Metra and Pace also offering free rides for K-12 students on August 22

Publication Date
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Elementary and high school students from across the region will also be able to ride Metra and Pace for free on August 22, the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools and many suburban schools.

While the CTA has traditionally offered free rides for elementary and high school students on the first day of public school in Chicago, this is the first time the offer has been extended by Metra and Pace. On all three agencies, K-12 students attending any public or private school, as well as an accompanying adult, can ride buses and trains for free from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 22.

“We are pleased to be able to help families start the academic year on a positive note by offering free rides for students using Metra to get to their schools,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “It’s just one more way we can be My Metra for all our riders.”

“Pace serves many city and suburban schools with our fixed route and ADA services. We welcome students and hope these free rides help them start the school year off strong,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger.

On other days on Metra, students enrolled in a grade school or high school can purchase a reduced One-Way, 10-Ride or Monthly Pass. Student fares are in effect at all times. When purchasing a ticket, students must present a valid letter of certification from their school (on school stationery) or present a valid school I.D. (both are valid through the end of the calendar year) bearing the student's name, school name and authorized signature. The student identification card or letter of certification must be displayed along with the ticket to the conductor. Children aged 7-11 are also eligible for reduced fares, and children 7 or under ride free with a fare-paying adult. For more information, go to

Pace is providing free bus, On Demand, and ADA paratransit rides to all Chicago and suburban elementary and high school students, as well an accompanying adult, on August 22. On other days, students can get discounted rides by buying the Pace 30-Day Reduced Fare Pass for $30 (unlimited rides all day, every day, regardless of trip purpose and without school-hour restrictions, for 30 days), paying with transit value on their Student Ventra Card for a reduced fare of $1.00, with transfers costing $0.20, paying $1.10 in cash (using exact change) after presenting a student ID, or paying a surcharge of $1.15 using Ventra transit value when using the 30-Day Reduced Fare Pass on Pace Premium routes. For more information, go to