Saturday, September 7, 2019

WBEZ: Teens Say Free CTA Rides On First Day Of School Are Not Enough

Usually on the first day of school students and their parents will ride CTA for free. Some students say this still isn't enough.
Students say it’s helpful, but they want the offer year round.

“I think students should get free rides because I don’t really know how you will expect youth who are focusing on their education and career to have constant money,” said Jennifer Nava, a senior at Kelly High School in the Brighton Park neighborhood on the Southwest Side.

It’s a big ask in a city dealing with a huge financial deficit. Just last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city faces a projected $838 million budget shortfall next year.

Still Jennifer, an outspoken teenager who keeps close tabs on city affairs, wants to remind Lightfoot that she promised to make transportation more affordable for students during her campaign.

“If time is not now, then when?” Jennifer said.
How about this, create a U-Pass program for K-12 students especially designed for those students who must depend on public transit. If there isn't enough money to allow free rides for CPS students year round then do what the city's universities have done, require activity fees. Probably not a popular solution, however, as stated in the article the reduced fares for K-12 students add up.