CTA Announces Free Rides for Students on the First Day of School

August 12, 2015

CTA Board approves fifth year of Mayor Emanuel’s program to provide free CTA rides to students to encourage attendance on the first day of school

The CTA Board today agreed to allow students to ride CTA buses and trains for free on the first day of school in what is the fifth year of Mayor Emanuel’s “First Day, Free Rides” program begun in 2011. The purpose of the program is to encourage attendance on the first day of school, which is linked to higher attendance rates throughout the school year.

On Tuesday, September 8, which is the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools, students and adults accompanying them will ride for free from 5:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

“Affordable, reliable public transportation plays an important role in helping to ensure that our city’s students get the opportunity for a strong education,” said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. “This program has become a tradition in promoting school attendance and in helping students get to school safely and on time from Day One, and we are proud to support Mayor Emanuel’s efforts to encourage attendance on the first day.”

Last year, CTA provided more than 120,000 free student rides on the first day of school and provided about 28 million reduced student rides throughout the academic year.

CTA again this year will continue to offer deeply discounted student fares of just 75 cents to students who are enrolled in school while school is in session Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Two years ago, Mayor Emanuel and the CTA lowered student fares by 10 cents to 75 cents to make transit even more affordable during school hours. Beyond school hours, elementary students ages 7-11 pay reduced fares of $1 on the bus and $1.10 on rail and individuals 12 and older pay full fares.


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