Ventra U-Passes to be activated on first day of classes

U-Pass distribution begins this Friday for students _㐠but don’t get too excited. The new Ventra U-Pass cards will not be activated until the first day of classes Wednesday, Sept. 11, which is five days after distribution begins.

The Ventra cards will be activated and deactivated automatically for students at DePaul who are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours. The cards are valid for five years, so students will not need to pick up a new pass every quarter.

With the old cards, students could begin using their U-Pass immediately after pick-up. Some students are frustrated that they will not be able to begin using them immediately.

“I think it’s definitely unfair seeing as in prior years we were able to pick up our U-Pass a few days before and use it,” Marisa Mordini, DePaul junior, said. “It is going to be annoying that we will physically have it and can’t use it.”

Many students said they think the Ventra cards are an improvement from the flimsy, magnetic strip cards that often caused issues.

“I think they will be great because it will be a lot faster and easier to use,” Mordini said. “I had a few incidents last year when my U-Pass got stuck in the machine and then I had to go to the CTA office to get a new one.”

Sarah Wilson, DePaul senior, agreed that the contactless cards will be faster.

“There’s been a couple times when I’ve just missed a train because I was stumbling in my purse looking for my U-Pass,” Wilson said. “So this will save me that hassle and hopefully I won’t have to worry as much about missing the train.”

When students’ U-Pass accounts are deactivated, there is the option to load value or passes onto their card for use on the CTA. The Ventra cards can also be registered online to protect any added value.

Some students at Loyola University Chicago, who began classes Aug. 26, have reported problems with their Ventra U-Pass cards, according to a Loyola University email sent to students.

“We are fully aware that due to the changes that CTA has made with their transit program, that some of your passes have not been functioning in a way that meets your expectations,” the email said.

Students who use their card prior to Sept. 11 will need to add money to the card if they exceed a negative balance of over $10, according to a DePaul University email.