Chicago offering free gas, transit cards for needy residents as prices spike

Chicago officers will give away free fuel and public transit playing cards to assist struggling Windy Metropolis residents deal with the current spike in gasoline costs.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday introduced the initiative, known as Chicago Strikes, which is able to see the town make investments $12.5 million to problem 50,000 playing cards that will probably be distributed to residents by a lottery — every value $150 on the pump.

One other 100,000 playing cards, every value $50, will probably be distributed to residents to make use of the town’s public transportation system, WMAQ-TV reported.

This system will goal lower-income residents.

“Folks have to have the ability to get to work, faculty, locations of worship, medical places of work, grocery shops,” Lightfoot mentioned at a press convention.

“The aim of this program is to assist make these strikes simpler,” she mentioned.

“I do know from speaking to many residents that they’re feeling the pressure,” Lightfoot mentioned. “There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And lots of are unable to fill their tanks as a lot as they usually would as a result of their {dollars} simply don’t stretch that far.

“So, my administration’s been working by quite a lot of choices to see how we will present the best reduction to as many residents as we will,” she mentioned.

Gasoline costs on the pump have skyrocketed within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to talk with Illinois Lawyer Normal Kwame Raoul in regards to the rising costs.
Brian Cassella
Gas prices
100,000 playing cards, every value $50, will probably be distributed to some residents to make use of Chicago’s public transportation system.
Getty Photographs/Scott Olson
Present gasoline costs are displayed as motorists line up without cost fuel on the BP station at N. Pulaski Street and W. Montrose Avenue on March 17, 2022.

In accordance with the American Automobile Association, the present common worth of a gallon of standard fuel within the US is now $4.225 — up from $2.874 one yr in the past and $3.610 only one month in the past.

In accordance with WMAQ, the typical worth in Chicago is even larger, at $4.843 on Thursday.

Lightfoot mentioned she would additionally ask Illinois Lawyer Normal Kwame Raoul to look into the rising costs, including that she is “very involved about fuel gouging” by service stations.

Chicagoans can begin making use of for the playing cards on April 27.

Candidates have to be Chicago residents no less than 18 years previous, have a legitimate sticker on their autos, and have family incomes under or at 140 p.c of the town’s space median revenue, officers mentioned.

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