Loyola University Chicago

CTA U-Pass

Pass Not Working

There could be a couple of reasons why a student's U-Pass does not function as it is supposed to. A majority of these issues can be solved through troubleshooting or speaking with Ventra Chicago or Loyola University Chicago U-Pass representatives.

Card Activation

All students with new or replacement cards must activate them before use.

1) Activate your Ventra U-Pass by calling 1-877-450-5328. You MUST call to activate the card or it will not work properly. You will need your U-Pass and your Student ID to complete this procedure.

2) If you are a new U-Pass cardholder or an existing cardholder who has not registered your card yet, go online to  www.ventrachicago.com (recommended) or call 1-877-669-8368 and follow the prompts.  You will need your U-Pass and Student ID to complete this process. Replacement U-Pass requests can skip this step if they have previously registered their card.

3) Your card will work approximately 20 minutes after completing these steps.


All students must be eligible to receive the U-Pass for the card to work during any semester/term. Students should consult U-Pass Eligibility for more information. 

Negative Balances

Negative balances are the #1 reason that a U-Pass stops working. A negative balance can occur when a card is used outside activation dates, if the card is accidentally swiped twice without having funds loaded onto the fare portion of the card, or if a card is swiped on Pace buses.

While the U-Pass allows for unlimited rides, that only applies to its cardholder. If a student would like to swipe a friend or family member on behind them, they need to make sure funds are loaded onto the fare portion of the card. Funds can be loaded on at any CTA kiosk, the Ventra app, or ventrachicago.com.

It is the responsibility of the student to pay for any negative balances that might have been incurred as a result of using the pass without placing funds on the card. If an account has a negative balance at the time the U-Pass portion of the pass is set to turn on, the U-Pass portion of the pass will NOT activate. 

To correct negative balances:

1)    Verify your U-Pass entitlement is active at the Ventra website by typing in your card number and expiration date located on the back of your Ventra U-Pass.  

2)    While there, also verify your card does not have a negative balance. The balance will be listed in the center of the page.  New CTA procedures deactivate U-Pass entitlement with as little as -$2.50. To correct negative balances:

a)    Add funds to bring the balance to $0.00 at any Ventra machine, located at major el stops.  If you registered your card with Ventra, you can also go to the Ventra website to bring the balance to $0.00

b)    If you feel the charges are in error and occurred when the U-Pass benefit was active then please call Ventra Customer Service to discuss with Ventra.  They are available at 1-877-669-8368. Dial 1 for English or 2 for Spanish, then 0 (zero) for a Ventra Customer Service representative Mon–Fri 6:00am-8:00pm and Sat 8:00am -4:00pm.


Sometimes a card becomes damaged because of circumstances beyond a students' doing (i.e. cracks in cold weather, no longer scanning at the turnstile). To replace a damaged cards, students must visit Ventra Chicago Headquarters at 165 N. Jefferson Chicago, IL to request a waiver for the damaged fee. The student will receive a complimentary 7 day CTA pass, but will still need to email upass@luc.edu to request a replacement.

For Spring 2023, students may instead email upass@luc.edu with a clear photo of their damaged pass, making sure to include your LID and student name in the email. We will then order a replacement for you at no cost to you and you'll receive an email when it arrives, usually within 5-7 business days.

Damage can also occur by the alteration of any pass by the student. Students should not puncture (hole punch), launder, or alter their pass in any way. This will affect the use of the pass. Ventra Chicago will not waive the $50 replacement fee on account of a student altering their U-Pass in the ways described above.