CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA is giving some Chicago students free rides to high school.

The $50,000 program will provide free CTA passes to 500 low-income students at five Chicago Public Schools – 100 students each at Wells Community Academy High School, Englewood Urban Prep Academy, Roger C Sullivan High School , Ellen H Richards Career Academy High School and Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the idea came from his Mayoral Youth Commission.

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“When I was out campaigning at the L stops and there had not been a time … where I have not had kids come to me and say, can you give me 50 cents or a dollar so I can get to school,” Emanuel said. “As soon as they said it, it touched a chord with me that our kids many times face the difficulty of literally just getting to school.”

Students getting the free CTA passes must sign a pledge agreeing to miss no more than five days of class per quarter, to be tardy no more than six times, and to have no disciplinary violations. If students do not meet those terms, they would lose their free fare cards.

Students already receive a discounted reduced-riding rate on weekdays. This discount was extended recently by one half hour, to 8:30 p.m., to accommodate the CPS extended school day.

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