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[HOW-TO][CHICAGO] Ventra using SimplyTapp

6th April 2014, 11:29 PM   |  #1  
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This is a how-to guide on using your phone's NFC to get onto the CTA.
Requirements are as follows:
Android 4.4 (KitKat)
SimplyTapp App
SquareLess App
Phone that supports NFC
Ventra Card

First install and setup SimplyTapp. It's free, runs on almost anything with 4.4 and will be the main application used when getting on the CTA.

After you have setup your SimplyTapp account, create your PIN.

Add a card, select swipe yours, you will end up at a webpage telling you that you need a card swiper inorder to continue, this is not the case. click Get The Card Now. Sign in, authorize the new card (blah, blah, blah). stop when you get to Put your swipe data in this box.

goto the home screen (Push home button or however you do it on your phone)

Install SquareLess from PlayStore (Same developer that made SimplyTapp)
Open SquareLess
Hold your Ventra Card upto your phones NFC sensor (most devices are on the back).
You will hear the NFC sound on your phone and if it reads it sucessfully you will get a long string on numbers (possibly letters aswell). Get a piece of paper (If anyone can figure out how to clipboard this PLEASE TELL US HOW), write the entire string including all numbers, letters and special characters.

Now goback to your web browser which will have the swipe data box we saw earlier in it. Type the ENTIRE string into the box, it has to be exact (case sensitive) with no changes. After you have the ENTIRE string entered, click Swipe Complete.

The card will save to your account. ALL DONE!!!

Make sure you select Tapp as your default pay app under settings, otherwise gWallet will transmit cc info.

Now when your at the station or a bus. Open the Application, click on the card, hit Pay. Hold the device over the Ventra scanner and you should get a GO!

I did this using my Ventra Mastercard, after using it I checked my MoneyNetwork prepaid balance and it did not charge under the prepaid. Checked ventrachicago.com and it showed up under my transit balance. SO IT WORKED.

Its just like a second ventra card, you can even interchange the card with the phone. EXAMPLE: get on the redline using the card, transfer to the bus using the phone and still pay transfer price.

Let me know your trials and tribulations. Feedback is welcomed, works or not. LET ME KNOW
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7th April 2014, 11:51 AM   |  #2  
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Ermehgerd I wish more chigoans could see this. Imma set this up later

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10th April 2014, 08:46 PM   |  #3  
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Test this out with my school ventra card and all is working on my end. Followed the instructions in the op and bam now my phone is my cta pass!!!! Thanks sir.
26th May 2014, 01:24 PM   |  #4  
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Sets up but doesn't recognize Ventra card reader
Whenever I tap on a Ventra machine with the card up, nothing happens. Nor does anything happen when I tap at the turnstile. I am running 4.4.2 (Paranoid Android 4.3B6)
13th June 2014, 02:37 PM   |  #5  
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Oh wow, this actually works! I did not have high hopes, but it worked flawlessly. I feel sort of weird using my phone for the Ventra now, but whatever, it rocks - this is the future! It also reads a lot better and faster than the physical cards - this is amazing.

FYI, I'm on T-Mobile with a Nexus 5. The instructions in the OP have slightly changed as the website has been redesigned a bit I think, but either way, it's easy to navigate through. The only issue is to manually type out the magnetic stripe information, but I was able to easily do it and get it to work on the first try.
16th June 2014, 03:08 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BallCity

Oh wow, this actually works! I did not have high hopes, but it worked flawlessly. I feel sort of weird using my phone for the Ventra now, but whatever, it rocks - this is the future! It also reads a lot better and faster than the physical cards - this is amazing.

FYI, I'm on T-Mobile with a Nexus 5. The instructions in the OP have slightly changed as the website has been redesigned a bit I think, but either way, it's easy to navigate through. The only issue is to manually type out the magnetic stripe information, but I was able to easily do it and get it to work on the first try.

Encounter any nosey bus drivers yet? I plan to use this in place of my physical ventra card. They said that it is like 50 bucks to replace if lost.
16th June 2014, 02:06 PM   |  #7  
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Thanks for the reply. My card is a ventra upass that defaults to a regular transit card when I'm not in school. It has a hefty replacement fee. I'm going to test it out today on the blue line.

Wish me luck

Sent from my SM-N900 using XDA Free mobile app
16th June 2014, 07:14 PM   |  #8  
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Just did it Monroe on the blue line. It was quicker than my regular card

Edit: just tried on the 55th street bus. It had normal ventra processing lag :/

The lady before me tapped her card several times before it worked and then I hovered my phone and it had the processing lag and then my phone said card busy.

I'm starting to think that we are just at the mercy of the load on the Ventra network or windows mobile on the Ventra pad as far as lag occurring :/

Sent from my SM-N900 using XDA Free mobile app
Last edited by lagoboss; 19th June 2014 at 11:02 PM.
16th June 2014, 09:23 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lagoboss

Just did it Monroe on the blue line. It was quicker than my regular card

Sent from my SM-N900 using XDA Free mobile app

See?! I told you. The phone is so much better at transmitting that signal.
16th June 2014, 09:45 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BallCity

See?! I told you. The phone is so much better at transmitting that signal.

Yep I just tried on the 55th street bus. The senior citizen that tapped his card had to touch the pad several times and then it had major processing lag. My phone just vibrated and the pad said go immediately. This is so cool.

Oh and I forgot to add that my phone is in a rather thick holster case.

Sent from my SM-N900 using XDA Free mobile app
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