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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RTA, CTA, PACE, Metra - Disabled and Senior Free Ride Transit Programs

Fare Programs Benefit Access Program (Formerly Circuit Ride Free Program)

Ventra is Coming...
Starting in 2013, the CTA and Pace are transitioning to Ventra™, a convenient new payment system that will let you use a single fare card for regional transit throughout the Chicago area. The new system will make commuting easy and seamless because it is a convenient new way to access and pay for train and bus rides on CTA and Pace beginning in Summer 2013.
The transition to Ventra™ requires customers who currently have an RTA Ride Free , Reduced Fare or Disabled Reduced Fare permit to receive a new permit later this year. Existing customers will have to do nothing as the new Ventra™ compatible permits will be sent to the address on file at no cost. If your address has changed recently, please contact the RTA Customer Service Center at 312-913-3110.
For more questions about the Ventra™ transition, please view our frequently asked questions.


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Seniors and people with disabilities who are enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access program are eligible to ride free on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and pace fixed-route services. To ride free, you must first qualify and be enrolled in the Illinois Circuit Breaker program. This program is administered by the Illinois Department on Aging. The income levels for eligibility range from $27,610 or less for an individual, $36,635 for a two-person household, and $45,657 for a household of three or more people. Learn more about the Illinois Circuit Breaker program at www.cbrx.il.gov or call 1-800-252-8966 [TTY: 1-888-206-1327]. Information is also available at senior citizen centers, the Mayor’s Office on Disabilities in the City of Chicago, and Independent Living Centers.
Download the RTA Circuit Ride Free program brochure
English PDF Version (.pdf) Spanish PDF Version (.pdf)

Senior Circuit Ride Free Program (Formerly Senior Ride Free Program)
Seniors, aged 65 or older: If you are an Illinois resident, and currently enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker Program, you are eligible for free transit on fixed routes operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.
If you not are an Illinois resident, aged 65 or older, you may be eligible for the RTA's Reduced Fare program.

Seniors who are enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program must apply for the RTA-issued Circuit Ride Free permit that will allow them to ride free on fixed-route transit in the RTA service region.
All seniors may apply in person at the RTA’s Customer Service Center at 165 N. Jefferson in Chicago. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Call us at (312) 913-3110 for more information. You may also download an application here, or apply at any one of our 200 registration sites in the region. To find a site near you, call 836-7000 from any local area code or refer to the Circuit Ride Free Registration Site.
Circuit Ride Free Registration Sites - PDF Version (.pdf)

At the registration center, you will be required to present:
1. A valid government-issued picture identification card that verifies your age (drivers license, state ID card, alien registration card or passport).
2. A wallet-sized color photo of yourself that is approximately 1 1/2" square. Do not wear a hat, scarf or sunglasses in the photo. Some registration centers may charge up to $5 for taking your photo. The RTA’s Customer Service Center does not charge for this service. You should receive your new Circuit Ride Free permit in 3-4 weeks.

People with Disabilities Circuit Ride Free Program
If you are an Illinois resident, and currently enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker Program as a person with a disability, you are eligible for free transit on fixed routes operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.
If you not are an Illinois resident, but a person with a disability, you may be eligible for the RTA's Reduced Fare program.

Individuals with a disability who are enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program must apply for the RTA-issued Circuit Ride Free permit that will allow them to ride free on fixed-route transit in the RTA service region.
People with disabilities may apply in person at the RTA’s Customer Service Center at 165 N. Jefferson in Chicago. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Call us at (312) 913-5414 for more information. You may also apply at any one of our select registration sites in the region. To find a site near you, call 836-7000 from any local area code or refer to the People with Disabilities Ride Free Registration Sites.
People with Disabilities Ride Free Registration Sites - PDF Version (.pdf)

At the registration center, you will be required to present
3. A valid government-issued picture identification card that verifies your age (drivers license, state ID card, alien registration card or passport).
4. A wallet-sized color photo of yourself that is approximately 1 1/2" square. Do not wear a hat, scarf or sunglasses in the photo. Some registration centers may charge up to $5 for taking your photo. The RTA’s Customer Service Center does not charge for this service. You should receive your new Circuit Ride Free permit in 3-4 weeks.

Renewing Circuit Ride Free Permits
All circuit ride free permits will expire annually. Approximately two months before your expiration date, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail. Your permit cannot be renewed if you have not re-enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker program. For information on renewing your Circuit Breaker enrollment, visit www.cbrx.il.gov or call 1-800-252-8966. Once your enrollment has been approved, you may call one of our customer service representatives at the RTA's Customer Service Center at 165 N. Jefferson in Chicago for more information on how to renew your permit. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please have your ID number at the bottom of your expired permit ready to give to the customer service representative. You may also reapply at any one of our registration sites in the region. To find a site near you, call 836-7000 from any local area code or RTA Circuit Ride Free Registration Site.

Replacement Permits
If your circuit ride free permit is lost or stolen, you must fill out a replacement application. The fee is $5.00 for the first replacement and $10.00 for each additional replacement. It is not necessary to submit another photo. You can download a replacement application here, or call 836-7000 to have one mailed to you.

Copyright © 2011 Regional Transportation Authority.

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As a sidenote to keep in mind, as the Ventra™ card transition goes forward, please check with the RTA, CTA, or PACE for updated information, questions, and concerns.
For Metra Train as details are available.

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