(CBS) -- The CTA is in a holiday mood. It's giving away buses.
The 30 buses are from a group retired about a year ago and will go to four downstate agencies. But at least a couple of the buses are likely to be rolling on South Side streets as early as February.
"We've gotten a Christmas present. This is nice. This is a great example of how government agencies should work together," said Rob Hoffmann, managing director of the Kankakee-based River Valley Metro Mass Transit District, which is getting five of the buses.
Hoffmann has no budget for new buses and growing ridership on an express bus that links Manteno with the Midway Airport Orange Line terminal.
The year-old, $2 service features a free parking lot in Manteno. Hoffmann brags that even with slashed gasoline prices, you can't drive to Midway that cheaply, let alone park there.
The service runs eight round trips a day currently. Hoffmann wants to beef that up during rush hours, although he's still trying to figure out what that entails.
The line is geared mostly toward commuters, although Hoffmann says that one regular rider is a woman who rides the River Valley bus and then takes the Orange Line to babysit her grandchildren.
Hoffman hopes to get two or three years of use out of the CTA cast-offs.
Other agencies getting he buses are the Springfield Mass Transit District, the Rides Mass Transit District, which serves 18 central Illinois counties and the Shawnee Mass Transit District,which serves the five southernmost counties in Illinois.
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