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CTA Cash Fares Increase to $3 Without New Ventra Card

By DNAinfo Staff on March 13, 2013 5:31pm  | Updated on March 13, 2013 7:36pm

 The Transit Board approved the new Ventra transit system for CTA riders Wednesday.
The Transit Board approved the new Ventra transit system for CTA riders Wednesday.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CHICAGO — If you're caught without plastic — a credit, debit or Ventra card — while trying to board a CTA train starting this summer, you'll pay $3 per ride under a new fare system approved Wednesday.

The Transit Board signed off on the city's new Ventra payment system, which this summer will begin to replace the current Chicago Cards system.

Fares will remain at $2 for buses and $2.25 for trains for those using Ventra cards or credit or debit cards with "contactless" payment with the CTA, according to a written statement from the CTA. Customers can also load money with cash or credit onto Ventra cards at 2,000 locations at no cost.

But a 50-cent "limited use fee" and 25-cent transfer fee will be added to those using disposable CTA cards, making a single ride on a train $3, the statement said.

"The single-ride ticket is designed primarily for infrequent riders or tourists," the statement said. "Any CTA rider can avoid the fee by using a Ventra card or their personal credit/debit card equipped with a contactless chip."

The board also approved an increase to the cost of its U-Passes, or University Passes. Cards which allow unlimited rides while school is in session will cost $15 more per semester. Current prices differ depending on the school. The University of Illinois at Chicago charges $109 per semester, and Roosevelt University charges $99 per semester.

The CTA is also expanding the U-Pass Program to include certificate-granting post secondary institutions, and not just degree-granting schools.

"The U-Pass is one of CTA's most heavily discounted passes, and now more students will be able to benefit," CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a statement.

Several CTA stations will get new concessions, as the board also approved four leases with three vendors Wednesday.

Cafe Transit will be moving into California and Damen Blue Line stations, The Bageler and His Wife will open up shop at the Belmont Blue Line stop, and a Dunkin Donuts will open at the Kimball Brown Line, the CTA said.