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February 7, 2008

Governor Blagojevich announces more than 50,000 seniors pre-register for free mass transit
Seniors aged 65 and older will be able to ride mass transit for free beginning March 17

CHICAGO – Governor Blagojevich today announced that more than 50,000 seniors across Illinois have pre-registered to receive free public transportation since he first launched the toll-free hotline and website two weeks ago.  The Governor again encouraged those 65 and older that haven’t done so to pre-register by going online to www.illinois.gov/transit, or by calling 1-800-252-8966 or 1-800-447-4278.  The Governor also reminded seniors living in the Chicagoland area to sign up today for the current reduced fare program by calling 836-7000 from any area code so they can promptly receive free transit services on the first day the program is available.
“The response we’ve received in just a few shorts weeks tells us just how big of a difference saving on the cost of public transit will make for seniors,” said Governor Blagojevich.  “I encourage all of those who haven’t already to pre-register so they can receive free service as soon as the program starts.”
Starting March 17, seniors living in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties will be eligible to ride the CTA, Metra and Pace for free with an existing reduced rate fare card.  Seniors who are not currently signed up for the reduced fare program will have to enroll at any one of 270 sites across the region.  To find the signup closest to you, call 836-7000 from any area code.
Blagojevich administration officials began traveling throughout the state this week to encourage seniors to take advantage of the free transit service that will be available across the state on March 17.  Seniors should pre-register by going online to www.illinois.gov/transit, or calling 1-800-252-8966 or 1-800-447-4278. 
Last week, the Madison County Transit (MCT) agency became the first to launch their program to provide access to free public transportation for all seniors in Illinois since the Governor took action on the statewide transit funding plan.  Under the new law, transit agencies statewide have until March 17 to implement their free ride programs for senior citizens. 
In January, the General Assembly approved a long-term mass transit funding bill that included the Governor’s amendatory veto to require transit agencies statewide to allow senior citizens, aged 65 and older, to use main line and fixed route public transit service for free.  There are approximately 1.3 million seniors living in communities across Illinois that have mass transit service. 


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