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Ventra U-Pass FAQs

What Is A Ventra U-Pass?
A Ventra U-Pass is a deeply discounted transit farecard that offers ALL Full-Time students unlimited rides aboard all CTA buses and trains during the Fall and Spring semesters. All students enrolled full-time for the Fall 2013 semester are charged the $130 Ventra U-Pass Fee on their tuition account.
This means that during the semester you will not have to pay to use CTA public transportation - whether commuting to your job, entertainment venues, local attractions, galleries, shopping, night life, and sporting events.  Your Ventra U-Pass is valid 24/7 throughout the semester. 
The CTA offers this generous benefit to Full-Time students only. Part-Time students are not eligible.

CTA Ventra U-Pass Terms and Conditions
  • The CTA Ventra U-Pass is nontransferable and carries your photo and Id number. The CTA reserves the right to require a student to show a valid school identification card upon request. If this condition is violated, the Ventra U-Pass will be confiscated for the duration of the valid dates without reimbursement, and the person may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
  • The school name, student name, photo, and expiration date MUST appear on your Ventra U-Pass.
  • CTA reserves the right to require the student show a valid school identification card upon request. 
  • Ventra U-Pass is limited to exclusive use by the full-time student whose name and photo appear on the card.
  • Ventra U-Pass may NOT be shared.
  • Any Ventra U-Pass presented by a person other than the student whose name and photo appears on it will be confiscated and the person may be subject to arrest.
  • Use of the Ventra U-Pass is subject to applicable tariffs, terms, conditions, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures adopted at CTA's discretion.
  • This card can be confiscated if the bearer violates any law or CTA ordinance while on CTA property.
  • If any of the conditions are violated, the pass will be confiscated for the duration of the valid dates without reimbursement and the person may be subject to arrest.
Who is eligible for a Ventra U-Pass?
The CTA Ventra U-Pass Program is available to Full-Time Undergraduate and Graduate students for the fall and spring semesters. Full-Time status is defined as 12 credit hours or more for Undergraduates and 9 credit hours or more for Graduate students. If you drop below Full-Time status during the add/drop period or withdraw from all of your classes, your card will be deactivated. Part-Time students are NOT eligible.
Why do I have to be Full-Time to be eligible for a Ventra U-Pass?
The CTA Ventra U-Pass Policy requires that students must be Full-Time to participate in the program. Students who do not meet the full-time enrollment requirement are not assessed the Ventra U-Pass Fee.
Am I eligible for a Ventra U-Pass if I am a Full-Time student but not taking all of my credit hours at Columbia College Chicago?
You must be registered as a Full-Time student at Columbia College Chicago, which does not include any course work outside this college. There are no inter-university Ventra U-Pass programs.
What if I pick up my Ventra U-Pass, but then drop a course and fall below Full-Time status?
If you drop below Full-Time status during the add/drop period, the CTA will deactivate your Ventra U-Pass. The Ventra U-Pass Fee will be credited on your tuition account when your tuition charges are reduced to the Part-Time rate. You will be notified via your Columbia College Loop email account if your Ventra U-Pass will be deactivated.
Please, keep your Ventra U-Pass card for future use. When you become eligable for the Ventra U-Pass program the same card will be used. Students that have been issued a Ventra U-Pass Card will be charge a $50 replace fee if you not longer have the card. 
As a Part-Time student, you are able to add value to the card. Please visit CTA Ventra U-Pass.
What if I cannot pick up my Ventra U-Pass on the distribution days?
Pre-printed Ventra U-Passes will be available for pick up at the Campus Card Office during normal business hours. Those students who registered after the published U-Pass distribution dates at the beginning of the semester must request a Late Issue Ventra U-Pass at the Campus Card Office. Late Issue Ventra U-Passes are printed and shipped to Columbia; they will not be available for same day pick up. Allow a minimum of 7 business days for delivery. 
  • All students MUST present a valid Columbia College Chicago Campus Card in order to receive a Ventra U-Pass.  No exceptions are granted.
  • Ventra U-Pass distribution days/times are announced before the start of Fall and Spring semesters. Look for signs on campus and e-mail notices outlining date, times and location or visit the Campus Card Office web page. Ventra U-Passes cannot be obtained through the CTA, only through Columbia's Campus Card Office.
When is Ventra U-Pass Distribution scheduled?

Ventra U-Pass distribution days/times are announced before the start of Fall and Spring semesters. Look for signs on campus and e-mail notices outlining date, times and location or visit the Campus Card Office web page. Ventra U-Passes cannot be obtained through the CTA, only through Columbia's Campus Card Office.

You must present a valid Campus Card to obtain your Ventra U-Pass. If you do not pick up your Ventra U-Pass during the distribution dates, the pre-printed Ventra U-Passes will be available at the Campus Card Office. The Campus Card Office is located at 600 S. Michigan Ave., on the 3rd floor.

