Who Qualifies for Free or Reduced Fare Rides?
- Free or reduced fare rides are available for qualifying military personnel in the RTA's service region of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The free or reduced fare rides are provided on fixed-route service by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace Suburban Bus.
- Qualifications vary among transit providers. Please view the transit provider you are using for the applicable conditions.
CTA allows active duty U.S. military personnel and veterans who have a qualifying service-connected disability to ride CTA for free. Pace and Metra allow active duty military personnel to ride at a reduced rate. Please see the qualifications for each transit provider listed below.:
Who is eligible for the CTA Military Service Pass?
- Chicago area active duty military personnel and actively drilling members of the National Guard and Reserves who possess an Armed Forces ID card, or a member of the Coast Guard with appropriate identification.
- Chicago area veterans with a disability who have a qualifying service-connected disability and can provide proof they are:
1. Receiving U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (USDVA) disability compensation of 10% or greater; OR
2. Receiving military disability retirement pay in lieu of USDVA compensation at a rate of 10% or greater.
How do military personnel and veterans ride free on CTA?
- Military personnel who are in uniform should see the rail station Customer Assistant or Bus Operator for a free ride.
- Qualifying Chicago-area veterans with a disability, and active duty military personnel not in uniform, must present a valid CTA Military Service Pass (MSP) to ride free on CTA buses and trains. MSP is not valid on Pace or Metra.
I am retired from the military and do not have a service-related disability. Am I eligible for a Military Service Pass?
No. Only active duty military personnel and veterans who have a qualifying service-connected disability are eligible for the CTA Military Service Pass.
How do I get a CTA Military Service Pass?
- Go to the Ventra Service Center with your Armed Forces I.D. and/or proof of compensation (dated within the last 12 months) if you are receiving disability retirement pay of 10% or greater.
Visit the Ventra Service Center:
567 W. Lake St., Second Floor
Chicago, IL 60661
Hours: Monday – Friday; 8:00am to 4:30pm
- Your photo will be taken, and your card will be issued at the Service Center.
How do I replace my lost, stolen or damaged Military Service Pass?
Contact or visit the Ventra Service Center listed above.
Metra offers reduced fare rides for active duty military personnel.
Who is eligible?
Active duty military personnel presenting their active duty military ID.
Are veterans eligible?
Veterans are not eligible to ride Metra for a reduced fare unless they have an RTA Reduced Fare permit.
How do military personnel receive reduced fare on Metra?
Active duty military personnel must purchase a One-Way or 10-Ride reduced fare ticket from a Metra ticket agent or onboard the train. The discount does not apply to monthly tickets.
Pace offers free rides to U.S. military personnel on active duty and in uniform.
Who is eligible?
Active duty military personnel who are in uniform.
Are veterans eligible?
Veterans are not eligible to ride for free on Pace, unless they are using their RTA Ride Free permit.
How do military personnel receive free rides on Pace?
Active duty military personnel who are in uniform must see the bus operator for their free ride.
Non-active duty military personnel and Veterans
- If you have a disability or if you are age 65 or over, and enrolled in the State of Illinois Benefit Access Program, you are eligible for the RTA Ride Free Program.
- Older adults and individuals with a qualifying disability and NOT enrolled in the Benefit Access Program are eligible for the RTA Reduced Fare Program.
Contact Customer Service at the appropriate agency below for questions regarding military service discounts:
CTA Customer Service
Metra Passenger Service
Pace Passenger Service