Deal to consider, Red Line meetings and more


June 18, 2012|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

CTA riders, it's time to replace those Chicago Cards with new passes—but just for a few days.

The CTA announced last week it is partnering with Chicago daily deal site Groupon to offer discounted three-day unlimited travel passes—typically $14—for $9. The deal should be available later this month, the CTA said.

CTA president Forrest Claypool said he hopes the deal, which will generate nearly $2 million for the agency, will encourage visitors and infrequent riders to explore the city using trains and buses. But Going Public believes it's the regular riders that should take advantage of this deal.

Many riders probably have Chicago Cards tucked in their purses and wallets. It's easy to wave those cards in front of the fare reader without thinking how much money is being spent each day on transit.

It costs $2 per bus trip and $2.25 per rail trip with the Chicago Card. If riders used their Chicago Card to travel on trains to and from work for three days, they would spend $13.50. If riders used the $9 unlimited travel pass being offered through Groupon for the same travel, they would save $4.50.

That doesn't include any extra travel a rider may endure—errands, a Cubs game, the gym, etc. The unlimited pass would cover all that travel for the cost of the $9 card.

After the deal was announced, some riders said on Twitter that when the unlimited pass became available for purchase, they would buy the card for their friends or family visiting town. That's a good plan—but save a card or two for yourself.

There's a purchase limit of four passes per person, the CTA said. The cards, which will be mailed to recipients, can be used for up to a year.

This is a one-time deal between CTA and Groupon but there may be similar deals in the future, the CTA said.

Red alert

The CTA is holding public meetings about the five-month Red Line shutdown next year. Riders can voice their opinions Monday at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Drive; and Thursday in the Kennedy-King College gym, 6343 S. Halsted St. Both meetings will run from 6-8 p.m.

A Shore thing

The Chicago Department of Transportation is holding a meeting about the recommendations for improving transit from 22nd Street to 95th Street east of the Dan Ryan Expressway. The meeting will be held 6-8 p.m., June 28, at Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave.

Talk to us

What other types of Groupon deals should the CTA explore? Send an email to Please include your full name, age and neighborhood.


A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Fullerton station on Red, Brown and Purple Lines

It's been about 15 months since Sally Katona-King, a 68 year-old CTA rider, died after she was allegedly pushed down the stairs at the Fullerton stop in an iPhone robbery gone wrong. A suspect, 17, faces felony murder and robbery charges stemming from the incident. Meanwhile, iPhone use is still prevalent at this station and along the Red Line, GP has noticed. Riders should take more care with how and when they use their phones. Four members of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer CTA patrol group, were stabbed last month as they tried to prevent a cellphone theft on the Red Line. Let's not forget the tragedy of Katona-King and the steps that can be taken to prevent future tragedies by using caution when using cellphones.

Next up: Irving Park Brown Line

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