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Ventra cards are getting a colorful new look

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

In the four years since the release of the Ventra card, commuters have become accustomed to tapping the drab, grey pass when taking CTA buses and trains. With the original cards nearing their expiration date (is there a single person who has managed to not misplace their first Ventra card?), the CTA is introducing a new look for the transit cards alongside a campaign educating customers about how to obtain a replacement.

According to a release, the varying shades of blue triangles that grace the revised Ventra card are "a nod to Lake Michigan." (A bit of an odd tribute, as you can't use your Ventra card to hop on a boat or water taxi.) The new cards will begin rolling out to vending machines and retail outlets on December 18.

Aside from the updated color scheme, the only difference between the new Ventra cards and the original versions is the loss of the ability to use them a prepaid debit card. In a release, the CTA stated that "there wasn’t significant demand for this feature" and that the prepaid debit functionality on all cards will cease to function on December 17, 2017. Anyone with money in their prepaid Ventra debit account will be able to transfer the funds to a prepaid debit card operated by Money Network.

Have a Ventra card that's expiring soon? Customers with cards registered through Ventra's website will receive an email two months before the expiration date, asking them to confirm their mailing address so that a new card can be sent to them.

Now that the CTA seems willing to redesign the Ventra card, maybe it should follow New York's lead and sell limited edition fare cards to make some extra dough and avoid a potential fare increase.

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