Thousands of fraudulent free rides have been taken on Chicago's mass-transit system by people using passes issued to now-deceased senior citizens, officials said Monday.
The Regional Transportation Authority found that at least 164 senior free-ride cards remained in use after the person to whom the card was issued had died. One card alone racked up as many as 1,400 free trips, officials said.
An RTA audit turned up about 25,000 fraudulent free rides in 2009, costing the transit agencies about $50,000, said Grace Gallucci, RTA deputy executive director.
Although this is a relatively small amount of revenue and ridership, RTA officials fear more widespread abuse of the free-rides program is taking place.