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Time Running Out For Old Seniors’ Transit Passes

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Tim Boyle/ Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Time is running out on the Seniors Ride Free passes that Chicago-area seniors have used on the CTA, Metra and Pace since 2008.

On Sept. 1, existing cards will be replaced with new ones. So far, the cards are generating more questions than revenue.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The Regional Transportation Authority’s customer service line has been busy with calls from seniors whom, spokeswomon Diane Palmer said, have been more curious than irate.

“We have not heard outcries from people who are protesting riding the system because they have to pay half fare, Palmer said. “More than anything they would like to know how to ride.”

While that sounds basic, 390,000 of the 440,000 seniors who have been getting free rides will have to pay half-fare. Because cards did not get mailed with a how-to manual attached, the RTA has prepared a video that is linked to its Web site. Without advance publicity it was posted last week and has generated more than 600 views.

The RTA is making copies available on DVD to seniors’ centers and to those seniors who request one. It also plans meetings with seniors i several locations over the next week and a half.

Seniors who have old cards, but have not received new ones, should call the RTA’s customer service center.

The Service Center number is (312) 913-3110, while videos can be obtained by calling (312) 913-3200; online, the video can be viewed at www.rtachicago.com.