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CTA Offering Refunds On 7- And 30-Day Passes As Ridership Drops During Pandemic

The CTA is offering prorated credits for people who only used part of their passes because of coronavirus.

Patrons ride an Forest Park-bound CTA Blue Line train in Chicago as fears of COVID-19 rise on Friday, March 20.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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LOGAN SQUARE — The CTA is offering refunds to riders who haven’t used their passes due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The refund, which is only for people who had seven- and 30-day passes, will come in the form of a prorated credit to the user’s Ventra account. The credit will only be issued one time and the amount each user receives will vary depending on how many days the user had left on their pass the last time it was used.

For example, someone who got and last used a seven-day pass on March 15 would get a prorated credit for six unused days, according to the CTA.

The credit will go to the user’s Ventra account and will be usable in the future to buy more passes and rides.

Those who want a refund must email Ventra customer service at before April 13 with this information:

  • The name of the account holder
  • The transit account’s ID number
  • The type of pass for which a credit is being requested

Anyone with questions is asked to call 877-NOW-VENTRA or go to

Ridership on the CTA has dropped significantly during the outbreak, but the city has said it will not entirely shut down trains and buses.


Coronavirus can be deadly, but the vast majority of cases have been mild. Those most at risk from the virus are people who are elderly or who have underlying health conditions.

Symptoms of coronavirus can appear two to 14 days after a person has been exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People with no symptoms may have the virus and spread it to others.

The virus spreads between people through coughing and sneezing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The most common symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

People have also experienced body aches, nasal congestion, runny nose and sore throat, according to Harvard Medical School.

If you or someone else has difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, become confused, cannot be roused or develop a bluish face or lips, get immediate medical attention, according to the CDC.

How To Protect Yourself

The CDC only recommends those are already sick wear facemasks because they help you avoid spreading the virus.

Here’s what you can actually do to prevent getting ill:

  • The CDC and other officials have said people should wash their hands often, including before, during and after eating; after using the bathroom; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    The CDC has a guide here for how to properly wash your hands. Remember: Wash with soap and water, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth, with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently, like cellphones and light switches. Here are tips from the CDC.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you have to sneeze or cough with a tissue, throw it out immediately after using it, according to the CDC.

What To Do If You Think You’re Sick

Even if you’re not showing symptoms, the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people coming from high-risk countries (here’s a CDC list) self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home.

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus, contact your primary doctor or a health care facility before going in. Explain your symptoms and tell them if you’ve come into close contact with anyone with coronavirus or traveled to an area where COVID-19 is widespread (here’s a CDC list) within the last 14 days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

From there, the experts will work with your local health department to determine what to do and if you need to be tested for coronavirus, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And, of course, if you think you’re sick with coronavirus, don’t risk exposing other people to the virus. Anyone who feels unwell has been ordered to stay home or risk getting a $500 fine.

Those with questions and concerns about coronavirus can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 800-889-3931.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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