Ventra U-Pass

Columbia Central will be unable to provide U-Pass replacement services until campus buildings reopen, tentatively scheduled for June 26. The link to pay the $50 U-Pass Replacement Fee has been temporarily disabled until building access is restored.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your U-Pass, please contact us at columbiacentral@colum.edu

Ventra U-Pass provides unlimited rides on the Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains for students who are enrolled full-time. This includes graduate students enrolled in an eligible thesis course. Undergraduates are considered full-time when enrolled for at least 12 credit hours, while graduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 9 credit hours in the Fall and Spring semesters, 5 credit hours for the Summer semester, or enrolled in a thesis course.

Important Information about Ventra U-Pass

All full-time students will be charged a Ventra U-Pass fee of $153 per Fall and Spring semester, and $115 for the Summer term. The breakdown of the cost is below. 

Term

Daily Rate Charged by the CTA Number of Days in the Semester Total Cost Charged by the CTA Columbia's Administrative Fee Total Cost for the Term
Fall  2019 $1.25 119 $148.75 $4.25 $153
Spring  2020 $1.25 119 $148.75 $4.25 $153
Summer 2020 $1.25 92 $115 $0 $115

Part-time students are ineligible for the Ventra U-Pass.

For more information about the U-Pass program, visit the Ventra Customer Service website

Important Dates for Ventra U-Pass

Spring 2020:
Activated on January 22, 2020   Deactivated on May 20, 2020

Summer 2020:
Activated on May 27, 2020   Deactivated on August 27, 2020

Summer 2020 Ventra U-Pass Information

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on college campuses, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that colleges may allow full-time students to decide if they want a U-Pass. This one-time courtesy will be in effect for the Summer 2020 term only.

Columbia Central will activate U-Passes for the summer semester only for students who choose to opt in to the U-Pass program. Those who opt in will be charged the $115 U-Pass Fee on their summer semester billing. The summer U-Pass entitlement period begins May 27 and ends August 27.

Columbia campus buildings are tentatively scheduled to open on June 1. U-Pass and Campus Card services will be available at the Campus Card office during normal business hours. Please visit the Columbia Central contact page for further customer service options.

Returning Students

If you received a U-Pass during a prior semester and are registered full-time for the Summer 2020 semester, Columbia Central will email the U-Pass Summer 2020 Opt-In letter to your Columbia email beginning May 1. The letter contains a link to an electronic form that you must submit to activate your U-Pass entitlement for the summer semester. You will receive a reply within two business days confirming your U-Pass entitlement. To ensure your U-Pass is activated by May 27, which is the first day of the summer U-Pass program, please submit the electronic form by May 25. You will receive a reply within two business days confirming your U-Pass activation.

New Students

Freshmen, transfer and returning students who are registered full-time and are receiving a Ventra U-Pass card for the first time. Columbia Central will email the U-Pass Summer 2020 Opt-In letter to your Columbia email beginning May 1. The letter contains a link to an electronic form that you must submit to request your new Ventra U-Pass card for the summer semester. You will receive a reply within two business days confirming your U-Pass order. Your Ventra U-Pass card will be mailed to your mailing address on file with the college. Ensure your local mailing address is current by logging in to your MyColumbia portal and clicking the Update Contact Information link, located in the My Profile section. Please allow a minimum of 10 business days to receive your U-Pass by USPS. You must activate the card before you use it by calling Ventra at the phone number listed on the card sleeve, 877-450-5328.

Things to Keep in Mind

You must have a valid Columbia ID to pick up your Ventra U-Pass card.
It is important to register your Ventra U-Pass card so your account balance is protected. If you don't register your card, you will lose unused balances on your account once your card expires, or if your card is lost or stolen. Registering your card also offers you easy account management options online, by phone, or via the Ventra App.

If you are enrolled in an off-campus program for the entire spring semester, including Semester in LA and Study Abroad, you are not charged the U-Pass Fee and your U-Pass will not be activated for the spring semester.
  • Adding Funds to your Ventra U-Pass

    You can still use your Ventra U-Pass when school is not in session or you do not qualify as a full-time student. Simply add full-fare passes or transit value to your Ventra U-Pass.

    To check your balance, visit the Ventra Chicago website.

     

  • Replacing your U-Pass

    Columbia Central will be unable to provide U-Pass replacement services until campus buildings reopen, tentatively scheduled for June 26. The link to pay the $50 U-Pass Replacement Fee has been temporarily disabled until building access is restored.

    If you have questions or concerns regarding your U-Pass, please contact us at columbiacentral@colum.edu

    The fee to replace a lost or stolen Ventra U-Pass is $50. You may order your replacement online, or bring in a cashier's check or money order to Columbia Central. If you lose your card more than once, Ventra may revoke your U-Pass privileges. For more information, visit the Ventra U-Pass website.

    When tapping your card on the card reader, be sure it is separate from all other debit, credit, or bank cards. The new card readers allow for the use of smart cards, so they can read and pull money from any smart card. It is important that the reader is only reading your Ventra U-Pass.

    If your card does not work after it has been activated, take it to the Ventra Customer Service Office at 567 W. Lake St. in Chicago. Ventra will determine if the card is damaged or defective and, if so, will issue you a Defective Card form and a temporary pass, and waive the $50 replacement fee. To request a new Ventra U-Pass, you must bring the Defective Card form to the Campus Card Office and allow a minimum of 7-10 business days for delivery.

    Replacing an Expiring U-Pass 

    U-Pass cards are valid for five years. To see if your card is expiring, check the expiration date printed on the back of the card. Once your card expires, it can no longer be use for transit, and a new card must be purchased or activated. 

    Continuing students: You will receive a notice to your Office 365 account. There is no charge to replace an expiring U-Pass.

    Former and graduating students: If your U-Pass is registered, you will receive emails alerting you to the upcoming expiration, letting you know how you can get your new Ventra card. 

    Visit the Ventra website for more information. 

  • Fixing a Negative Balance

    If you used your Ventra U-Pass after the U-Pass fare was deactivated at the end of the semester, but did not add funds to the Transit Account on the card, you may have a negative balance on your card and your U-Pass fare will not be activated until the negative balance is resolved with Ventra. You can check your balance online, or call Ventra at 877-669-8368.

     

Academic Dates and Deadlines