Get a safe ride home on New Year's Eve

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Revelers ringing in the new year in Chicago will be able to ride the bus and train for free.

The Chicago Transit Authority announced Wednesday that free rides will begin at 10 p.m. Thursday and run through 4 a.m. Friday. The CTA will increase the frequency of service on some popular routes that night.

The free rides are sponsored by MillerCoors. Organizers say it's a safe travel option for people celebrating.

Riders shouldn't use their fare cards during the free ride period because no refunds will be issued. Signs will remind riders about the free rides.

About 150,000 CTA bus and train rides are taken on the New Year's Eve holiday annually.


Orland Park, Palos Heights, Mokena, Tinley Park and New Lenox are offering joining forces to help people get a safe ride home on New Year's Eve.

Between 11 p.m. Thursday and 4 a.m. Friday, anyone who needs a ride home should call Via Limo at (708) 349-7700 and mention the Safe Ride Home program. The ride is free.

Orland Park has offered Safe Ride Home since 1994. The program is paid for by the participating towns and a grant from the Michael P. Gordon Foundation. Gordon was killed in 2004 after a drunk driver ran a red light.

Extra Palos Park police officers are working New Year's Eve to make sure people get home safely.

Anyone who needs a ride should call the police station at (708) 448-2191. Officers will drive them home, no questions asked.


Uber is another safe option for those who need a ride home after their New Year's celebration. But it's definitely not free.

Users can expect "surge pricing" to take effect Thursday night because of the increased demand. Double-check the estimated fare before arranging pickup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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