Frequently Asked Questions



What is Metra?

Metra is the commuter rail agency serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in the Chicago area. It is the sister agency to the Chicago Transit Authority, which provides mass transit rail (the L) and bus service to Chicago and some suburbs, and Pace, which provides bus service primarily in the suburbs.

Where do Metra trains run?

Metra serves more than 100 communities with 241 stations on 11 lines running from Chicago’s downtown. Click on our online system map to see route and station locations.

When do the trains run?

Trains run frequently during weekday rush hours and about every hour during off-peak times. They also operate on weekends on most lines. Click on the Maps & Schedules link for more information.

Does Metra run on major holidays?

Yes. Sunday schedules are in effect on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. On other days, such as pre-holiday dates, modified schedules may be in effect. Check with this website or call the Transit Information Center at 836-7000 (city or suburbs) to see if we are running a modified schedule.

How can I find my route?

Use our easy online trip planner for routes and train times. If you prefer to speak with a live voice, you can call our Passenger Services Department at 312-322-6777 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. or the Travel Information Center, evenings and weekends, at 312-836-7000, city or suburbs.

Where do the lines stop in downtown Chicago?

Metra Electric trains serve Van Buren Station (Van Buren and Michigan) and Millennium Station (Randolph and Michigan). Union Pacific North, Northwest and West line trains use Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Canal). Rock Island trains use LaSalle Street Station (LaSalle and Van Buren). The North Central Service, Milwaukee West and Milwaukee North line trains use the north concourse of Union Station, while the BNSF Railway, SouthWest Service and Heritage Corridor lines use the south concourse of Union Station.

How much is the fare?

Metra operates a distance-based fare system consisting of twelve fare zones. Regular one-way fares to downtown Chicago range from $2.75 from the closest zone, Zone A, to $9.25 from the farthest, Zone M.

What kinds of tickets does Metra sell?

Metra offers a few different ticket options including monthly passes (unlimited travel between fare zones indicated), 10-ride tickets (ten one-way trips), one-way tickets (a single, one-way ride), and an unlimited ride $7 weekend pass. Metra also has different fare programs for seniors, customers with disabilities, families, students and children. For detailed information regarding all of Metra's Fare Programs, click on the Tickets link.

What is the Seniors Ride Free Program?

Senior Citizen/Disability Fares
Senior citizens 65 or older, customers with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders who have an RTA-issued Reduced Fare Permit are eligible for a reduced fare ticket. If you are enrolled in the Illinois Circuit Breaker program and have an RTA-issued Ride Free Circuit Permit, you are eligible to ride free. If you are not in possession of a RTA Reduced Fare Card you must contact the RTA to apply (312) 913-3110.


Metra Electric riders: The credit card vending machines sell only full fare tickets. RTA Reduced Fare Permit-holders who purchase tickets can receive a rate adjustment at one of the downtown station ticket windows.

Is there a discount for military personnel?

Military personnel who provide proper identification indicating that they are on active duty can purchase reduced fare one-way and 10-ride tickets from ticket agents and one-way tickets from conductors. Military fare tickets are sold only at Metra ticket offices or on-board trains.

Where do I buy tickets?

Tickets are available for purchase at all downtown stations and at all outlying stations where a ticket agent is on duty. One-way tickets can be purchased on the train, but if an agent is on duty or a vending machine is available at the station where you boarded, the conductor will charge you an additional $3. Ten-ride tickets and monthly passes also can be purchased online. Questions regarding ticket orders can be e-mailed to ticket_info@metrarr.com

Does Metra replace or refund tickets?

Lost Tickets/Refund Policy (Effective February 1, 2014):

Refunds for unused and unexpired tickets are available as per the following guidelines. No refund or replacement ride will be permitted when tickets have been lost, destroyed, stolen or unaccounted for on the day of travel.


REFUNDS AVAILABLE VIA MAIL:
Any eligible ticket may be submitted to our Revenue Accounting Department for refund. All tickets paid with cash, check, traveler’s checks, gift certificates, etc., ordered via our Ticket by Mail program, or by mixed tender type (more than one form of payment) must be forwarded to our accounting office for processing. The form required to initiate a refund for unused or partially used tickets can be found here, in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of our website, or be obtained from any ticket sales location. Mail the refund form request, along with the tickets, to: Metra Revenue Accounting Department Attn: Refunds – 547 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60661.


