Pace is sending out a gentle reminder that fares will be going up for cash-paying customers, starting Jan. 1.
Beginning New Year’s Day, a new fare policy begins at Pace requiring cash-paying customers to put an extra 25 cents in the fare box. But PACE quickly notes that paying more is entirely avoidable, as there is no extra charge for customers who use Ventra — or begin using Ventra before Jan. 1.
Presently, more than 80 percent of bus fares are paid using Ventra on Pace. The base adult fare is $1.75 ($0.85 reduced), and as of Jan. 1, fares paid with cash will be $2 and reduced fares will be $1. ADA Paratransit and Dial-a-Ride fares are unchanged.
The higher cash fare intends to dissuade customers from paying with cash, which costs Pace money to collect, handle and process. It mirrors policies already in place for several years at other agencies, including the Illinois Tollway and CTA.
“We will always accept cash as a form of payment, however the Ventra system is more accessible than ever and we’re at a point at which we can urge our cash-paying customers to transition to electronic payment through Ventra,” said Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross. “Using Ventra ensures customers continue to pay just $1.75 per ride, while also offering 25-cent transfers, access to the purchase of money-saving passes and the security of an account-based system to protect transit value or passes in the event of a lost or stolen Ventra Card.”
Customers in need of a Ventra Card can order one at VentraChicago.com or by calling 877- NOW-VENTRA. Need one right away? Visit the Ventra Customer Service Center at 567 W. Lake Street in Chicago, one of the more than 1,300 retail outlets (search locations at VentraChicago.com) or a Ventra Vending Machine. Machines are located at several Pace transit centers (visit PaceBus.com for a list) and at all CTA rail stations. Customers eligible for reduced or free rides should visit RTAChicago.com or call the RTA at 836-7000 from any local area code to request an application.
The cash fare increase is not a budget-balancing action in response to a budget deficit, as the agency expects a stable fiscal year that includes a $7.6 million expansion of bus service during 2016.
Pace is not alone with its fare increase. Metra has also upped fares, will go into effect starting Feb. 1, 2016.
SOURCE: Pace news release
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