Rep Stephens

CTA Offers K-12 Students Free Rides on First Day of School

Published: August 16, 2023

To help promote attendance on the first day of Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will again offer its ‘First Day, Free Rides’ program for all K-12, Chicago-area students. Once again, CTA is partnering with Butcher Boy Cooking Oils to provide free CTA bus and train rides to students at public and private elementary and high schools, as well an accompanying adult on Monday, Aug. 21, which coincides with the first day of the Chicago Public Schools’ school year.

“We strive to provide Chicagoland students a convenient and affordable means of transportation to and from school, and we want the first day back in the classroom to help set up a successful school year,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are truly grateful to Chicagoland-based Butcher Boy Cooking Oils for keeping this tradition going.”

In 2022, the program provided nearly 49,000 free rides to students and their parents or guardians. Since the program’s debut in 2011, more than 1.25 million free rides have been provided. The “First Day, Free Rides” program is a highly anticipated back-to-school, Chicago tradition.

CTA has long supported Chicagoland students with additional school-year service and reduced fares. For the entire academic school year, students can take advantage of discounted fares of 75 cents on school days, between 5:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Beyond school hours, elementary students, ages 7-11, are eligible for reduced fares of $1.10 for a bus ride and $1.25 for a train ride. Students who are age 12 and older will continue to pay the full fare of $2.25 on buses and $2.50 on trains. Children ages 6 and younger ride free with a fare-paying customer.

For more information about Student Reduced Fare, please visit:

Rep Stephens


Lifelong resident and supporter of the 20th District, Representative Bradley A. Stephens was sworn in on June 29, 2019.

Stephens concurrently serves as the CEO of one of the most successful municipalities in the nation, Rosemont, Illinois. Prior to becoming mayor, Brad Stephens served the Village of Rosemont as a member of its Board of Trustees for 18 years.