032923CM1372SPRINGFIELD – To make it easier for people with disabilities and senior citizens to keep their free and reduced fare public transportation benefits, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced a measure out of the Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 1892 provides that Regional Transportation Authority benefits for people with disabilities and senior citizens will, after an initial eligibility determination is made for a Ride Free card, automatically renew every five years after receiving a copy of the individual's government ID to verify their Illinois residency. The bill eliminates the need for a customer to recertify their income or disability status. 

“Working with my own constituents living with disabilities, we were able to come up with this legislation which will remove unnecessary steps for the disabled who rely on public transit,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “People in the 7th District, especially those living with disabilities and our seniors, rely on our public transportation. This bill will help them maintain their access to CTA, Metra and Pace services so they no longer need to worry about navigating confusing agency renewal policies.”

Currently RTA’s Ride Free and Reduced Fare cards for CTA, Metra and Pace buses and trains are valid for up to two years. However, this bill will automatically renew cards for those who may not be able to travel to a physical location to renew or who do not have the means or access to the internet to renew online.

“I want to thank my constituents and the RTA for their hard work on this important legislation,” Simmons said. “This bill will ensure public transit services are more accessible and can be provided without restriction and unnecessary back and forth.”

Senate Bill 1892 passed the Senate on Thursday and now heads to the House for consideration.

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