Chicago will offer free gas and public transit cards to residents as an new effort to combat spiking gas prices and inflation, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is introducing a program that allocates $12.5 million worth of “transportation relief” to low-income residents in need of funds to pay for fuel.
According to a press release issued by the city, the Chicago Moves program was established to “help combat spiking costs of gas and rising inflation by providing $12.5 million in relief funding for disadvantaged Chicagoans.”
The release states that eligible residents will have to apply to a lottery system beginning April 27 to receive a $150 gas card or a prepaid public transit card worth $50.
Chicago has set aside 50,000 of the $150 gas cards and 100,000 public transportation cards.
“The last two years have been exceedingly difficult for many of our residents, in particular our most vulnerable populations. Through the pandemic, we have collectively faced tragedy, and many among us have faced accompanying economic hardship,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement. “Now, as inflation steadily rises and the cost of gas continues to soar, our disadvantaged residents are carrying a significant financial burden. Chicago Moves endeavors to provide much needed relief and ease some of this pain. By subsidizing the cost of gas and transit, this program will enable participants to save their resources for other critical expenses. Chicago is a city that moves. People have to be able to get to work, school, places of worship, medical offices, grocery stores. The goal of this program is to help make those moves easier.”
Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia added: “This is a huge step toward making Chicago more accessible to those having to choose between gas, a ride on the CTA, or the grocery store. Especially for essential workers who do not have the choice to work remotely, this is a way to provide many folks relief as they commute to work each day. I look forward to continuing this partnership with Mayor Lightfoot and our city’s leaders to help those experiencing economic hardship breathe a sigh of relief.”
Chicago has partnered with Fifth Third Bank and corporate disbursements financial tech company Onbe to handle all transaction fees, the development of the physical prepaid cards and payment processing for the Chicago Moves program.
Chicago residents interested in applying to receive the gas fuel aid can visit Chicago.gov for more information.