Regional Transportation Authority
Within the northeastern Illinois region, public transportation is operated by the three service boards of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA): The Chicago Transit Authority www.transitchicago.com, Metra www.metrarail.com, and Pace www.pacebus.com.
Where to Get Transit Travel Information
The RTA’s multi-modal online trip planner, goroo, allows travelers to plan trips in the Chicago region using public transit on CTA, Metra, and Pace buses and trains. Directions are provided that include transit, biking, walking and driving. Visit www.goroo.com to plan your trip. The CTA’s Bus Tracker and Train Tracker are now featured on www.goroo.com.
In addition, the RTA Travel Information Center operators are able to provide exact location and travel times for all CTA, Metra and Pace services. Center operators can also provide maps, schedules and other information on services provided by CTA, Metra or Pace.
The Travel Information Center is open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. For more information, contact the RTA Travel Information Center at:
165 North Jefferson Street
Chicago, Illinois 60661
836.7000 (from any area code in Northeastern Illinois)
Free and Reduced Fare Rides for Seniors
Low-income Illinois seniors (ages 65 and older) who are enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Circuit Breaker Program can ride the CTA, Metra and Pace fixed route service for free. To request a Circuit Ride Free Permit application, call the Department on Aging at 1.800.624.2459 or visit www.cbrx.il.gov to apply online. Seniors must first be enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program before being able to apply for a Circuit Ride Free Permit. Visit www.rtachicago.com for more information about the Circuit Ride Free program.
Program changes effective September 1, 2011 will allow all seniors who are not Circuit Breaker-eligible to pay a reduced fare to ride on CTA, Metra and Pace fixed route service. To apply for a Reduced Fare Permit, call the RTA’s Customer Service Center at 312.913.3110 or visit www.rtachicago.com to obtain an application online or to review a list of over 200 registration sites around the region.
Transit Benefit Program
The RTA/CTA Transit Benefit Fare Program helps companies and their employees reduce commuting costs. Plus, it’s an easy way to support clean air and reduce traffic congestion. Employers can provide employees with up to $230 a month ($2,760 a year) for transit or vanpool commuting expenses as tax-free benefits in accordance with the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) and Section 132(f) of the IRS Code.
Once enrolled, employers can purchase CTA Transit Cards, Chicago Cards or Chicago Card Plus and/or RTA FareChecks and the RTA will deliver them to your company. Learn more about the RTA/CTA Transit Benefit Program by visiting www.lesstaxingcommute.com.