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Today's the Day: Ventra App Makes Its Big Digital Ticket Debut

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Whether by foot, by car, or by subway, there are many ways to get around the city. And if you choose Metra, you have it a little easier. Why? Because Ventra card users have a new tech advancement. Starting today, you can use the Ventra app on your phone, so you have a new use besides Instagram, Facebook, email, and phone calls.

For Metra's 150,000 daily riders, this is officially one step closer to paperless ticketing and many steps away from standing in line. And, the app can do even more.

Besides breezing by lines, you can check balances, get real-time service updates, and also take advantage of door-to-door trip planning.

What else is cool--the ticket has an animation on it, because they've taken advantage of the full digital experience.

If you're not into all this, fear not. You can still buy the good old-fashioned paper monthly passes and tickets. But the Metra, CTA, Pace and Regional Transportation Authority all hope that you try it out, because they paid $2.5 million in a contract to Cubic Transportation Systems Chicago Inc. to make it.

Since it's just launching, it might be a bit chaotic. Here's the plan. The Tribune reports that during the morning and evening rush periods, Metra will display how-to videos about the Ventra app on monitors near ticketing areas at four downtown stations. Metra employees will give demos and answer questions.

Try it out and download it here. BTW, if you're a monthly pass holder, you'll have to wait to use the app that eliminates waiting...until December 1. And December passes will be sold tomorrow.

·New Ventra mobile ticket app for CTA, Metra, Pace to launch Thursday [Chicago Tribune]
·Ventra app
·Metra prepares for debut of paperless ticketing today [Chicago Tribune]