When are Ventra U-Passes valid?
Fall Dates Spring Dates Summer Dates
Activated on: 8/28/2014 Activated on: 1/21/2015 UPass Not Offered
Deactivated on: 12/18/2014 Deactivated on: 5/21/2015 UPass Not Offered
The Ventra U-Pass is valid for CTA travel five days before the first day of classes and will be deactivated five days after last day of classes each semester. 
Are Ventra U-Passes offered during the Summer semester?
Ventra U-Passes are NOT offered during the Summer semester. Based on polling data by the Student Government Association, the summer semester does not meet the residential, demographic, and enrollment requirements to make a Summer Ventra U-Pass Program a success for all students involved.

Add full fare passes and transit value to your Ventra Ventra U-Pass that may be used on the CTA when school is not in session

Where and how often can I use my Ventra U-Pass per day?
Your Ventra U-Pass provides unlimited rides on the CTA during your enrollment as a full-time student. However, you cannot reuse your card at the same station or bus line for 10-15 minutes.
How do I use my Ventra U-Pass?
Your card is a contactless card—tap it to the Ventra reader to pay your fare.
Can I sell it or let a friend use it if I am not planning to?
The CTA Ventra U-Pass is non-transferable as it carries your photo and ID number. The CTA reserves the right to require a student to show a valid school identification card upon request. If this condition is violated, the Ventra U-Pass will be confiscated for the duration of the valid dates without reimbursement and the person may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
Is participation optional?
All Columbia College Chicago students who are Full-Time are required to participate in the program. Full-Time is defined as 12 credit hours for Undergraduates and 9 credit hours for Graduates.
I drive – does the Ventra U-Pass have any benefits for me?
The Ventra U-Pass gives you an opportunity to get out of your car and explore the city and culture beyond campus. Save money on ever-increasing gas prices and parking by using your Ventra U-Pass in the city.
How will I be charged?
Each eligible student will be charged the $130 Ventra U-Pass Fee on their tuition bill. You will be charged even if you do not pick up your Ventra U-Pass. Failure to pick up the Ventra U-Pass does not eliminate the charge.
I am disabled and cannot use the CTA, can I get a waiver?
Contact the Services for Student’s with Disabilities Office at (312) 369-8296; they will evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis. The disability must be documented and the CTA must be unable to accommodate the disability for a waiver to be granted.
Where can I call for directions?
Get travel information and directions by calling the RTA Travel Center at 836-7000 from any area code. They are available from 5am – 1am daily. This number is also listed on the back of your Ventra U-Pass for easy reference.
Where do I pick up my replacement Ventra U-Pass?
A replacement Ventra U-Pass is shipped to the Campus Card Office, 600 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd floor.
What if my Ventra U-Pass is Lost or Stolen?
  1. Call 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368) or login at https://www.ventrachicago.com/account/login/ to report your card as lost or stolen. Ventra will deactivate your card which will reduce the risk of a negative balance being created on your card by another person.
  2. Visit the Campus Card Office to request a new card.
  3. A nonrefundable $50 fee must be paid to receive a replacement Ventra U-Pass.
    1. To pay with a credit card, click here.
    2. To pay with cash, visit the cashier window, 600 South Michigan Ave 3rd Floor.
  4. Bring the receipt to the Campus Card Office. When you pay the U-Pass Replacement Fee online or at the cashier but do not notify the Campus Card office that you have paid, your U-Pass replacement order will not be completed until you contact the Campus Card Office either in person or by phone. Submitting a payment does not automatically initiate a new card order. 
  5. Allow a minimum of 7 business days for delivery. You will be notified at your Columbia Loop email account when your Ventra card is available for pick up at the campus card office.
What if my Ventra U-Pass is defective?
If your Ventra U-Pass card is not working:
  1. Call the Ventra U-Pass activation phone number at 877-450-5328, press 0 to skip the automated message and speak to a Ventra agent.  Ask the agent to confirm whether your Ventra Card has been activated.  The Ventra agent will require your 16 digit Ventra Card number located on the back of the card, your name and Oasis ID.  If your card has not been activated, the Ventra agent will activate it and you may use it immediately.
  2. If you card does not work after it has been activated, bring the card to the Ventra Customer Service Office, 165 North Jefferson, at the corner of Jefferson and Lake St. Hours: Monday – Friday 8AM to 4:30PM.   
  3. Ventra will determine whether the card is defective on site.  If the card is defective, Ventra will issue a Defective Card form to you stating card is defective, issue a temporary pass and waive the $55 replacement fee.
  4. You must bring the Defective Card form to the Campus Card Office to request a new Ventra U-Pass card.  
  5. Allow a minimum 7 business days for delivery.
How many replacement Ventra U-Passes am I allowed?
Only ONE replacement card will be issued per year, unless the card is damaged or defective (as opposed to lost or stolen).