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There's no such thing as a free lunch, the old saying goes, but there is such a thing as a free train or bus ride ride, and those eligible have been taking advantage more than anyone expected.
That jump in non-paying ridership is way more than the one-million person increase that the Regional Transportation Authority, the state agency that oversees transit, had anticipated for the entire year.
Evidently, the power of a freebie is too great even for mathematics.
Meanwhile, the CTA continues to cut bus routes, decrease bus and train service, and lay off employees.
Maybe we should've tried for the free lunch instead.