News pickup: Free rides for seniors hits big pothole; new 95th St. CTA station

Here are some CTA news items from the last few days:

Big hitch in free rides for seniors? Due to a state budget cut, starting July 1 there will be no way for the Regional Transportation Authority to certify seniors to get free rides, according to a Crain's report by Greg Hinz. The State Legislature stopped funding the Circuit Breaker program, whose income levels the RTA used to certify that seniors could ride free. Oopsie! All seniors and disabled persons still can ride for half price with proper credentials.

95th Street station to get $240 million remake. The busiest bus and rail station on the South Side will get a new look by 2014, according to the Sun-Times. They got the exclusive, so read the details there.

Four days left for Groupon 3-day pass deal. Time is running out to buy Groupon's first batch of discounted three-day CTA passes. The pass that regularly costs $14 can be had for $9 at Groupon. Read how it's a bargain, and what the deal means for the CTA. More than 5,000 were sold as of Tuesday evening. I suspect they will go back on sale again, given that Groupon paid the CTA $1.9 million for 250,000 passes.

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  • The problems for the seniors & disabled with low incomes riding free is pretty much a non-issue.
    A neighbor of mine already got his free ride pass a few weeks ago & it's good for two years [June 2014], not one like before. He's just pissed there aren't any available as smart cards this time.
    Only those that filed their Circuit Breaker forms late are going to have a problem & it looks like the state will have to figure out a way to certify them through the Department of Aging, rather that the Revenue Dept.
    Most people file theirs in February, at least the neighbors that I helped with the forms online did.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The other question, not mentioned in that article, is that the Medicaid bill supposedly did away with Rod's senior drug program, which was the other way of certifying seniors, and certainly would apply if they were not paying property taxes (i.e. renters).

    And even if people now over 65 have RTA cards, that doesn't do any good for persons who are about to turn 65.

    I commented earlier about how the legislature, a couple of years ago, turned Rod's entitlement into a welfare program. Now, as usual in Illinois, the unintended consequence may result in that being de facto abolished, although in a manner that the you know what hits the fan only slowly, instead of repealing it outright.

  • Well thank God for Rod Blogojovetich; at least he tried to help society appreciate the less fortunate,disabled, and elderly. His gesture will always be sincerely appreciated and I'm sure the seniors with grand children had a chance to take advantage of the free rides felt society gave back something even if it didn't last...lol

  • In reply to Thatnig94:

    Of course, either you are being sarcastic, or live in Ravenswood Manor and was bought off for a while by what this prison inmate called a "no cost benefit."

  • In reply to Thatnig94:

    Blagojevich wanted your vote. That's it. He cares about no one but himself.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    How can that be? After all he was a Democrat. Supported by all the Ravenswood clique until he was arrested.

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