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Nearly five children are hit by people driving every day in Illinois while walking or biking within one block of a school.

Fair Fares Chicagoland

What is Fair Fares Chicagoland?

Fair Fares is a campaign led by the Active Transportation Alliance seeking a discounted transit fare for low-income transit riders in the Chicago region. It would include all public transportation options that are part of the Regional Transportation Authority: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Pace, and Metra.

Why is this necessary?

Approximately 20 percent of transit riders of working age made under $20,000 a year in Chicago. As of 2019, a monthly CTA pass costs $105 or $1,260 per year.

If a transit rider makes under $20,000, 6 percent or more of their yearly income would go towards CTA transit costs. As an example, a 50 percent discount for a low-income transit rider could save someone $630 a year.

How does it work in other cities?

Examples from across the country show how a Fair Fares structure could work in the Chicago region.

  • In Seattle, residents who earn less than $23,340 a year can pay $1.50 for a transit ride.
  • Residents on Medicare can use public transportation for $1 in Minneapolis.
  • In New York, individuals earning less than $12,000 a year can access discounted weekly and monthly passes.

Each city has a different income verification process for residents.

Get involved

If you have faced barriers to affording transit fares, take our survey to help inform our report, which we aim to publish in the fall of 2019.

In addition to the survey, if you want to share your personal story with us of how the cost of transit has been a barrier for you, please get in touch by emailing lynda@activetrans.org.

Contact julia@activetrans.org or (312) 216-0489 with any other questions.