn’t a compatible option with Ventra – instead, “schools must submit each student’s individual transit card ID number to the CTA,” according to WBEZ.

Parents can also opt to fill out a form for their children to extend their reduced fare privileges.

Staff at Noble Street College Prep in West Town told WBEZ they were having a hard time getting through to Ventra in order to register students for reduced fare rates. The communication breakdown isn’t altogether surprising, given the months of glitches and customer complaints that have accompanied the switch to the new system.

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