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Ventra / CTA U-Pass

Ventra image

The Ventra U-Pass is a discounted fare card that offers students unlimited rides on Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and trains.

Incoming students are automatically issued a U-Pass and are billed via CAESAR for the cost. All enrolled students are charged this fee regardless of whether they use the U-Pass. It can only be waived if you are not enrolled or are on a leave of absence.

Ventra U-passes for currently enrolled Feinberg MD program students are active year-round. This includes the winter break and summer quarter periods in order to accommodate extra-academic projects that may occur during those times.

Activating Your Pass

Ventra U-passes are distributed once to incoming students after matriculation. The card will last for four years and does not need to be replaced unless lost, stolen, damaged or defective.

Before first use, you must call 877-669-8368 to activate your card, then call 877-450-5328 or visit the Ventra website to register it.

Using Your Pass

The U-Pass is contactless card: All you need to do is tap it to the Ventra reader to pay your fare. Do not insert your card into the fare equipment. It will capture and damage the card.

Remove your card from your wallet and separate it from your debit and credit cards before tapping to prevent the Ventra reader from deducting fare from your bank cards. 

If your credit or debit card is charged by the CTA, you should contact the CTA/Ventra Customer Service Center at 877-669-8368.

Adding Fares

U-Passes may be used as full-fare cards on Pace buses. You will need to load money on to your card at the Ventra kiosk or on the Ventra website in order to use it with Pace. The Metra commuter train does not participate in the Ventra program.

If Lost or Stolen

If your Ventra U-Pass is lost or stolen, visit Depository Services at Abbott Hall, 710 N. Lake Shore Dr., between the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Bring $50 for the replacement fee (cash, check or cashier’s check only), as well as your Wildcard ID. You’ll be asked to fill out an affidavit for your lost stolen or damaged card.

Depository Services will send the replacement request to CTA, and you will be contacted with pick-up location information when it has arrived.

If No Longer Working

If your Ventra U-Pass is not working, please contact Linda Daniels or call the Ventra Customer Service Center at 877-669-8368 to verify the status of your card. If the status of your card is active and still not working, you will be required to visit the Ventra Customer Service Center to determine if your card is defective or damaged.

The Ventra Customer Service Center is located at CTA Headquarters at 165 N. Jefferson St. It’s open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If your card is determined to be defective, you will be given a replacement voucher and a seven-day pass to use in the meantime. Contact Linda Daniels with your replacement voucher information to request a replacement pass.

The replacement Ventra U-Pass takes three to seven business days to arrive. Students will be notified by email when their passes are ready for pick-up at the Augusta Webster, MD, Office of Medical Education in Ward.

Previous Northwestern Students

You do not need a new pass from Feinberg if you have a pass issued less than four years ago from elsewhere within the University. Send Linda Daniels a copy of the front and back of your current card to transfer it to the Feinberg U-Pass database.

Sharing Your U-Pass

Your U-Pass is for your use only and cannot be transferred or sold. If this rule is violated, Ventra reserves the right to confiscate the card and prohibit you from having a U-Pass for a full year, and may press criminal charges.

You will also continue to be liable for the annual activity fee, even while your card is on suspended status.

Using Your U-Pass When Not Enrolled

If you are not enrolled in Feinberg for the academic year, your Ventra U-Pass card will automatically switch to working like a regular Ventra Card. Regular fares and transfers will be deducted, and you can load additional value onto the card at any Ventra vending machine, retail location, by phone or online. When you’re back in school at Feinberg, U-Pass riding privileges become available again automatically at the start of the quarter.