Free & Reduced Fare

The Senior Services Department is a key registration center for the RTA. Photo service is available for $2 and a drivers license or state ID with your current address is required.

Senior & Disabled RTA Ride Free Permit Card

All applicants must be enrolled in the Benefit Access Program to apply for a Ride Free permit.

If you are new to the program, once approved for Benefit Access, you must then apply to the RTA for your Ride Free Permit card. The RTA will mail you your card in about 3 to 4 weeks.

If you are already enrolled in the Benefit Access Program and currently have an RTA Ride Free Permit card, the Illinois Department on Aging will notify the RTA to issue a renewal card at the time of your current cards expiration. You must notify the RTA of any address changes prior to expiration.

This permit will allow for free rides on CTA, Metra and Pace fixed-route buses and trains. You will tap the permit when boarding CTA and Pace buses and CTA trains. When riding Metra, you must display the Ride Free Permit on board the train. You must reapply every other year for the Benefit Access Program to continue eligibility for the RTA Ride Free permit.

Senior & Disabled RTA Reduced Fare Permit Card

Older adults who are at least within three weeks of their 65th birthday or older, Medicare recipients receiving Social Security benefits, Veterans with disabilities who receive service-connected disability benefits and people with disabilities with a doctor's disability statement verifying their disability are eligible to apply for a RTA Reduced Fare permit. Persons 65 and older must provide a driver's license, state ID, or other state issued ID at the time of application. Persons with disabilities under the age of 65 must provide a current statement from Social Security that shows you are a person with a disability or a valid Medicare card with a current statement that shows you receive Social Security benefits; a letter from your doctor verifying your disability or a current letter from the Veterans Benefits Administration regarding your service connected disability. A 2x2 photo is also required and can be provided by our offices for $2.

The RTA will mail your permit in about 3 to 4 weeks. The permit is valid for up to four years from the date of issuance. The RTA will notify you when it is time to renew your permit.

This permit allows older adults, age 65 and over, qualified people with disabilities and Medicare recipients to ride all RTA fixed-route services including CTA buses and trains, Metra trains and Pace buses in the six-county region of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will.

Additional Information

Further information can be obtained by calling the RTA directly at 312-913-3110.