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A person's Ride Free Permit card being used to pay for fare at Ventra turnstile.
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Discounted Fare and Ride Free Programs

The RTA coordinates reduced fare and ride free programs for the entire region. Older adults, people with disabilities, and military personnel may be eligible for these discounts. As of March 2022, about 325,000 people have permits to ride CTA, Metra, and Pace at reduced rates or for free. 

Apply online using the Fare Portal below or for in person assistance with Ride Free and Reduced Fare cards, you can find your nearest registration site using our Registration Site Locator*View information on full- and half-day closures below.

Registration Site Alerts

The following full- and half-day closure alerts are for the RTA's three City of Chicago registration sites:

City of Chicago
Family & Support Services
City Hall, Room 100
121 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL
Southwest Center
Regional Senior Center
6117 S. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL
Southeast Center (Atlas)
Regional Senior Center
1767 E. 79th St.
Chicago, IL

Full day closure dates (2023)

All RTA City sites (City Hall, Southeast (Atlas), and Southwest Centers) will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday September 4
  • Monday October 9
  • Friday November 10
  • Thursday November 23
  • Friday November 24
  • Friday December 22
  • Monday December 25
  • Monday December 29

Half day early closure dates (2023)

Apply online for RTA Fare Programs

Inside of Harlem/Lake Green Line station.
Online portal makes applications easy and accessible

RTA's Fare Programs Online launched in January 2022, and in its first 10 months, over 25,000 people have used the portal to apply, renew, or replace their discounted fare or ride free permits. The web application makes applying for these programs easier and more accessible for all.

Apply now
Elderly couple waiting outside at Navy Pier turnaround.

Ride Free Permits

Older adults and people with disabilities who are enrolled in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access program are eligible to ride free on the CTA, Metra and Pace fixed-route services. Eligibility in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program (BAP) is required in order to be found eligible for the RTA Ride Free program.

Brochure (English).

Brochure (Spanish).

How to apply for a Ride Free Permit
How to renew Ride Free Permits
How to replace your Ride Free Permit
Person in wheelchair boarding CTA L train.
Icon Transit Benefit Program rv

Reduced Fare Permits

RTA issues Reduced Fare Permits to allow older adults and persons with qualifying disabilities to ride at a reduced rate on CTA, Metra and Pace buses and trains. 

Brochure (English). 

Brochure (Spanish).

You can download an application for seniors or an application for people with disabilities below, or call RTA Customer Service at 312-913-3110 to have an application mailed to you. Program applications and brochures are available in alternate formats to ensure ADA accessibility.

Senior Reduced Fare

All individuals 65 years old and over who are ineligible for the RTA Ride Free Program are eligible to receive a reduced fare permit. Apply at or download the Senior Application.

Persons with Disabilities Reduced Fare

All persons with a qualifying disability who are ineligible for the RTA Ride Free Program are eligible to receive a reduced fare permit. To qualify, individuals must submit proof of disability. If receiving Social Security disability benefits, a printout from Social Security, dated within the current year with the word “disabled" on the printout is required. If not receiving disability payments from Social Security, a doctor must fill out the proof of disability form located within the application and attach a letter of diagnosis to the application. Apply at, or download the Persons with Disabilities Application.

Medicare card holders:

Individuals with a valid Medicare card is eligible for a reduced fare permit. To apply as a Medicare cardholder, you will need verification of Medicare status. You can obtain a printout verifying your status by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, by visiting a Social Security Administration Office, or by downloading a statement on the Social Security web site at

Individuals with Medicare cards who do not have a disability and are under the age of 65 must provide a copy of their Medicare card and proof of current Medicare eligibility.

Renewing Reduced Fare Permits

All reduced fare permit cardholders with an expired permit or a permit with an upcoming expiration date on the front of the card will need to re-apply. Reduced Fare Permits do not auto-renew. Apply at  and follow the same application directions above.

Replace Lost, Stolen or Damaged Reduced Fare Cards

If your reduced fare permit is lost, stolen or damaged, you can apply for a new one at or download a replacement application. The fee is $5.00 for the first replacement and $10.00 for each additional replacement. It is not necessary to submit another photo. Payment can be made with a check or money order; cash is not accepted.

Apply online at or download a replacement application, or call (312) 913-3110 to have one mailed to you.

Metra train service employee punching tickets.

Military Service Fare Program

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. This includes:

  • 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.

Visit the CTA website to learn more about qualifications, how to apply for a Military Service Pass and other frequently asked questions.


Metra offers reduced fare rides for active duty military personnel presenting a military ID.

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. Active duty military personnel who are in uniform must see the bus operator for their free ride.

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