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When Someone Rides Free, We All Pay

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 29, 2008 5:30PM


Mark your calendars, old people: March 17 isn't just St. Patrick's day, it's also the day free rides for seniors begin on Metra, Pace and the CTA.

The RTA will issue photo IDs to people 65 and older, and only residents of the RTA coverage area will be eligible. Seniors can get their cards at any RTA service location, and it takes 3-4 weeks.

To ride on buses or trains for free, senior citizens will have to show the card to a bus driver, ticket agent or train conductor. They also can use the card at a turnstile or in a fare box. Metra riders will get a free-ride ticket upon showing the RTA card at a ticket office or to an onboard conductor.

It's pretty obvious that Blago was wearing some bad idea jeans when he came up with this doozy, but we're very skeptical about its implementation. Bus drivers checking IDs? Isn't that going to slow stuff down just a little? But if the cards work just like any other CTA card, then what's to prevent someone from snagging their grandma's pass and riding free? Other than ethics? Hmph.

Did you also know that the RTA is a time machine? How old is that photo?! Gah. [Trib]

Image by Efroten