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Chicago School Students Get Free CTA Ride On Day 1

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Public Schools students will be able to ride CTA buses and trains for free on the first day of school.

The Chicago Sun-Times is paying $150,000 to help cover the costs of the free rides. The first day of school is Sept. 4.

The three-year program is designed to promote first-day attendance for CPS elementary and high school students.

"The CTA is proud to partner with a local company which is investing in the lives of CTA student customers and their families," CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a statement. "Thousands of Chicago Public Schools students rely on public transportation to travel to and from their classes, and providing free rides on the first day starts out the year on the right note."

Students already receive a discounted reduced-riding rate on weekdays. This discount was extended recently by one half hour, to 8:30 p.m., to accommodate the CPS extended school day.

"The Sun-Times is committed to supporting the people of our community and we are proud to become the first ever multiyear sponsor of this important program," said Timothy P. Knight, CEO of Wrapports, LLC owner of Sun-Times Media.

The sponsorship also includes promotional elements for both the CTA and Sun-Times The CTA will provide advertising on unsold bus and rail car interiors, digital spaces and on 150,000 branded fare cards.

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