Some Chicago Residents Can Now Apply for the City's Prepaid Gas and Public Transit Card Lottery

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  • Gas and transit prices are on the rise all around the country.
  • Eligible Chicago residents can apply for prepaid transit or gas cards worth $50 to $150.
  • The city will choose lottery winners through monthly drawings.

If you live in Chicago, you may be able to apply for a prepaid gas or transit card to help cover transportation expenses.

The city of Chicago wants to help its residents as everyday costs continue to rise. High gas prices are creating additional financial stress for many households. Chicago residents can now apply for the city's prepaid gas and public transit card lottery to help reduce the additional costs associated with transportation expenses. Find out more about this news and see if you qualify.

Some Chicago residents will get relief in the form of prepaid cards

Through the $12.5 million Chicago Moves program, the city will distribute prepaid gas and transit cards to eligible residents through a lottery system. The program will give away a total of 50,000 gas cards preloaded with $150 each and 100,000 transit cards preloaded with $50 each.

Residents can use transit cards to purchase fares for public transportation purposes at Ventra vending machines. Residents can use gas cards to buy gas at pumps located at any filling station within Chicago.

The program will prioritize residents with the most need:

  • 75% of these cards will be awarded to residents in community areas that face higher mobility hardships.
  • The remaining 25% of cards will be distributed citywide in equal amounts to each ward.

Find out if you're eligible

You're eligible to apply for the lottery if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You're a Chicago resident
  • You're at least 18 years of age
  • Your household income is at or below 100% of the area median income for Chicago

If you're applying for the gas card lottery, you must also have a current and valid city sticker with the correct mailing information for your vehicle.

Are you wondering if you meet the income qualifications? The total household income for a two-person household must not exceed $74,600. You can find additional income requirement information at Chicago.Gov/ChicagoMoves.

What you need to know about the application process

If you hope to be awarded a prepaid gas or transit card, you'll need to apply. You can apply for a prepaid gas card or a prepaid transit card.

There are three ways to apply:

  • Apply online at Chicago.Gov/ChicagoMoves
  • Apply in person at any Chicago Public Library location
  • Apply by mail by sending a letter and completed application to the following address:

ATTN: Dept. of Finance: Chicago Moves

121 N. LaSalle St., 7th Floor

Chicago, IL 6060

How the lottery will work

Winners will be selected the second week of each month from May through September and will be notified by email.

To be considered for the monthly drawing, you must apply by the first day of that month. Applicants who aren't selected will automatically be entered into future monthly drawings. For that reason, it's best to apply sooner rather than later.

Cards will be distributed each month by mail or can be picked up in person at City Hall. When you complete an application, you can choose your preferred delivery method.

Don't ignore assistance programs if you need help

If you're a Chicago resident eligible to apply for this lottery, you should fill out an application. A prepaid gas or transit card could help you reduce your monthly spending so you can work to make other financial goals happen.

We recently discussed another program that will help Chicagoans. Low-income residents have until May 13 to apply for a pilot guaranteed income program that will pay participants $500 monthly for one year.

Assistance programs can help individuals and families improve their financial situation. Hopefully, more cities and states will adopt assistance programs that help residents as prices continue to soar.

Are you feeling additional financial strain due to inflation? For money-saving tips and resources, check out these personal finance resources.

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