Get the New Year off to a Festive Start with Safe, Free CTA Rides

December 26, 2019

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

In the spirit of celebrating safely and responsibly this New Year’s, CTA is, once again, offering free rides on CTA buses and trains from 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31 until 4 a.m. Wednesday, January 1. This period of free rides is made possible through a sponsorship from Miller Lite.

“It is my sincere hope the availability of safe, free rides on the CTA this New Year’s Eve will mean a healthy, happy holiday for all Chicagoans,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We wish all riders a safe and happy New Year and encourage them to allow CTA to take the wheel tonight.”

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 their Ventra cards for pay-per-ride via the following ways: free Ventra app, rail station Ventra vending machines, online or at nearly 900 local retailers - for locations visit ventrachicago.com.

Single-ride tickets are also available for purchase for $3 ($5 at O’Hare) at all Ventra vending machines. Single-ride tickets include up to two transfers in two hours.

In a hurry? Ventra allows riders to use Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay, or any contactless credit or debit card, for pay-as-you-go rides ($2.25 for bus, $2.50 for train).

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.

Pace Suburban Bus Service will also offer free rides on their fixed route and ADA Paratransit services between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Pace is not part of the CTA-Miller Lite free rides promotion.

NOTE: All CTA bus and rail service will operate on a Sunday schedule on Wednesday, January 1, when the New Year is a nationally observed holiday. CTA will run a regular schedule on Tuesday, December 31st.

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