Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago, has introduced a program that will give thousands of residents in the city free gas and public transportation cards. The program won the City Council’s approval during a recent council meeting.
The proposal for free gas cards
The program is now set to distribute a total of 50,000 pre-loaded cards worth $150 each for gas and 100,000 pre-loaded cards worth $50 each for public transportation via a lottery. The proposal received 26 yes votes and 23 no votes during the council meeting, which was presided over by Mayor Lightfoot. Sources reported that several aldermen called the program a campaign gimmick during the meeting.
Officials have now stated that residents can begin applying for the gas and public transit cards starting Wednesday (April 27).
Details of the free gas card program
The city of Chicago will be using a lottery system to distribute the gas and public transit cards. Chicago residents will have to apply to earn a card, and the applications, at present, are limited to just one per person per household. The lottery will only accept applications from eligible individuals.
To be eligible to receive either the free gas or public transit card, applicants must meet the following conditions:
– Must be residing in Chicago
– Must be at least 18 years of age
– Should have a current and valid city sticker with mailing information for their vehicle
– Must be bringing in a household income at or below 100 percent of the Area Median Income
According to recent data, the median household income for a family of four in the Chicago area is $93,200.
Mayor Lightfoot also has plans to reserve about 75 percent of the gas cards for those who live in the West Side and South neighborhoods. The cards will start being distributed from May onward to 10,000 residents at a time.
Mayoral candidate criticizes Lightfoot’s program
Chicago businessman Willie Wilson, who recently announced that he has entered the 2023 mayoral race, held his third million dollar gas giveaway last week. Wilson called Lightfoot’s program a “political stunt.” Wilson has already held two gas giveaways in March. Wilson also declared that he would blow the caps on fundraising by making six-figure charitable donations to the ‘Willie Wilson for Mayor’ campaign fund that he created in 2018.
At present, the price for a gallon of gas is $4.134 on average. In Illinois, the average price for a gallon of gas is $4.394, which is higher than the national average. However, this is down from last month, when the average cost amounted to $4.494.