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Happy Hobbes

darth_snarky in chicago_el

So this community has been rather dead for awhile. I'd like to bring it back to life for a quick question: If my Chicago Card has a negative value, can I still use it for a transfer? Would I be able to just throw a quarter in the box?

From what I've gathered from Googling, it seems like this would be possible, but I thought I might see if any actual people have an answer. The CTA's own websites were not too helpful. It does seem like I can *only* get a transfer once it's negative, not a whole new fare.

(I wasn't keeping close enough track and it got down to $1.75 on my way home tonight, unfortunately. I don't live near any L/subway stops and my route will be all buses tomorrow so I won't be able to charge it unless I go several blocks out of my way after the first bus to get to a train line.)

Hey, as long as I'm here: Who's excited for the holiday trains? I love when you're just waiting for a train to get somewhere and one of them shows up--surprise Santa train!


I've tried this before and it doesn't work, because on the bus, the driver just sees that it doesn't have enough, not how much isn't enough. They'll ask you to pay the whole fare.

If you live near a CVS or Walgreens they usually have one-day passes you can buy.
Grrr. When I was still using the swipe cards, the farebox would just tell you to add 25 cents or whatever you needed. More motivation to switch to a monthly!
Why don't you make it so your Chicago Card connects to your credit card? I don't take transit enough to need a monthly pass, but I have it set up to charge my cc once the balance on the card gets below ten dollars.
That's what I do, but people do have reasons to not link to their credit card (which the OP may have).
Yeah, I do. Also, I thought I'd need to switch to a Chicago Card Plus for that.
In my experience, negative or zero value is a no-go. However, if you don't have full fare on the card, it will let you run into the negative - but I guess you already knew that, if you have a negative-balance card.
One of the reasons the community is so silent these days is because a frequent poster (and, to his credit, a great advocate for public transportation) hasn't posted for a long while. Does anyone know what happened to him? I'm someone who always said to himself that I'd get around to trying one of his CTA tours one of these days.
Honestly, I've wondered the same thing. I hope he's just drifted away from LJ, and it's nothing major.
I think Tony runs the CTA's website & train tracker and whatever other electronic communications now, so that probably precludes him from participating here.

The Red Line runs right past my apartment - we get 'em a coupla times a day as Crimmus creeps closer!
Your icon is pretty amusing for someone who lives right by a train line.


Ha! Yes, I chose it for just that reason.

My apt. is anything but quiet - especially between 6-10 am and 3-7 pm.

I've got both the Red and Purple lines right outside my dining room and kitchen windows (oh, lucky me!)....