Chicago-area students offered free train and bus rides to school on first day

Free bus and train rides will be available to Chicago students on their first day back to school, the CTA and Metra announced Wednesday.

The first day for Chicago Public Schools is Monday, August 21.

The free rides are available to all Chicago-area students in K-12, as well as their accompanying parent or guardian.

The program is called "First Day, Free Rides" — all thanks to the CTA and Butcher Boy Cooking Oils. It is a back-to-school tradition in Chicago. In 2022, the program provided free rides to nearly 49,000 students and guardians.

"We strive to provide Chicagoland students a convenient and affordable means of transportation to and from school, and we want the first day back in the classroom to help set up a successful school year," said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said in a statement.


This is the second year that Metra and Pace have offered free rides to students on the first day of classes. K-12 students attending any public or private school can ride buses and trains for free from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Metra and the CTA also offer reduced fares for students during the entire school year.