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This question is about public transit in Chicago. According to https://www.transitchicago.com/passes/, it is possible to load a CTA unlimited ride pass on a contactless bank card. This seems like a good alternative to getting a Ventra card, but there isn't a lot of information as to how this actually works.

I am assuming that I can purchase a pass at a vending machine and choose an appropriate option to load it on a contactless card. It would ask me to tap my bank card; and then I can tap my card at a turnstile to ride transit as long as the pass is valid.

  • Is that how it works?

  • Are there the right kind of vending machines at the Midway Airport L station?

  • When I board transit, is there a way to check that it accepted my pass rather than charging a new fare to my card?

  • Can this be used with Apple Pay instead of a physical contactless card?

  • Is it necessary to have an online Ventra account for any of this to work?

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    A lot of your questions are answer here : ventrachicago.com/featured-questions – Max Jul 2 at 20:08
  • @Max: I have read that page but I didn't see answers to any of these questions. There is info about putting a pass on a Ventra card, and about paying with a contactless card on a pay-as-you-go basis, but nothing about a pass on a contactless card. If I am missing something, can you please point it out? – Nate Eldredge Jul 2 at 21:25
  • Have you considered using the Ventra app w/ Apple Pay abilities? transitchicago.com/… – AussieJoe Jul 2 at 21:45
  • @AussieJoe: Yes, that's a possibility. But it would require creating an account, and the Ventra app on iPhone has really bad ratings, so I'm not entirely convinced that it would work reliably. – Nate Eldredge Jul 2 at 22:54
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    Hmm. At this point I'd be more convinced if I could hear from someone that has actually tried it, since the page I linked (which is also official AFAIK) says very clearly that you can. – Nate Eldredge Jul 3 at 13:18

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