Free late-night service on CTA for New Year's Eve

(Rick Kinnebrew photo)

The Chicago Transit Authority will again offer free rides on CTA buses and trains from 10 p.m. tonight until 4 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. says, “We wish all our customers a safe and happy New Year and encourage them to allow CTA to be the designated driver for the night.”

The free rides are made possible through a sponsorship from Miller Lite.

During the free-ride period, customers do not need to touch their Ventra or personal bankcards at rail station turnstiles or while boarding buses. Signs will be posted reminding customers of the free ride period on bus fareboxes. As in past years, no refunds will be issued if customers elect to touch their fare card or other form of payment on fare-card readers during the free-ride period.

For customers traveling to and from events around Chicago this New Year’s Eve outside the free ride period, the CTA recommends purchasing fares in advance, which will decrease travel times and avoid long lines at rail station vending machines.

As part of the sponsorship, Miller Lite pays a fee that covers the cost of all rides taken and helps offset the operating costs to run CTA service during the hours in which the promotion is offered. Last New Year’s Eve, CTA provided nearly 91,000 free rides between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

But if you're planning to use the Purple Line to get to the fireworks display at Navy Pier tonight, remember that, while Purple Line service will run later than usual -- it will end at 2 a.m.

Also, all CTA service on Tuesday, New Year's Day, will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule.

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