Seniors to get new transit permits in mail

August 1, 2011 6:38:29 AM PDT
The Regional Transportation Authority will start mailing 52,000 circuit ride free permits and 375,000 reduced-fare permits to seniors Monday.

The permit are for use on CTA, Metra and Pace buses and trains, a release from the RTA wrote in a news release last week.

Seniors using reduced- fare permits must load value on their permits before using them. Fare value can be added at CTA vending machines or a variety of groceries or currency exchanges, the release said.

The RTA worked with the Dept. on Aging to determine which low-income seniors qualified to continue riding free, based on Circuit Breaker eligibility. Seniors wishing to qualify for free rides must register with the Dept. on Aging's Circuit Breaker program. Incomes to qualify range from $27,610 to $45,657 depending on household size.

More information can be found by calling (800) 252-8966 or logging on to to enroll.

The Seniors Ride Free program changed in February after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation amending the act to allow only low-income seniors to continue riding free on fixed-route services. All other seniors would be required to pay a reduced fare.

Old permits will only be good through the end of August. Seniors who have not received new permits by Aug. 15 should contact the RTA's Customer Service Center at (312) 913-3110.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

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