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Free CTA Rides For Some Seniors To End?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 27, 2009 5:55PM

Photo by TheeErin
If the Illinois State Legislature has their way, we could see a serious reduction in the free transit rides offered to seniors. If you remember, the free rides for all seniors was a stipulation that douche rocket former governor Rod Blagojevich demanded in turn for giving local transit agencies funding that would (temporarily) stave off another doomsday. With those free rides costing area transit agencies about $58 million this year in the face of huge deficits, state lawmakers are looking to scale back the rides and put a little bit more money in the agencies' pockets.

Rep. Suzanne Bassi (R-Palatine) is sponsoring the bill, which would still allow free rides for seniors as long as they meet the state's low-income guidelines and allow reduced fares for other seniors, so Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't be completely screwed while saving the transit agencies some much needed dough. And there seems to be bipartisan support, according to Rep. Julie Hamos (D- Evanston), who said, "I can tell you there are some legislators who are interested in doing that." Others are more skeptical of the bill's chances of surivial. Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) said, "If I was a betting woman, I would probably bet that this wouldn't pass." She added, "Some people think this was the best thing the ex-governor ever did, but I've also gotten calls from people stating that that's not something they need."

Advocacy groups, such as AARP, have said they have no position on the bill.

Update: For what it's worth, Gov. Quinn has come out as opposed to the bill.