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cta bus in the Loop
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chicago announces plan to give away free gas cards, CTA ride funds

Here's how you can apply.

Written by
Lindsay Eanet
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Everyone's talking about "March Madness," but we all know the real "March madness" has been these skyrocketing gas prices, amirite? 

With the cost of gas at a cringe-inducing $4.85 per gallon for the average Chicagoan, many locals are seeking relief, including lining up for blocks for Chicago businessman and perennial local political candidate Willie Wilson's gas giveaways earlier this month.

Now, city residents may have another opportunity at a bit of relief this April, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new $12.5 million transportation assistance initiative called "Chicago Moves." The City of Chicago plans to distribute up to 50,000 pre-loaded gas cards of $150 through a lottery system that can be used at any city gas station. 

Public transit users will also see some relief as "Chicago Moves" will include distribution of 100,000 Ventra cards or added funds at $50 each. Mayor Lightfoot said 75,000 of these cards will be allocated for high-volume transit users in low-income areas, with the other 25,000 distributed citywide through aldermanic offices. (It is worth noting that, at current numbers, a 24-hour unlimited CTA pass costs about the same as one gallon of gas after the CTA reduced prices last November.) 

To be eligible for the transportation funding lottery, applicants must be Chicago residents and have a household income at or below 140 percent of the Area Median Income. For the gas cards, applicants must also be at least 18 years of age and have a current and valid city sticker with correct mailing information—so if you've been putting off updating your city sticker, now is definitely the time to do that (we won't tell). 

Chicago residents will be able to apply for the lottery on April 27, and cards and funds are expected to be distributed in May. 

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