At this writing you have about 12 hours to buy CTA passes at a lower cost before increases go into effect Monday. That is if you can find them. I’ve seen signs at pharmacies and grocery stores saying passed were no longer available.
First, let’s recap the proposed increases in rates for passes, and other changes announced in the 2013 CTA budget released today:
- Base fares are unchanged: $2.25 for each rail trip; $2 for each bus trip; 25 cents to transfer to a bus if you use a transit card or pass other than cash.
- No cuts in bus or rail service.
- Monthly passes will increase by $14 to $100, from $86.
- Weekly passes will rise by $5 to $28, from $23.
- Three-day passes will increase by $6, to $20 from $14
- One-day passes will rise by $4.25, to $10 from $5.75
- The Metra Link-up pass will increase by $10, to $55 from $45.
- The fare from O’Hare on the Blue Line cost $5, a $2.75 increase from $2.25. Exempt from the $5 fare are reduced fare riders; customers who use 1-day, 3-day, 7-day or 30-day passes; and Chicago Card Plus users who have selected a 30-Day Pass option (meaning, the customer’s card’s value is set up to be replenished every month with unlimited 30-day pass privileges).
- The reduced fare for seniors and others will increase by 15 cents to $1 from 85 cents. Low-income seniors and persons with a disability who have a valid RTA Circuit Ride Free Permit will continue to ride for free on the CTA.
- The reduced fare elementary/high school students will decrease from 85 cents to 75 cents, saving a shiny dime per trip.
One way to get deeply discounted passes is through Groupon. It is still selling three-day passes for $9.