CPS CEO Brizard and CTA Chairman Peterson Announce “First Day, Free Rides” 

Partnership will provide CPS students with free CTA rides on the first day of school


September 3, 2011


Today, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson announced “First Day, Free Rides,” an innovative partnership between CPS, CTA and the business community that will provide CPS students with free transit rides on the first day of school.


“Everyone should be a partner in the effort to get our kids in the classroom on the first day of school. Instruction begins on day one and providing students with a free ride can help a child come to school ready to learn. We are grateful to our sponsors and CTA’s support in this effort,” said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “I also want to thank the Mayor for bringing together city departments and sister agencies to help get Chicago Public Schools students back to school on the first day and every day.”


On Tuesday, September 6 students and the adults accompanying them will be allowed to ride free during the normally reduced student fare hours of 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Anyone who is used to riding on a student card will have the same access. 


“The CTA is happy to partner with CPS and we applaud these generous sponsors who have helped us with this important effort to make sure CPS achieves its goals of high attendance on the first day of school,” said Board Chairman Terry Peterson. “We all recognize how critical it is that every student be in school on the first day. We also know that CPS students depend heavily on CTA to get them to school and having public transit that is conveniently located near a school can make the difference between being able to get an afterschool job, join a team or participate in a club.”


Contributions from the business community will help subsidize the cost of students riding the CTA for free on the first day of school. They include:

  • Garrett Popcorn Shops
  • Discover Financial Services
  • AT&T
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • PNC (Bank)
  • Hyatt Hotel Corporation
  • Preferred Meal Systems


On a daily basis, CTA provides roughly 150,000 rides for students using student reduced fare permits and two-thirds of those students attend Chicago Public Schools.


Yesterday, teachers at Genevieve Melody Elementary, STEM Magnet Academy and Skinner North Elementary schools voted on a waiver that would lengthen their school day by 90 minutes.  The passage of waivers require a 50% + 1 of all voting teachers. Both schools received the required 50% + 1 to pass the waiver and extend their school day by 90 minutes.


About CPS

Chicago Public Schools serves 405,000 students in 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school district.


Press contacts