Mayor Emanuel Offering Students Free CTA Rides on the First Day of School

Sept. 2, 2016
Popular “First Day, Free Rides” program encourages student attendance; CTA will continue to offer low student fares of just 75 cents the rest of the year when school is in session

In an effort to encourage school attendance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., recently announced that CTA will again this year provide all students and accompanying adults with free bus and train rides on the first day of Chicago Public Schools’ school year, which is Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

Mayor Emanuel’s “First Day, Free Rides” program, which was first launched September 2011, provided more than 116,000 free rides to students and their parents or guardians last year.

“Affordable, reliable public transportation plays an important role in our children’s education,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Encouraging school attendance on Day One sets the tone for the rest of the school year and contributes to forming good habits and priorities by our students.”

“We are happy to once again offer students and their accompanying adult free bus and train rides on their first day of school,” said Carter. “Our hope is that this small incentive will help young people realize the importance of attending class each day and how we are all cheering for their academic success.”

For the remainder of the school year, CTA will also continue to offer its low 75-cent fares for elementary and high school students Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. while school is in session.

Each year, CTA transports thousands of students every day to school and to extracurricular activities. Whether catching a bus to class, football practice or a debate tournament, students can be confident that CTA will take them where they need to go.

The CTA’s 75-cent student fares are the result of efforts made by Mayor Emanuel and the CTA in 2013 to ensure transit is even more affordable during the school year. Beyond school hours, elementary students ages 7-11 pay reduced fares of $1 on the bus and $1.10 on rail. Passengers who are 12 and older pay the full fare of $2 on bus and $2.25 on rail.