“Chicago Moves” Provides Relief to Nearly 45,000 Residents in First Two Waves of Lottery Selections
Approximately 20,000 gas cards and 25,000 transit cards distributed through the first and second waves of lottery selections
CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that approximately 10,000 gas cards have been distributed or are awaiting pickup at City Hall. An additional 25,000 transit cards and 10,000 gas cards will soon be in the hands of qualified applicants in the coming weeks. The cards are distributed through Chicago Moves, a financial assistance program aimed at providing financial relief for Chicago residents struggling with transportation expenses.
"The robust response to our Chicago Moves program demonstrates the vast need for this kind of assistance," said Mayor Lightfoot. "People are experiencing economic hardship due to the skyrocketing inflation and the cost of gas, but the City is committed to providing continued financial relief to combat these challenging times. I'm grateful for all of the work that went into Chicago Moves helping our residents to make a living, enjoy our summer, and keep Chicago moving."
Just over a month after Mayor Lightfoot launched Chicago Moves, the City’s $12.5M transit relief response to spiking gas costs and rising inflation, 90,000 Chicagoans have already submitted applications to receive a gas or transit card. Selected participants have the choice to receive their card through the mail or to pick it up from a designated location.
William Bullion, a director for a local theatre company, received the first Chicago Moves gas card, valued at $150, during a visit to the 39th ward by Mayor Lightfoot and Jennie Huang Bennett, Chief Financial Officer at the City of Chicago.
“So, I was going back to rehearsal for the first time in three years, and the high price of gas was a rude awakening,” said Bullion, who had been working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Emptying the tank every so often was a new experience, so I appreciate this program.”
Another early recipient, Jacqueline Ezell, says the transportation assistance will help with the high cost of driving to accomplish her daily chores.
“I needed that because I take my grandkids back and forth to school,” said Ezell. “Then, we have to go to the grocery store, and it’s just hard on us with the gas.”
Seventy-five percent of the prepaid gas and transit cards will be given to those who reside in high mobility hardship community areas. These are areas determined by the length of time residents spend traveling to work, the amount of income spent on transportation, and the number of residents with one or more disabilities. Selected participants residing in high mobility hardship areas met all eligibility requirements and were selected through a lottery stratified by area. The remaining 25% of the prepaid gas and transit cards will be distributed in equal amounts to each ward.
The next round of recipients will be selected during a lottery scheduled in the first week of July. Previous lottery recipients were selected the first week of May and June. To be eligible Chicagoans must be at least 18 years old, meet average or below average income criteria, have a valid email and live in the City of Chicago. Gas card applicants must also have a valid and current city sticker. If an eligible applicant is not selected, their entry is carried over and included in each subsequent gas or transit card lottery.
Applications will be accepted through September 1st and Chicago residents can apply online at chicago.gov/ChicagoMoves, or fill out a paper application at any Chicago Public Library, although online application will allow for faster processing. Applicants can only apply for one of the prepaid gas cards or prepaid transit cards, and applications are limited to one per household. Residents can select whether they would like their card mailed or made available for pick-up at City Hall.