CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot alongside city leaders on Thursday announced that prepaid gas and CTA cards would be made available to qualifying Chicagoans amid rising gas prices.
In a Thursday press conference, Lightfoot announced the Chicago Moves program which will dedicate about $12.5 million to help Chicago residents with transportation options as they continue to deal with inflation. If the program is passed by City Council, about 150,000 Chicago households will receive assistance.
Up to 50,000 prepaid gas cards of $150 will be distributed to eligible residents via a lottery system. Applications are limited to one per household. Beginning in May, cards will be distributed in five monthly waves of 10,000 residents.
To be eligible for these, applicants must be residents of the city, at least 18 years old, have a current and valid city sticker with correct mailing information for their vehicle, and have a household income at or below 140% of the Area Median Income for Chicago.
In addition to the prepaid gas cards, the city will also distribute or add value to 100,000 cards for use on CTA in the amount of $50 each.
In order for the program to go into effect, it must first get City Council approval. If it passes, applications for the cards will open on April 27.
Chicago businessman Willie Wilson blasted Lightfoot’s plan, calling on city leaders to suspend the state’s gas tax while criticizing the plan’s lottery system.