Apple Pay With Express Transit Mode Now Available in Chicago

The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that Ventra now supports Apple Pay with Express Transit mode, allowing the fare card to be added to the Wallet app on a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch for tap-and-go payment at train stations and on buses.

chicago ventra apple pay
Express Transit mode allows users to pay for rides without having to wake or unlock their iPhone or Apple Watch, or open the Ventra app. The mode also bypasses the need to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. Users simply need to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless payment reader until a checkmark appears on the display.

With your Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch it's easier than ever to get around on CTA and Pace. Just tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for rides using transit value or passes. No fumbling to grab a separate transit card, open apps or even wake your device — it's that easy!

And get the same features of a Ventra Card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, including the ability to load and manage transit value and CTA and Pace passes, autoload, pre-tax transit benefits from your employer, account management features in the Ventra app and more!

How to add a Ventra card to the Wallet app:

  • Open the Ventra app on your iPhone and tap the "Cards" tab
  • Select the Ventra card you want to add
  • Press the "Add to Apple Wallet" button and follow the on-screen instructions

Special fare program cards, such as RTA Reduced Fare, Student Ventra cards, or U-Pass cards, cannot be added to the Wallet app at this time. It is also not possible to add a Ventra card to the Wallet app on more than one device at a time, according to the CTA, which says to add the card only to the iPhone or Apple Watch you wish to use when you ride.

After adding an existing Ventra card to the Wallet app, the plastic version will no longer be functional and cannot be reloaded.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode went live in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. earlier this year, with other supported U.S. cities including New York and Portland.

(Thanks, Anthony!)

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

Attirex Avatar
4 weeks ago
Mac related articles about transit = always good times spent reading comments from locals grousing and complaining about their particular system. :-)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DangerousDan Avatar
4 weeks ago
About damn time!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemadmanUK Avatar
4 weeks ago
It's super useful on the London transport network!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iShater Avatar
4 weeks ago
What an excellent time to release it when most of us are not using it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tmiw Avatar
4 weeks ago


Why didn't Apple do this for any of the Bayarea public transportation like Caltrain or BART or AC Transit?

It's up to the individual transit agency to support it, not Apple. And in the case of the Bay Area, the readers currently don't support anything other than the physical Clipper card (and no indication that it'll be supported any time soon).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordCoe13 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Finally after 2 years... This is a welcomed addition. I'll likely be waiting another ~year before I even get to try this out due to this dang pandemic.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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