* The House just finished debating an amendment to SB 3336, which would boot RTA Chairman John Gates from his job, require defibrillators on Metra trains and require Metra to set up a Wi-Fi system for its trains.
The amendment passed 57-55-2, but it clearly has a way to go before the actual bill can reach 60 votes.
* The measure was requested by Gov. Quinn, who opposed doing away with the free rides for seniors program and wanted something else out of the deal. It’s now not totally clear whether he’ll sign the free rides reform legislation…
The Illinois Senate approved the measure 54-2 without debate. Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, said the change still would allow senior citizens 65 or older to travel free of charge on local transportation, such as CTA, PACE and Metra, if they are eligible for the circuit breaker program that provides property tax and pharmaceutical assistance.
“Almost 60 percent of the seniors currently riding for free will still be eligible to ride without charge under the new eligibility requirements,” Trotter said. “The remaining seniors would still be able to ride for the discounted price.”
A household of two senior citizens with an income of less than $34,000 a year still would be eligible for free rides, said House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago.
Seniors ineligible for the free rides still would be able to ride for half price, Trotter said.