Mayor Emanuel Announces Free Rides on CTA Buses and Trains on New Year’s Eve

December 29, 2014

Free rides available New Year’s Eve 10 p.m-4 a.m.; additional service provided on heavily traveled bus and rail routes

NOTE: All CTA bus and rail service will operate on a regular weekday schedule on Wednesday, December 31 – New Year’s Eve. A Sunday/Holiday schedule will be in effect on Thursday, January 1 – New Year’s Day.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority are encouraging people heading out to celebrate the New Year to take advantage of the convenience of CTA, which will provide free rides on all buses and trains beginning 10 p.m. Wednesday, December 31 until 4 a.m. Thursday, January 1. For the last three years, MillerCoors’ Miller Lite has sponsored the popular program as part of an agreement with the CTA that has been extended another three years. 

“As Chicagoans celebrate this New Year’s Eve, I am pleased the CTA will be offering a convenient, free and responsible transportation option for revelers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The CTA is continuing a tradition of more than 25 years of ringing in the New Year with its free ride service.”

In addition to the free rides, CTA is also offering extended hours of operation and/or increasing the frequency of service on several bus and rail routes, making CTA an even more convenient, safe and affordable travel alternative for those out celebrating the New Year. 

“The CTA is a smart, safe travel option for customers heading out to celebrate 2015,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The MillerCoors sponsorship ensures the continuation of the annual tradition of providing free rides to customers on New Year’s Eve.”

The CTA reminds customers that it is not necessary to touch their fare or personal bankcards at rail station turnstiles or to board buses during the free-ride period. Signs will be posted reminding customers of the free ride period both on bus fareboxes and at rail station turnstiles. 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.

As part of the sponsorship, Miller Lite covers the cost of all rides taken, plus the operating costs to run CTA service during the hours in which the promotion is offered. Miller Lite has been promoting its “Miller Lite Free Rides” campaign, which has been featured on digital ads at downtown stations. Each year, an average 150,000 CTA bus and train rides are taken on New Year’s Eve.

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