Free Rides for Seniors Are Here to Stay

No matter what how much money they make, senior citizens can ride public transportation for free

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    Starting Sunday, about 1,000 CTA employees will lose their jobs and over 100 routes will be reduced. Union and CTA workers areThursday, Apr 22, 2010 • Updated at 10:47 AM CDT

    Grandma and Grandpa can stop worrying about how they’re going to pay for the bus.

    No matter what how much money they make, senior citizens can continue riding Chicago-area public transportation for free, thanks to an Illinois Senate panel, which upheld the "Free Rides for Seniors" program despite Republican push tie the benefit to income.

    Daley talks about CTA

    [CHI] Daley talks about CTA
    Mayor Richard Daley talks about what will happen with CTA.

    “It’s outrageous that in these tough economic times that we would allow anybody — CTA, RTA, the rest of them — to come and try to take this one… itty bitty little thing away from our dear, poor, struggling senior citizens at a time of economic crisis,” said Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago), reported the Sun-Times.

    Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) created a plan passed by the House earlier this year only allowing certain seniors to ride for free based off their income.

    Under her plan only seniors making under $27,610 a year, or a couple making under $36,635, would continue to be able to ride for free.

    Six senators voted for Radogno’s bill, while seven voted against it. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) was the only Democrat to side with Radogno.

    “It was very emotional for some people, and I’m in favor of it,” Cullerton said, according to the Sun-Times.