800-595-6938, option 7
U-Passes are active from the first day of the semester to the Saturday after the last day of instruction. For Spring 2018, U-Passes will be active from Monday, January 8 to Saturday, April 21. As a reminder, you must be enrolled full-time (at least 5 credit hours) to receive a U-Pass this term.
View the Academic Calendar to see the first and last days of instruction for future terms. The U-Pass always starts on the first day of the term and ends on the Saturday after the last day of instruction.
During the semester, check your balance at ventrachicago.com/balance/ to see the active dates of your current pass. Register your card to add value between terms.
TCSPP is happy to offer the CTA U-Pass, a discounted transit pass, to all full-time students at the Chicago campus. The U-Pass will give you UNLIMITED rides aboard CTA buses and trains while school is in session: no cash needed, no transfer charges, no surcharges.
Please note, the U-Pass is available for the Chicago campus only. Students based in Chicago who are attending other campuses will not be eligible for a U-Pass.
The Ventra Card
As part of the CTA’s partnership with Ventra, all students in the CTA U-Pass program will now receive a Ventra U-Pass card which will be good for up to 5 years. Unlike the previous fare cards, this card will not need to be replaced each term.
Your Ventra U-Pass card will offer unlimited rides on CTA buses and trains during each semester (not Metra trains or Pace buses). You will also be able to add money to your Ventra U-Pass card to use it as a regular CTA farecard during breaks between terms. During its 5-year lifetime, your Ventra U-Pass card will remain usable at any institution you attend that participates in the CTA U-Pass program.
For new students and students who did not previously receive a U-Pass, U-Pass distribution takes place during the first week of school on the 4th floor of 325 N Wells. You will receive an email when your U-Pass is ready for pickup. After this initial distribution, you will not need to replace your card. Once you have been issued a new U-Pass, please call the following number: 1-877-450-5328.
Photos can be added any of the following ways:
New students will take student ID and CTA U-Pass photos on campus during New Student Orientation. Your U-Pass will be ordered that day and we will email you when it arrives.
The school also has the ability to upload files to the CTA U-Pass website. If you are unable to take a photo on campus, you will be able to email a photo to our office for upload.
The current U-Pass fees are:
$112.50 per 15-week semester (fall, spring)
$68 per 8-week term (summer)
$5.00 card activation fee (one-time charge when your U-Pass card is issued)
$50.00 card replacement fee
You will see applicable charges applied to your student account at the time of card issuance. You will be able to see your U-Pass loaded on your card at www.ventrachicago.com/balance/ at the start of each term. This pass will be listed under "Passes" not under "Balance."
U-Pass replacements will now be handled through the school, rather than the CTA. Please contact
email@example.com if your card has been lost, stolen, or damaged. We will assist you in obtaining a replacement.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is my U-Pass active?
While your Ventra card can be used as a farecard year-round, the unlimited rides through the U-Pass program are only available from the first day of each academic term until the Saturday after the last day of instruction. You will need to pay full fare for rides on the CTA during breaks between semesters.
You can view the start and end dates of each term in the Academic Calendar.
Where can I use my U-Pass?
The U-Pass can be used on CTA buses and trains. The U-Pass is not valid for rides on Metra trains or Pace buses. To ride Pace, you may add money to your U-Pass online at www.ventrachicago.com or by using a machine in a CTA train station.
My U-Pass stopped working. What do I do?
There are three common reasons your U-Pass might not be working:
- You were not reported as full-time (enrolled in at least 5 credit hours) this semester. You may see an "insufficient funds" message at turnstiles or on the bus, or you may notice rides are deducting money from your card balance during the semester. Check your card balance at ventrachicago.com/balance and see if a U-Pass is listed under "Passes." If you do not see an active U-Pass but should, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You have an active U-Pass, but your card balance has dropped below $0. You will see an "insufficient funds" message at turnstiles or on the bus, indicating a negative balance, but you'll see a pass loaded when you check your balance online. You may have accidentally or intentionally tapped your card twice at the same station within two hours (the machine reads this as passing the card back to pay for another rider), ridden Metra or Pace without sufficient funds (rides on Metra and Pace accrue charges throughout the year), or used your card outside the semester without adding funds. To address this, add money at a vending machine or at ventrachicago.com to bring your balance back above $0.
- Your card is damaged or defective. If absolutely nothing happens when you tap your card, follow the damaged/defective pass instructions below.
If you are enrolled full-time, your card balance is above $0, and your card registers at machines, but the U-Pass is still not being read, email email@example.com for further troubleshooting.
Am I able to opt out of the U-Pass if I will not use it?
The CTA administers the U-Pass as an entitlement program for all full-time students at participating schools, with no ability for individuals to opt in or out. All individuals registered as a full-time student within their program will receive a U-Pass, regardless of their home address or the delivery method of courses. However, students within the “executive-style” Business Psychology Consulting Track Psy.D., Applied Behavior Analysis, and Organizational Leadership Ph.D. programs will not receive, nor be charged for a U-Pass.
In addition, students who are placed outside Chicago on a full-time internship will not receive and will not be charged for a CTA U-Pass. Internship placement data is pulled from the APP database. If you are placed outside of Chicago on internship, make sure your internship placement site is updated in the database and check your account balance at the start of the term to ensure accuracy. The school is only able to make adjustments to U-Pass enrollment within the first 45 days of the term.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
What happens if I change my status from part-time to full-time or vice versa?
From full-time to part-time before the end of the Add/Drop deadline: Student's U-Pass will be deactivated during the first 45 days of the term.
From full-time to part-time after the Add/Drop deadline: Student's U-Pass will not be deactivated for the remainder of the semester. If you dropped below full-time after Add/Drop and want the U-Pass deactivated, contact
email@example.com within the first 45 days of the term.
From part-time to full-time after the Add/Drop deadline: Student will not be eligible for a U-Pass. If you registered late and need a U-Pass, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org within the first 45 days of the term.
Can I lend my U-Pass to someone else?
Your U-Pass is intended for your use alone and cannot be given to another rider. If you lend your U-Pass to a friend or family member, the CTA can confiscate the pass for up to an academic year. You may "pass back" your card to pay for another rider who is traveling with you (you will be charged the full fare for the second ride), but the discounted U-Pass is intended solely for use by the student to whom it is issued.
How do I add money to my U-Pass between terms?
If you register your U-Pass online, you will be able to add money using a credit card at www.ventrachicago.com. You can also add money using a vending machine located in any CTA train station.
Please note: your U-Pass will not work if the balance drops below $0.
How do I replace my U-Pass if it is lost or stolen?
Contact email@example.com. We will order a replacement U-Pass for you, which will arrive at the school approximately 5 working days after the date of your order. There will be a $50 replacement fee for all lost, stolen, or damaged passes. You will receive notification when your replacement U-Pass arrives.
What do if my pass is damaged or defective?
In the case of damaged or defective passes, the $50 fee will be waived if you first visit the Ventra Customer Service Center at 567 W Lake, 2nd Floor. They will issue an affidavit authorizing the school to issue you a replacement pass.
Where can I go for more information?
Phone: 800-595-6938, option 7
For information on CTA policy, hours, and contact information, visit the CTA U-PASS website.