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Chicago hands out free gas cards

Words by Smiley Team

Chicago and Illinois as a whole are dealing with the gas price crisis just like the rest of the United States.

The average gas price in Illinois is about 20 cents higher than the national average. People are having to choose between groceries and fuel with growing inflation nipping at the heels. The “Chicago Moves” initiative is looking to take some pressure off of Chicago residents.

“Chicago Moves endeavors to provide much needed relief and ease some of this pain,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “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.” 

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The plan is to disperse over 50,000 pre-loaded gas cards worth about $150 dollars each and 100,000 pre-loaded cards for Chicago public transit worth about five round trips. The program will cost about $12.5 million to implement, using $7.5 million for the prepaid gas cards and $5 million for the CTA passes.

“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,” said Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia. “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.”

Chicago residents can begin applying for the cards beginning on April 27 and are limited to one application per household. 

The cards will be available for those at or below the median income level in Chicago as long as you’re at least 18 years old, a Chicago resident, and have a current and valid city sticker with correct mailing information for their vehicle. The program will give priority to the South and West side neighborhoods, where public transportation is not accessible or is the only option.

“Surging costs are making it harder for our neighbors to make ends meet. Regardless of what global forces are at play, we are heartened by local efforts to meet the urgent financial needs of the community,” said Director of Economic Security for Illinois Harish I. Patel.

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Check out World Vision, who do work looking to help alleviate or eliminate poverty in the United States

DONATE: You can donate to Oxfam America, which works to fight inequality and end poverty across the nation. 


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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