RTA Ride Free and Reduced Fare Programs

The Senior Ride Free Smart Permit allows senior citizens to ride all RTA services for free and the Reduced Fare Card allows qualified persons with disabilities to ride all RTA services for a reduced fare. Both programs are offered by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). These services include CTA buses and rapid transit, Pace buses, and Metra trains in the six-county region served by the RTA (Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will counties).

Seniors, aged 65 or older: If you are an Illinois resident, and currently enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program, you are eligible for free transit on fixed routes operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.

The permits take approximate 3 to 4 weeks to process after an application is made. They are valid for four years from the date of issuance. Mail-in applications for senior citizens are available at the Utility Billing and Collections office and on the RTA website. Please note applicants must first enroll in the State of Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program. For more information see the RTA Reduced Fare and Ride Free program website. 

*Please note: Persons with disabilities must apply directly through the RTA. More information is available on the RTA Reduced Fare page of their web site.

Information on replacing cards that have been lost or stolen may be obtained by calling 312-913-3110. Additional information on the RTA Reduced Fare Card is available online.

updated Jan 17, 2023

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