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CTA Plans To Keep Lower Prices Through 2022 As Ridership Lags Due To COVID-19

The Chicago Transit Authority announced its budget proposal for next year, aiming to maintain the discounts introduced over the summer and eliminating the fee for bus and train transfers.

Ventra readers at the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line CTA station in Roseland on July 16, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The CTA’s lower pandemic prices might stick around for awhile.

On Thursday, the CTA announced it plans to keep its COVID-era discounts around through 2022, hoping the lower prices will encourage people to get back on trains and buses.

“Though CTA ridership grew throughout 2021, it remains at roughly half of pre-pandemic levels,” the transit agency said in a statement.

This means the CTA 1-Day pass will remain $5 (down from $10), the 3-Day pass $15 (down from $20) and the 7-Day pass $20 (down from $28). 

The agency is also introducing new reduced fares for 2022. The 30-Day Full Fare pass will be $75, instead of $105, while the 30-Day Reduced Fare pass price will be $35, instead of $50. The CTA-Pace 7-Day pass will be reduced to $25, down from $33.

These discounts, introduced on Memorial Day, will stick around through the end of 2022, according to the budget plan.

The CTA will also eliminate the fee for bus and train transfers. From their first paid ride, customers will now have two free transfers within a two-hour window, instead of paying the 25-cent fee.

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said in a statement making the fares more affordable not only meets the region’s needs, “but encourages a return to ridership as businesses and offices welcome workers back.”

For 2022, the CTA has a projected a $456 million budget gap, and it’s relying on federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to close it.

A virtual public hearing to discuss the budget proposal will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 11. A link to view the hearing and instructions on how to participate can be found here

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
A CTA electric bus waits at the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line CTA station in Roseland on July 16, 2021.

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