SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is sending notifications to seniors who are eligible to receive free rides on public transit service. The department has mailed postcards that verify the senior is enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program and eligible under the Seniors Ride Free (or Disabled Ride Free) program for free rides on all fixed-route public bus and train systems, in Illinois. In February of this year, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that requires means testing for the Seniors Ride Free program. IDoA has been working with transit agencies across the state to help with the transition of new regulations for the program.
“Low income seniors, ages 65 years and older, who are enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program will receive free rides on mass transit. All other seniors qualify for a reduced fare which, in most cases, is approximately half the price of the regular fare,” said acting director of the Illinois Department on Aging Michael Gelder.
Seniors already enrolled in the Circuit Breaker program do not need to re-apply. Seniors should only apply for the Circuit Breaker program if they meet age, income and other eligibility criteria. To qualify, an applicant’s total income for 2010 must be less than:
• $27,610 for a household size of one
• $36,635 for a household size of two
• $45,657 for a household size of three or more
For more information about the Circuit Breaker program or to fill out an application, log on to www.cbrx.il.gov or call (800) 624-2459. Seniors are strongly encouraged to apply online because the application process takes approximately six weeks compared to four months after submitting a paper application. Seniors without computer access should reach out to family members with have computers, visit local Area Agencies on Aging or senior centers for assistance.
Seniors who qualify for free rides may also have to apply for a card from their local public transit agency. Please contact the local public transit agency about free ride requirements. Contact information is below:
1. Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System (B-NPTS)
2. Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District
3. Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and PACE (Regional Transportation Authority)
4. Danville Mass Transit
5. Decatur Mass Transit System (DPTS)
6. Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District "Metrolink”
7. St. Clair County Transit District
8. Madison County Mass Transit (MCT)
9. Greater Peoria Mass Transit District/Greater Pekin Mass Transit District "CityLink"
10. River Valley Metro Mass Transit District
11. Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD)
12. Springfield Mass Transit District
For more information about programs and services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the IDoA Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.