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CTA to offer free rides for students, parents on first day of school

Sun-Times file photo

The CTA will once again be offering free rides to students on the first day of the school year.

All students and accompanying adults will receive free bus and train rides on Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to a joint statement from Mayor Emanuel’s office and the CTA.

The “First Day, Free Rides” program, which launched in 2011, provided about 128,000 free rides to students, parents and guardians last year, according to the CTA.

“Convenient and reliable transportation is an important factor in a student’s success in the classroom,” Emanuel said. “Thousands of Chicago Public Schools students rely on public transportation to travel to and from their classes, and by providing free rides on the first day, we can get them started on the right note.”

The transit agency will also offer 75-cent fares for elementary and high school students between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session.

Beyond school hours, elementary students between ages 7 and 11 pay reduced fares of $1 on the bus and $1.10 on the train. Passengers 12 and older pay the full fare of $2 on buses and $2.25 on trains.