U-Pass Program

CTA U-Pass Program

Illinois Tech is a participating school in the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) University Pass (U-Pass) Program. The program is intended to offer convenient, reduced-cost transportation to students, supporting accessibility to school and the Chicago metropolitan area with unlimited rides on CTA buses and trains throughout the duration of an academic term. To facilitate UPass entitlements, Ventra cards will be issued to participating students. Ventra cards are intended to last through the full duration of a student's enrollment with Illinois Tech.

UPass entitlements are not valid between academic terms. Ventra card holders are expected to add value to their transit accounts for bus and train rides during those times. Ventra UPass card holders may also add value for trips with friends and family. On those occasions, the first ride will be applied to their UPass. The additional rides on that trip will be applied as full regular fare to the transit account. In the event additional rides results in a negative balance, the student is expected to add value to resume use of their UPass.

Effective fall 2023, optional enrollment for the UPass Program will continue indefinitely. Additionally, CTA has expanded UPass eligibility to include part-time students registered for (6) billable credit hours or more per semester. Undergraduate and Graduate students may opt-in for the UPass AFTER they are registered for (6) billable academic hours.

Fall 2024 Ventra U-Pass Information

Fall 2024 Ventra UPasses will be valid Saturday, August 17 - Sunday, December 8, 2024. All eligible students who choose to participate in the program should complete the Fall 2024 UPass Opt-In Form. Completing the opt-in form ensures your UPass will be ordered/activated and your account billed the $155 UPass semester fee. You must complete this OPT-IN form by August 31, 2024 to receive the UPass for the semester.

Final Opt-in and Change Request Deadline

Opt-ins will not be accepted after August 31. Students that have opted-in, but decide to no longer receive the UPass will be extended a (1) time Change Request per semester. Students who would like to change their opt-in request must email campusbusiness@iit.edu prior to the add/drop deadline of August 31. 

Online Photo Submission

For new students, your HawkCard ID photo is needed to order your Ventra UPass card. 

We will continue to order new Ventra UPass cards from CTA through August 31 for students that opt-in. Please note the pickup date will be 1-2 weeks after the HawkCard photo is submitted.

For returning students that opt-in, a new card will not be issued. Your UPass will be activated for Summer 2024 within (1) week for requests received by May 29.  

Students transferring from another institution that already have a Ventra UPass card can have it transferred to Illinois Tech. Email us at campusbusiness@iit.edu. Please include your name, Illinois Tech ID number, name of the college you are transferring from, and the (16) digit number on the back of your card. You must still complete the opt-in form.

Ventra U-Pass Card Distribution

New and replacement Ventra UPass cards will be distributed at the Campus Business Services Center (CBSC) in MTCC, Room 514. Students will receive an email when their card is ready for pickup.

Common U-Pass Solutions

  • If you are registered for the minimum (6) credit hours, have completed the Opt-In Form by the final May 29 deadline, do not have a negative balance on your Ventra account, and your UPass is not activated, please email campusbusiness@iit.edu. Eligible UPass activation requests will be updated within (1) week.
  • Dropping below the minimum 6 credit hour registration status will result in the deactivation of your Ventra UPass. If you drop below the minimum 6 credit hours during the semester, you must notify campusbusiness@iit.edu immediately. Failure to do so may result in you not being allowed to activate your next semester's UPass until after the add/drop date. A second violation will result in permanent cancellation of your Ventra card. Once your Ventra card is cancelled it will cost you $50 to obtain a new one.
  • UPass accounts with a negative balance will not activate until funds are added to satisfy the outstanding balance. Please check your account balance through the Ventra app or on the Ventra website prior to May 13.
  • For questions about your balance on your Ventra account contact Ventra Customer Service at 877.669.8368.
  • If your UPass is lost or stolen, you can order a replacement card online.

Additional Notes about U-Pass

  • Only you can use your UPass. You cannot share or sell your UPass. If this rule is violated and your UPass is confiscated your UPass privileges will be canceled by CTA for a full year (you will still have to pay the UPass fee).
  • UPass entitlements do not apply on Metra or Pace transit. To use these services, you may add funds to your Ventra card to cover the ride(s) via the Ventra App or other designated CTA Vending or Retail Locations. Please note that while additional payments are accepted via the Ventra app for special rides, your standard UPass is still available through your Ventra UPass card. 
  • If you drop below (6) credit hours during the semester, your UPass will be deactivated for that semester. If this happens, please retain your Ventra UPass card. The same card will be reactivated if your eligibility resumes at a later date. A replacement card and its associated $50 fee will be required if you do not retain the original card.

Conviser Law Center Student UPass Requests

Conviser Law Center students MUST contact Jenna Abhijeet (jabhijeet@kentlaw.iit.edu) regarding their UPass.