What Is Chicago’s “Chicago Moves” Stimulus Plan? – In March, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a $12.5 million direct relief payment plan, designed to relieve the pressure of paying for transport or paying for gas at the pump.
Under the plan, 50,000 drivers will receive $150 prepaid gas cards and 100,000 riders would be given $50 prepaid transit cards for use on buses and trains.
The scheme, known as “Chicago Moves,” was created in response to the rising cost of gas and inflation. The program puts aside $6.5 million for the $150 prepaid gas cards, and $5 million for the prepaid public transit cards.
“Chicago Moves endeavors to provide much needed relief and ease some of this pain. By subsidizing the cost of gas and transit, this program will enable participants to save their resources for other critical expenses,” Lightfoot said in a statement in March.
“Chicago is a city that moves. People have to be able to get to work, school, places of worship, medical offices, grocery stores. The goal of this program is to help make those moves easier.”
Who Is Eligible?
To apply for the cards, you must be a resident of Chicago, at least 18 years of age, and have a current and valid City sticker with correct mailing information for your vehicle.
The cards are also only available to those who have an income that is either at or below 140% of the Area Median Income for Chicago – meaning high earners will be ruled out of the scheme.
To apply for the prepaid public transport cards, one must simply be a resident of Chicago and also have an income that is at or below 140% of the Area Median Income for Chicago.
You can learn more about the Area Median Income with this chart, which also helps you determine your eligibility for the Chicago Moves Scheme.
How Are Applicants Chosen?
The Chicago Moves scheme is a lottery that allows people to apply every month. Applications opened on April 27 this year. The cards are distributed every month between May and September, with a deadline each month of the 1st of the month.
When applying, using this application form, you will not be expected to complete the process each month. When you apply for one month, you will be automatically enrolled in the lottery again the next month.
That means there are only two days left until the applications for May comes to an end.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.