A bill to allow free transit rides only for low-income seniors has been sent to Gov. Quinn for his signature after the state Senate passed the bill on a 54-2 vote on Monday. The House had OKed it on Saturday 95-15.
The bill would allow seniors who qualify for the state's Circuit Breaker aid program to continue to ride free, while all others would pay half price. Here are the income limits for the Circuit Breaker program:
- $27,610 for a household of one.
- $36,635 for a household of two.
- $45,657 for a household of three.
There was no word from Quinn's office on whether he would sign it. Before the election he said he would veto such a bill. But hey, the election's over, and the state is about to raise the income tax to 5%, so maybe they're trying to get a little bit of that back for transit agencies. After all, the more in their coffers, the less they need to give Metra and the CTA. The CTA has estimated free rides cost the agency about $35-$40 million per year.
Judging from the huge margin by which the bill passed both houses, any possible veto would probably be overturned.