Chicago municipal IDs coming in December with expanded benefits

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's municipal identification cards are on track for a December roll-out, and officials have been working to expand the benefits of the card to broaden its appeal.

City officials announced at a Wednesday press conference held at CTA headquarters that the municipal ID will also function as a Ventra card, allowing ID holders to access CTA. It will also double as a Chicago Public Library card.

The municipal ID program was crafted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as a way to allow all Chicago residents - regardless of immigration status, criminal record, or gender identification - to access city services.

"The Chicago municipal ID card is much more than just a government ID. It will improve Chicagoans' daily lives and bring down barriers for many of our city's residents," said Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia.

"Public transit is about so much more than getting from Point A to Point B. Transit connects riders to their jobs, their schools, their friends and families. It connects them with communities across Chicago, and it connects them to opportunities for a brighter future," said CTA President Dorval Carter.

The Ventra card is not going away; you can still use it to ride CTA. The municipal ID program is also voluntary. Officials said all information collected for the ID will be kept private. No addresses or records will be retained or shared, an issue obviously of concern to undocumented immigrants.

The city hopes the card will appeal to all residents. City officials said it's a great way to have a single card for various city services.
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