Reporting David Roe
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The free ride on mass transit in Illinois may soon be over for everyone.
As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, last year, Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that did away with the free rides for all seniors that since-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich pushed through in 2008.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports
But that bill maintained free rides for low-income seniors, as well as disabled people.
Now, the Chicago Tribune reports it appears that budget cutting by the Illinois General Assembly this year will prevent some of those people from getting the free rides anymore.
The Illinois Department on Aging is set to stop processing applications for Free Ride cards as soon as Friday, the Tribune reports.
The Department on Aging says it will continue to process the applications, but that there’s no money appropriated for the Free Ride program.
Currently, there are 84,000 low-income seniors and 58,000 disabled people who participate in the program, the Tribune reports.
Blagojevich demanded a law allowing all seniors to ride free in exchange for passing a state transit funding bill at the beginning of 2008. The CTA later said the free rides for seniors program resulted in more $20 million in losses in 2010.
Initially, Quinn favored keeping the free rides for seniors, but he ended up signing bill ending the policy.