Celebrate New Year’s Eve Safely and Affordably with Free CTA Rides

December 17, 2018

CTA buses and trains to provide free service 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. this New Year’s Eve

NOTE: All CTA bus and rail service will operate on a Sunday schedule Tuesday, January 1, New Year's Day.

In an effort to encourage Chicago to celebrate responsibly, CTA will again offer free rides on CTA buses and trains from 10 p.m. on Monday, December 31 until 4 a.m. Tuesday, January 1. These free rides are made possible through a sponsorship from Miller Lite.

“We are proud to be able to offer free transportation this New Year’s Eve,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We wish all our customers a safe and happy New Year and encourage them to allow CTA to be the designated driver for the night.”

During the free-ride period, customers do not need to touch their Ventra or personal bankcards at rail station turnstiles or while boarding buses. Signs will be posted reminding customers of the free ride period on bus fareboxes. As in past years, no refunds will be issued if customers elect to touch their fare card or other form of payment on fare-card readers during the free-ride period.

For customers traveling to and from events around Chicago this New Year’s Eve outside the free ride period, the CTA recommends purchasing fares in advance, which will decrease travel times and avoid long lines at rail station vending machines. Customers can add  unlimited ride passes (1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day) or add money to pay per-ride to their Ventra cards ahead of time via the free Ventra app, at rail station Ventra vending machines, online or at more than 1,000 local retailers (for locations visit ventrachicago.com or the Ventra app).

Customers can also pay their fares with their personal contactless debit or credit cards and add value to their accounts by using the Ventra App, available for free download via www.ventrachicago.com, the App Store and Google Play.

As part of the sponsorship, Miller Lite pays a fee that covers the cost of all rides taken and helps offset the operating costs to run CTA service during the hours in which the promotion is offered. Last New Year’s Eve, CTA provided nearly 91,000 free rides between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

# # #

Back to news
System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Green Line
Normal Service
Orange Line
Normal Service
Pink Line
Normal Service
Purple Line
Normal Service
Yellow Line
Normal Service
Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts