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7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Boston, United...
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7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

We are looking at visiting Chicago from the UK for our anniversary and we would ideally purchase a 7 day pass to get around for the week.

I have noticed that there are two prices for the 7 day pass on the CTA web site, one for a CTA pass and one for a CTA/Pace pass.

Can someone explain for me the differance between CTA and pace and if the dual one is necessary.

Though still in the early days of planning the hotelI have been looking at is the James Hotel on E Ontario Street so that is the area I would be keen to know what the transport network is like. I would even appreciate an opinion on the hotel.

Our transport needs would basically getting around the main tourist sites although I do ike to get a real feel for a city I visit so a trip into the neighbourhoods could not be ruled out.

Many thanks in advance

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Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Pace is the suburban bus system. Based on your description above, you don't need Pace.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Pace operates bus routes numbered 208 and above. If you bought the CTA-only pass it would not be valid on these routes. Pace operates the buses mainly in the suburbs although it also operates a few routes near the outer borders of the city (270, 349, and others). Check the map to see if you will be venturing into any of these areas or the nearby suburbs:

transitchicago.com/travel_information/maps/h…

Please note that you will also have to buy a Ventra Card for each person that costs an additional $5. You then load the 7-day pass onto the Ventra Card. (It's sort of like the Oyster Card.) Although there is a way to get a $5 credit back, it probably won't do you any good (and requires a US address).

There are vending machines at the airport train station that sell Ventra Cards and 7-day passes. The machines accept cash and do not give change. They also accept credit cards, but foreign cards may or may not work. First the card must have a magnetic stripe (no Chip & Pin readers). And the machine asks for a Zip Code. Some foreign visitors report that it accepts a random 5-digit number (try 60601). Others report no luck.

Boston, United...
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3. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Thanks for the reply wes, that is kind of what I thought but its very helpful to be sure of the facts.

Boston, United...
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4. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Thanks for the reply Wendell, very helpful. I had read about the Ventra card and will certainly pursue that. Seems like the least complicated way of getting one will be to have the cash at hand.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

So does anyone know for sure if credit cards with a chip can be used at the airport?

No issues using this card in a similar machine in Vegas that didn't have a chip reader.

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Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

There are two different ways that credit cards can be used on the Ventra system:

1) You can use the card to buy things at a Ventra vending machine. You can buy a Ventra Card, you can add a pass or a cash balance (called "transit value") to a Ventra Card, or you can buy a single-ride Ventra Ticket (extra charge). As long as your credit card has a magnetic stripe it might work. If your credit card does not have a magnetic stripe, it won't work. I say "might" work because after you swipe the card it will ask you for your Zip Code. Obviously you don't have a Zip Code. Some travelers have reported that entering a random 5 digit number (try 60601) will work, others have reported failure.

2) There is a way of using contactless cards directly at the card reader. I prefer not to discuss this. It will not work with foreign cards even if they have the contactless (PayWave) feature because they use a different technology than the US contactless cards and because even US banks are phasing out this technology.

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

Yes they do -

"Ventra can accept any bank-issued card in your wallet with the contactless payment wave symbol to pay fare."

http://www.transitchicago.com/fares/

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

In designing the system they did not consider the possibility that foreigners might be coming to Chicago with their fancy EMV dual-access chip cards. I'm sure the web site says that. It does not work in real life. Don't believe everything you read on the web.

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9. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

It worked last week for my guests from Germany.

10. Re: 7 Day Unlimited Ride Pass

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