CTA to offer CPS schoolkids free rides during teacher strike

The CTA announced early on Monday that Chicago Public School students will get free CTA rides during the duration of the strike.

“The free rides on CTA buses and trains are intended to accommodate students traveling to and from the 144 CPS “Children First” site locations, as well as those traveling to other alternative options such as parks and libraries,” according to a news release.

The free rides hours are from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., which match the hours CPS students normally receive reduced-fare rides.


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  • Why? Are they trying to pick up business from the yellow school bus companies? Since the students were getting discounted rides anyway, are their parents less able to pay because school is out? Is the CTA becoming the de facto babysitter? That ought to become real interesting when the children run into the usual subjects of the CTA Tattler.

    Is McDonald's giving out free happy meals for the duration of what probably will be a very long strike?

    If school would have been dismissed at 2:30, or even 3:30 why until 8:30?

    Does CTA even have enough sense to cancel the runs marked "extra service during the school year?"

    In short, to whom CTA is pandering and why?

    BTW, the Hilkevitch of the week took up your demand for bench seats, but pretty much admits it isn't going anywhere.

  • In reply to jack:

    I always support free CTA rides. Well technically tax-payer funded CTA. It reduces the congestion I face when I drive and it keeps my air clearner, so it is well worth it to me even as an only occasional rider (three, four round trips a month.) Plus it introduces the CTA to some that may not yet know about it, marketing their brand to a youthful potential customer base. Free samples as it were. And it really adds little to costs, except for potentially pissing off loyal customer base and I suppose some extra cleaning time.

    But yes to whom are they pandering and why? Did their own unions pressure them to support the teachers? I kinda doubt that. More likely pressure from Rahm? See I care about you parents even if the teachers don't. Maybe. But maybe not, if you think you are coming out ahead you want the parents to have it as hard as possible. That would go for either side.

    So that leaves the Charter School Lobby. Their upside is they get to demonstrate how easy it might be to get your kid to their school.

    Ok that one is not likely either.

    I dunno? Could it simply be Claypool trying to do the right thing? Really? Sounds too much like business as unusual to be true.

  • In reply to wegerje:

    "Well technically tax-payer funded CTA..." Which is the point.

    " It reduces the congestion I face when I drive" Hopefully, those under 16 aren't driving. And weren't we told a couple of weeks ago that the buses needed decongesting. as you seem to recognize by saying "except for potentially pissing off loyal customer base"?

    I take it you don't believe "the right thing," and if you do, what could be the right thing here?

  • Getting reduced fare requires filling out a form, etc. If the kid attends a school within walking distance, parents probably wouldn't bother filling out the paperwork since it's not needed. With the strike, the kids may very well need to take CTA to get to one of the open schools or park or whatever.

    As for 8:30 PM, that's the hours that the reduced applies now, so they just matched that.

  • In reply to whateva:

    The Press Release says"

    "To receive free rides, students should show their CPS ID card, reduced fare card, or other identification, and CTA bus operators or customer assistants will validate age."

    So, either the student already has the reduced fare card, or what wegerje says will happen to the other passengers while the driver checks ID, if the driver actually does.

    The press release says 8:30 is usual, but what's the justification for that?

  • In reply to jack:

    After school sports and/or other activities?

  • In reply to whateva:

    In any event, children 7 to 11 pay half fare as it is.

  • I don't actually read the troll, but I'm assuming he's against children not paying their way.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    I assume that you don't read me either. So that means that you only assume, and you know what 3 words comprise that.

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