Here’s How To Get Around Chicago For Free On New Year’s Eve

Charli Renken Charli Renken

Here’s How To Get Around Chicago For Free On New Year’s Eve

Please be safe on New Year’s Eve. Leave your car keys at home and ride for free with the CTA and Metra.

The CTA will offer free train and bus rides starting Dec 31 at 10 p.m. and ending Jan 1 at 4 a.m. For the first time in history, the Metra will also offer free rides starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 1:15 a.m. Metra will also be offering $5 unlimited day passes on New Year’s Day to get riders home safely.

New Year’s Eve partiers won’t have to worry about tapping in with their Ventra card during the free-ride period. Simply walk through the turnstile or board the bus. Make sure not accidentally tap your Ventra card out of habit, though; rides will not be refunded if CTA customers use their cards at the turnstile or when boarding busses.

“It is my sincere hope the availability of safe, free rides on the CTA this New Year’s Eve will mean a healthy, happy holiday for all Chicagoans,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We wish all riders a safe and happy New Year and encourage them to allow CTA to take the wheel [on New Year’s Eve]”

Metra will also be offering free rides for New Year’s Eve, the first time the transit company has ever offered a free NYE ride service. “Public transit is the safest way to travel, and Metra would like to do its part to encourage our riders to celebrate responsibly and leave the driving to us,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski.


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The last free Metra train will leave around 1:15 a.m. for eight lines that provide late-night service. Please check holiday schedules for exact times. For those of you out a bit longer than 1 a.m., Metra will offer $5 unlimited day passes to make sure you get home safe.

You can find out more information about CTA and Metra New Year’s Eve schedules and pricing on the transit companies’ official websites.

Feature image by @chrisrollo

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