Union Pacific Customers: To expedite the refund process or submit TBM payments for tickets purchased from the Union Pacific, please use the following address: Union Pacific Passenger Accounting, P.O. Box 617763 Chicago, IL 60661.


REFUNDS AVAILABLE AT A TICKET SALES LOCATION:
The following tickets may be refunded by a ticket sales agent at any ticket selling location. No matter the original tender type, Metra does not issue cash refunds. Cash refunds will not be given for tickets originally purchased with a debit/credit card; please note the requirements for each type.


Ten-Ride Tickets: (Refunds only available within the first three months from date of purchase and subject to a $5 handling fee).


Refunds are available on unused and unexpired Ten-Ride tickets provided they were purchased using a debit/credit card either at a ticket window or via Ticket by Internet. For tickets purchased at a ticket window, the customer must submit the purchase receipt and the same debit/credit card used for purchase.


For tickets purchased via the Ticket by Internet program, customer must provide the e-mail shipment confirmation, which contains the last four digits of the credit card used and the same credit/debit card.


Partially used refund calculation: The cost of a one-way for the specific zone-pair combination will be deducted for each ride taken.


Monthly Tickets: (Subject to a $5 handling fee if returned after the first day of the month)


Any monthly ticket, other than a Ticket by Mail ticket, purchased using a debit/credit card may be processed for refund at any ticket sales location, provided that the customer presents the purchase receipt and the same debit/credit card used for the purchase. All monthly tickets, regardless of method of payment, will be refunded on a percentage basis depending on the date returned with 100% refunded on or before Day 1 of the month for which the ticket is valid, 85% refunded on Day 2. The amount refunded continues to be reduced by 5% for everyday thereafter until close of business on Day 18 of the month at which time no refund is permitted.

Ventra LinkUp and PlusBus cards are not eligible for refunds.

Ventura Customer Service: 877-669-8386

Other Tickets:
Weekend tickets are non-refundable.
One-Way tickets are non-refundable and valid for 14 days (including the date of purchase).
Tickets purchased with an RTA Fare Check are non-refundable due to current tax laws.
Tickets purchased through an employer sponsored fare media program are eligible for credit through the employer’s program manager.

Can I bring my bike on the train?

Generally yes, except during peak service and during major special events. But see our Bikes on Trains for the full list of rules.

Is smoking allowed?

No. All Metra trains are smoke-free.

What about pets?

Only service animals assisting customers with disabilities are permitted on trains.

Can I bring food on the trains?

Yes, but please be courteous to other riders by remembering to use the trash receptacles.

What are Metra Quiet Cars?

To give passengers some peace and quiet during their commute, Metra has designated Quiet Cars on all morning inbound and evening outbound rush-hour trains. The cars are designed to give riders a space free of some common nuisances such as cellphone calls, loud headphones and loud conversations.


On all lines except the Metra Electric Line, the Quiet Cars are the second car from the locomotive and the second car from the other end of the train on rush-hour trains with six or more cars. If there are five cars or fewer on the train, only the second car from the engine is a Quiet Car. On the Metra Electric Line, only the third car from the south end of the train is a Quiet Car. There are no Quiet Cars on two-car trains.


All Quiet Cars are identified with decals on outside of the car and signage inside the car.


The rules are simple:

- No cell phone calls.

- If passengers must answer their phones, they should make it brief or move to the vestibule or another car.

- Conversations are discouraged; if they must be held they should be short and in subdued voices.

- All electronic devices must be muted, and headphones should not be loud enough for anyone else to hear.


Quiet Cars are in effect on all inbound trains arriving downtown at or before 9 a.m. and all outbound trains leaving downtown between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.


Metra expects Quiet Cars to be largely enforced by peer pressure and conductor intervention when necessary. Many riders said that having a rule in place empowered them to ask noisy people to be quiet or move. Conductors carry small notices that they can discreetly present to passengers who are violating the quiet car rules.


