The Chicago Transit Authority is softening the blow of high gas prices across the city, offering unlimited rides this weekend for a special deal.
Travelers can take unlimited trips on the CTA train and bus lines this weekend for $15 for a 3-day pass or $5 for a 1-day pass, officials announced Thursday.
Because the NCAA tournament heads to Chicago's United Center this weekend, CTA is providing additional services on Friday and Sunday. Here's what will be added:
- NCAA March Madness Midwest Regional (Session 1) – Friday at 6:15 and 8:45 p.m.
- NCAA March Madness Midwest Regional (Session 2) – Sunday, time to be announced
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The CTA will also provide extra service on the #20 Madison, #19 United Center Express and #50 Damen routes after other United Center events, including Monday's Chicago Blackhawks game against the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 p.m.
Gas prices have been fluctuating but are likely to keep moving sporadically higher, CNBC reported, and more drivers could pay over $5 and even $6 a gallon for unleaded in the peak summer driving season.
The national average for unleaded gasoline Thursday was $4.23 per gallon, down 5 cents from a week earlier and 10 cents below the recent all-time high, according to AAA. But analysts expect prices at the pump to start rising, with the jump this week in oil prices and the increasing price of gasoline in the futures market.
Chicago has been included in the hit, though thousands of residents felt some relief Thursday with city businessman Willie Wilson's gas giveaway.
Thursday's event was the second and biggest of Wilson's gas giveaways so far, stretching from Chicago and into several suburbs and sparking massive lines and traffic impacts as authorities were called in to help direct the lines.
In some locations, cars started waited for hours.
In partnership with approximately 50 gas stations around the Chicago area, Wilson offered $50 worth of free gas for each driver until his $1 million was spent. Many participating stations also lowered their prices during the event.
Wilson said there may be a third gas giveaway in the future for the Chicago area following an increased demand during his latest donation.
"We’re gonna take another look at this thing here in another month or two, and if gasoline prices go up again, then we're gonna be compelled to do this again," he told NBC 5 during an interview Thursday.