CTA Makes Transition for Senior Free Rides Program Beginning March 17

March 12, 2008

Seniors Reminded to Expend Remaining Value on Reduced-Fare Media Cards

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) reminds senior citizens to use up any remaining value on their reduced-fare media cards in preparation for the transition from a reduced-fare system for seniors to a free-ride system, which goes into effect Monday, March 17.

Only seniors who possess an RTA-issued permit will be eligible for the free rides program. Existing senior permit cardholders do not need to reapply in order to be qualified for the program and are asked to retain their current Magnetic Strip Senior Permits or the Smart Card Senior Permits to gain access to CTA's fixed route services.

Seniors who do not possess an RTA-issued senior permit will be asked to pay the regular full-fare.

CTA has reprogrammed all of its fare equipment to accept RTA issued senior permits with no charge for fares or transfers. Importantly, seniors must continue to use their senior permits as they have in the past either tapping the smartcards to the touch pad or inserting RTA-issued senior permits into the farecard machines in order to register their rides.

Should seniors have any questions or experience any problems, CTA bus operators and customer assistants are available to assist and address any questions that customers may have as it relates to the senior free-ride system.

Seniors who do not currently have a permit but are interested in participating in the Senior Free Ride Program need to apply for the RTA-issued permit. To be eligible for the permit, citizens must be age 65 or older and live in the RTA service region that includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. For more information, individuals can call the RTA Travel Information Center at 312-836-7000 or TTY: 312-836-4949.

Any remaining value on unexpired senior reduced-fare media cards as of Monday, March 17 will be eligible for a refund until July 1, 2008. The refund value of monthly passes will be prorated; refund value for other eligible fare media will be given at-cost. Expired cards are not eligible for refund.

Customers can check the remaining balance of their reduced-fare media at any of the passenger information units near the Customer Assistance kiosks in most CTA rail stations; by calling 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. 8 p.m.; or by visiting the CTA Sales Center at 567 W. Lake St., Monday through Friday 8 a.m. 4:30 p.m.

Cash refunds can be received only by visiting CTA headquarters in person. Otherwise, customers requesting to receive a check-issued refund by mail will need to fill out a request form and should allow 3-4 weeks for checks to arrive. Check-issued refunds can be submitted in person at CTA headquarters and at select Regional Senior Centers between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the following days, courtesy of the CTA and the Chicago Department of Senior Services:

Monday, March 17

Central West Regional Center

2102 West Ogden

(312) 746-5300

Tuesday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 25

Southeast (Atlas) Regional Center

1767 East 79th

(312) 747-0189

Wednesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 26

Southwest Senior Center

6117 South Kedzie

(312) 744-0440

Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 28

Northeast (Levy) Senior Center

2019 West Lawrence

(312) 744-0784

Monday, March 24

Renaissance Court

77 East Randolph

(312) 744-4550

Thursday, March 27 and Thursday, April 3

Northwest (Copernicus) Senior Center

3160 North Milwaukee

(312) 744-6681


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