The L train is one of Chicago’s crown jewels. Every day, the CTA’s elevated train carries thousands of passengers around the city and even out into the nearby suburbs of Skokie and Evanston. On top of the L, the rest of our area’s public transit is no joke — with reliable bus lines, the sleek Metra rail, and the Pace bus connecting the suburbs.
For active seniors, Chicago’s public transit system is a great way to stay connected to the community. Even better, older adults may be able to take advantage of some great deals and discounts on public transportation!
Chicago Public Transit Discounts for Seniors
There are a few different programs that seniors can use to enjoy reduced-price or even free fares on local public transit. Most of these are operated through the Regional Transportation Authority, or RTA.
RTA Senior Reduced Fare Program
RTA Reduced Fare Permits enable seniors to ride at a reduced rate on CTA, Metra, and Pace buses and trains. All adults 65 and older are eligible to receive a reduced fare through the RTA. All you need to do is submit an application by mail. Find more information here. Download an application to get started here.
RTA Medicare Card Holder Reduced Fare Permits
All individuals with a valid Medicare card are eligible for a reduced fare permit through the RTA. You must be able to verify their eligibility by presenting a copy of a valid Medicare card, or by receiving a printout from the Social Security Administration. Seniors must apply in person. Find more information here. Find an RTA site near you here.
RTA Senior Ride Free Program
A very limited number of eligible seniors may be able to ride free for fixed routes provided through CTA, Metra, and Pace. To qualify for a Ride Free Permit, older adults and people with disabilities must be enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access program for low-income individuals. Learn more about the strict eligibility requirements for Ride Free programs here.
The Importance of Driving Services for Chicagoland Seniors
Reduced fares for CTA, Metra, and PACE are a great way to supplement an active senior’s lifestyle — but they are no substitute for the reliability and quality provided by a trustworthy senior driving service.
For one thing, many seniors do not live within distance of reliable public transit, according to surveys. For another, the spread of COVID-19 has served as an important reminder that public spaces are often dirty and dangerous. With public transit, seniors are subject to the unpredictable schedule offered by local trains and buses, and they do not get personalized assistance or help when they’re out and about.
Driving services are a flexible, dependable alternative for older adults in the city and suburbs alike. Driving services offered through a senior companion can help seniors stay connected with friends and family, attend social events, run errands, and keep up with doctor’s visits and other appointments — all on a flexible schedule that works for the senior and their loved ones. Along the way, older adults benefit by having a driver who can offer a helping hand and provide friendship and company, while prioritizing cleanliness, health, and safety.
Companions for Seniors Is Here to Help
At Companions for Seniors, we know the importance of helping seniors connect with Chicagoland in a healthy and fulfilling way.
Locally owned in Chicago, Illinois with clients throughout the city and suburbs, our mission is to help seniors maintain their independence and a higher quality of life, while also giving family caregivers the support and respite they deserve.
Our companions can assist with your aging loved one’s activities of daily living, and provide affordable driving services on a dependable schedule. All of our companions are trained and bonded, and provide transportation services in an insured, company-owned vehicle that meets our rigorous standards for cleanliness and safety.
Curious about what a personalized care plan for your loved one, including transportation services, might look like? Interested in helping a senior truly enjoy time in their Chicagoland community through safe day trips and outings? We are here to help, in any way we can.