CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
CTA riders will need to embrace the Ventra card Thursday if they have not already.
Starting Thursday, CTA riders can no longer load their Chicago Cards or buy disposable magnetic strip cards. On June 1, riders will not be able to use Chicago Cards or buy disposable plastic cards. And on July 1, only Ventra will be accepted on the CTA. Cash will still be allowed on buses.
"You can use whatever money you have on there for another month, but you cannot reload them. You can transfer your balance over or spend it down and get your Ventra card. A lot of people have already made the switch," Tammy Chase with CTA said.
Initial problems with the card back in November pushed those deadlines back. But CTA officials say those problems have been fixed and software upgrades have been made.
Some CTA riders waited until the last day to make the switch over to Ventra.
"One of the reasons I didn't want to do it was because I keep a little balance and it refills. I was afraid when I transferred over that the money wouldn't make the switch properly. But it worked out OK," CTA rider Lee told FOX 32's Joanie Lum.
Some riders say they don't have full confidence in the system.
"I don't understand why they needed to do it. It seems like a lot of money to just add some sort of security feature and a logo. The old one was working just fine," Lee said.
Despite their hesitation, the number of people using the CTA has not changed. Chase says nine out of 10 people a day use the Ventra system.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel rode the the CTA using his Ventra card Thursday. Chase said he has been using the card for months and likes it a lot.