Should I buy my Metra mobile ticket before I get on the train?
Yes. Buying your tickets in advance helps make sure you’re ready to go when you get on the train. Tickets you buy are stored on your device until you use them. (See below for expiration periods of all ticket types.)
Once you've bought your ticket, it stays stored on your device until you're ready to use it. Activate ("use") your ticket only once you're on your train. You can then go and do other things on your phone and come back to the ticket during your ride if asked to show your ticket later.
- One-Way Tickets are good for 14 days from purchase.
- Day Passes are good for 14 days from purchase.
- Day Passes in a Day Pass 5-Pack are good for 90 days from purchase.
- Monthly Tickets are good from the first day of the calendar month until noon of the first business day of the following calendar month.
- Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Day Passes are good for 14 days from purchase.
- Weekend Passes are good for 14 days from purchase.
Remember to buy your tickets in advance of when you ride so you've got a ticket and are ready to activate it as soon as you sit down on the train.
No – buying a Metra mobile ticket costs the same as a paper ticket at a ticket window or from a machine.
No. You must create a Ventra account to purchase Metra tickets. The Ventra app is free and easy-to-use; it allows you to take full advantage of all the app’s features. You can store your credit or debit cards, including pre-tax transit benefits debit cards, so you don’t have to enter the information every time you buy a mobile ticket. It also allows you to split your payment between two cards – handy for those who use a pre-tax transit benefits debit card that does not fully cover the cost of a Monthly Pass. It allows you to recover your mobile tickets if your phone is lost, stolen, damaged or replaced. And if you have a Ventra card, it allows you to check your balance, add value, add passes, get account notifications and more.
Can I use the app to buy Metra mobile tickets even if I don’t have a debit or credit card to pay with?
Yes. If you’ve created a Ventra account you can log in and use transit value from that card’s account to buy a Metra mobile ticket. You can load value with cash at any Ventra Vending Machine or at any of about 1,000 Ventra retail locations around town, including most currency exchanges and drugstores. Click here to find a location near you.
When you board your train, select "Use” and tap next to the ticket you’d like to use from the app home screen. You’ll be prompted to confirm activation. Then show your mobile ticket to the conductor when the conductor is checking for tickets. He or she will ask you to touch the screen – a pattern of rectangles will appear. This is a quick way for the conductor to visually check that the ticket is valid. If necessary, the conductor may also ask you to touch the white field at the top of the ticket, which will show a QR code and information about the ticket’s activation and validity. This will further verify the ticket is valid. You can navigate away from the app and return to reopen your mobile ticket (it’ll show as “In Use”) as many times as you need to during your ride.
When you buy a Day Pass 5-Pack, you’ll see that you have five Day Passes in your “Stored Tickets” under “My Metra Tickets.” When you go to use one of the passes, it’ll activate just one pass and the rest will remain as “Stored Tickets” until you need them. If you’re traveling with a group, you can activate as many of the stored rides as you need (up to five at once).
Metra mobile tickets stay active on the home screen and in the “Activated, In Use” section of the “Tickets” screen for a set amount of time – tickets for longer trips (as determined by the origin and destination, or zones) remain active longer than shorter trips. Round Trip Plus, Monthly and Weekend tickets remain active for the day, month or weekend they are activated. If you put your phone away or leave the app to do something else, you can always go back and reopen it – just select “Show” to reopen it.
If you activate your ticket and something happens that delays your train, no worries! Tickets that have been recently used will remain on your phone as “Expired” for three hours after they expire, and your conductor will know whether to accept an expired ticket as valid in such circumstances.
Yes! Mobile tickets are accepted on all Metra trains.
No. That service is provided by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (the South Shore Line), which does not accept Metra tickets.
When you buy a mobile ticket for use on Metra trains, the ticket is downloaded and stored on your device. By storing tickets on your device (rather than keeping them on our servers), your tickets are still available even if you need to use your ticket in a place where you don't have an internet connection (such as when you're in underground stations or in a cellular "dead zone"). You can, however, easily move tickets bought while signed into the Ventra app from one device to another. Learn more about how to move tickets to a new device.
Just select "Tickets" in the bottom right corner of the home screen and then choose "Move tickets to this device." You'll be shown tickets on other devices in your account and can move them to the device you're using, instantly.