Many Ill. seniors no longer ride free on transit

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CHICAGO (AP) — Free bus and train rides for many Illinois seniors have ended, although low-income seniors still can ride free with a new permit.

CHICAGO (AP) — Free bus and train rides for many Illinois seniors have ended, although low-income seniors still can ride free with a new permit.

Regional Transportation Authority officials say that, starting Thursday, only Circuit Ride Free and reduced-fare permits will be accepted on CTA, Metra and Pace.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation in February to limit the program. Only low-income residents 65 and older who are in the Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker program are getting free rides. All other seniors can ride at a reduced fare with a permit.

The RTA has added customer service staff and extended its call center hours to handle questions from seniors.

The RTA has sent out more than 80,000 Circuit Ride Free permits to seniors. About 336,000 reduced-fare permits have been mailed.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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