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Public Transit a Great Option for Students Heading Back to Class

August 25, 2016

Discounted fares make transit a great option for parents

backtoschool asher       Dakota Metra

(CHICAGO) – Students across the RTA region are heading back to school and public transportation can be the most convenient and economical way to get to and from school and extra-curricular activities.

Asher B., a senior at a CPS college prep high school, knows this routine all too well. He will be among thousands of students who will board either a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus or train, Metra train or Pace bus this school year when the doors open next week.  Asher has been taking the CTA ‘L’ from his Lakeview neighborhood since his freshman year. His brother Oliver B., a sophomore, is “on the same track” and following in his footsteps.

“They enjoy the independence of coming and going on their own and it takes less time to get to school by public transportation than if I were to drive them,” said Lauren T., the boys’ mother.

Likewise, 10th grader Dakota J. often takes the Metra Electric line for his short trek to school in Hyde Park.  His mother reports that even though Dakota could “almost walk to school,” on days when the weather is bad, “Metra is a perfect option.”

“Regional students and parents are fortunate to have access to our excellent public transportation system that provides students with safe and affordable transportation,” said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden.  “In addition, these discounted fare programs makes riding an affordable alternative for these young commuters.”

These three students can receive a discount on their transit “commute” to and from school.  Please see the attached for details of student rider discounts in the RTA region. 

Asher, Oliver, Lauren and Dakota and his mother are available for interviews; please contact Susan Massel at 312-913-3256 or


Transit Agency Student Discount Fare Information, 2016-17 School Year

The CTA will provide free rides to CPS students and accompanying adults as part of its sixth annual "First Day, Free Rides,” initiative on the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools. The CTA continues to offer U-Pass permit that offers unlimited rides to full-time college students at schools that elect to participate in CTA’s U-Pass program. 

Metra continues to offer discounts to student riders aged 7 to 11 or half-price fares during the weekday and those under 6 years old ride for free with an accompanying fare-paying adult.  Full-time students enrolled in an accredited grade school or high school can receive a discount on their fare if they have a student ID or letter of certification from their school. Discounted tickets are honored daily from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., leaving room for students to participate in after-school activities. Metra also offers area colleges and universities various support to help raise awareness about public transit options throughout the region. Colleges and universities can choose personalized materials, transit events and more--all provided on a complimentary basis.

Pace offers a Reduced Fare 30-Day Pass that costs $30 and allows students unlimited rides on Pace buses.  Pace also offers a Campus Connection pass that provides unlimited rides to college students throughout the semester. Both passes are valid for travel on Pace Regular Fare routes, or on Premium Fare routes with a surcharge.

Learn more about student fares on the region’s transit system by visiting

Press Information

Melissa Meyer

Communications Manager
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