Chicago

Ventra U-Pass Frequently Asked Questions

The Ventra U-Pass provides low cost transportation to students in the Chicago metropolitan area by providing unlimited rides on CTA buses and trains during the academic semester. It’s your connection to shopping, sports events, social activities, art and entertainment centers, and all the Chicago hot spots. For more information, go to www.transitchicago.com

All traditional undergraduate full-time students (12 credit hours or more) will be charged the non-refundable Ventra U-Pass fee. Part-time undergraduate students and all graduate, adult completion, seminary students are NOT eligible for the Ventra U-Pass nor are they assessed Ventra U-Pass fee.

The Ventra U-Pass is active beginning the first day of each academic semester and provides unlimited rides on CTA until the last day of the semester. The U-Pass is not active between terms.

Returning Students:
North Park University uses your current student ID picture and preorders the U-Pass cards.

New Students:
You will have a picture taken during orientation and be given a 7-day CTA pass to use while your U-Pass is generated.

Pick-up
Distribution events occur during the first week of each semester and are announced via email to students.

You must have a photo ID and your North Park student ID number to pick up your Ventra U-Pass.

No, your existing Ventra card will be reactivated each semester that you are eligible for the U-Pass. Between semesters, you can add money to your account to use the same Ventra card as a regular transit card.

If your card is lost, stolen or damaged, you will be charged a $50 replacement fee.

The U-Pass fee is $150 for each of the fall and spring semesters. There is no pro-rating of the U-Pass fee, so we recommend that you pick it up early in the semester. This fee is also non-refundable.

The non-refundable $150 U-Pass fee will be billed to your student account if you are a full-time, traditional undergraduate student. You will be charged whether you pick up the Ventra U-Pass or not.

While we understand that some of our students might have other commuting arrangements, North Park University is a city-centered university and the academic curriculum will have students exploring the city weekly. The U-Pass will help you get there. Learning in the classroom is an important component to acquiring practical skills, but getting outside the classroom, exploring the city of Chicago, and applying knowledge in the world in which we live is part of the North Park curriculum.

For North Park University to participate in the U-Pass program, all full time traditional undergraduate students must be assessed a U-Pass fee.

All eligible full-time students will be assessed the U-Pass fee. Students with a military transit pass or with disabilities may be eligible for a waiver.

Contact upass@northpark.edu  at the beginning of the semester for more information.

Bring your student ID and $50 to Student Services and we will order you a new card. A card takes approximately 7 business days to arrive and then will be available for pick up. Only one replacement pass will be provided per academic school year.

  • Please review the requirements above, as you must be full-time for your U-Pass to automatically activate with a new term.
  • If you’ve dropped below full-time and are not taking a minimum of 12 credits, your U-Pass will not be activated.
  • You can go to the Ventra website to check the balance on your card to determine if the U-Pass is loaded. You will see U-Pass listed if your account is loaded with the U-Pass. 
  • If you think your card is defective, you must take your card to Ventra to test the functionality of the card. They are located at 165 N. Jefferson.
  • Incurring a negative balance will also cause the card to deactivate. It’s important you load the card with funds between semesters to prevent a negative balance.

No, the CTA Ventra U-Pass is personalized with your photo and a special CTA ID number. The Ventra U-Pass is not transferable and will be confiscated by the CTA if it is misused. CTA maintains the right to inspect your Ventra U-Pass and or ask for another form of identification. The University also reserves the right to bring charges against the student for violation of the Community Standards as detailed in the Student Handbook.

Unfortunately, no. The Ventra U-Pass is only good for trains and buses operated by CTA. Metra and Pace don’t currently offer discounts to college and university students. Students may use the Ventra card as a standard transit card on Pace buses only. Pace is not part of the U-Pass discount. Students pay the full fare on all Pace bus routes. Ventra allows you to pre-load with funds for use between terms and on Pace buses.

Use of your U-Pass during periods when you are not eligible or when the U-Pass is not active may result in a negative balance. Double tapping the card or using the card to provide a ride for a guest may also result in a negative balance. Please contact the CTA for any issues related to negative balances.

You can check your balance online at ventrachicago.com. After logging in with your card’s serial number and expiration date, you can check that your card has a balance of $0.00 or greater. If the balance on the card is negative, add funds to bring the balance to $0.00 or greater. If you believe the balance is incorrect, contact the CTA via the number on the back of your card. Unfortunately, the North Park University cannot provide any assistance related to negative balances. 

You should not discard your U-Pass until it has reached its expiration date. Cards are good for 5 years. Students who discard, including students who leave the university for a period of time, will be assessed the $50 lost card fee.

  • By Phone: RTA Travel Center, 312.836.7000 from any area code (TTY: 312.836.4949).
    • Operators are available daily from 4:45 am to 1:00 am. They can also send you a CTA System Map, Downtown Sightseeing Guide or schedules. CTA Maps and Downtown Sightseeing Guides are also available at CTA train stations.
  • Online: www.transitchicago.com
  • App: www.ventrachicago.com/app