Metra hopes all passengers will remember to treat their fellow passengers with courtesy and respect, no matter where they are sitting. 


Quiet Cars are a registered service mark of Amtrak.

What about alcohol?

Alcoholic beverages are permitted except during certain events and festivals, such as the Taste of Chicago and Blues Fest.

Does Metra operate a Lost and Found office?

Yes. To inquire about lost articles, please visit Contact Metra.  Lost & Found information is located at the bottom of the page.

Is Metra accessible to people with disabilities?

All Metra's train lines are fully accessible. Most stations are also fully accessible or have partial ADA accessibility. If you are in need of assistance, you should call ahead to check the level of accessibility at the stations.

Is there parking at Metra stations?

Monthly permit and/or daily fee parking is available at most stations. However, Metra does not administer permit parking at the stations. Each township, municipality or city in which the station is located has different parking rules and regulations. There is a link to each municipality on appropriate station page.

Is baggage allowed on Metra trains?

There is no checked baggage on Metra trains. Because of limited space, skis, non-folding carriages or other large items cannot be carried. Baggage should not block aisles or other seats. Please comply with train crew instructions.

Who determines Metra policies?

Metra is run by an 11-member Board of Directors made up of representatives of the six-county area. They are appointed by county boards.

How is Metra funded?

Metra receives 55 percent of its funding from fares. The rest is from public subsidies, primarily a small regional transportation sales tax, which also helps to fund the CTA and Pace.

Where are Metra’s headquarters?

We’re at 547 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL, 60661

How can I contact Metra?

You can call our Passenger Services Department at 312-322-6777 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. They'll be happy to answer your questions.  For additional options, please refer to Contact Metra.

Which credit cards does Metra accept on its website?

We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cards. We also take debit cards as long as they have a MasterCard or Visa logo.

How many tickets can be purchased online at one time?

You can purchase up to two monthly passes or up to three 10-ride tickets per transaction online.

Is there a deadline to purchase monthly passes from your website?

Yes. You must buy your pass by the 21st of the previous month. Tickets will then be delivered by the 1st.

What is a My Metra account?

My Metra is a password-protected account that you may establish on our website to track service alerts, set up e-mail notification preferences, manage personal billing information and set up and manage recurring ticket orders.

Do I need to create a My Metra account to order tickets on your website?

No. My Metra accounts are offered as a convenience only and are not required for an online ticket purchase.

What is a recurring order?

You can set up a My Metra account to schedule the regular delivery of monthly passes or 10-ride tickets. First, establish your account. Tell us which tickets you want to order each month and how many of each. Then give us your credit or debit card information. Once your account is established, the same order will be processed each month on the date of your first order, and your credit or debit card will be charged automatically each month. For instance, an order for one October monthly pass placed on Sept. 20th would be processed again on Oct. 20th for one November pass, then on Nov. 20th for a December pass, etc. No need to worry about ordering every month or accidentally missing the deadline for monthly pass sales (the 21st of the prior month). You can even schedule to skip a month if, for example, you are planning to go on vacation.

Will my credit card information be secure when I order tickets online?

Yes, Metra is using a secure, PCI-compliant, web server for its Internet ordering service.

How will I know that my online purchase was processed?

You will receive an e-mail confirming each order placed. You will also receive an e-mail when your tickets are being shipped.

Can I purchase reduced fare tickets on the Internet?

Only persons who qualify under the RTA’s Reduced Fare Program may purchase reduced fare tickets online with a My Metra account and a valid RTA Reduced Fare permit number. This number will be verified by Metra before any reduced fare purchase is processed. Riders who qualify for the Seniors Ride Free Program do not need to purchase tickets.

Who do I contact if I have a question about my order?

Questions regarding ticket orders can be addressed by e-mailing ticket_info@metrarr.com.  Order cancellation can be done by completing this form.

I receive a monthly Transit Check. Can I still order tickets over the Internet?

No. At this time, Transit Check customers cannot use the checks to purchase tickets via the Internet.  Customers should continue to use their current payment method.  Metra and the RTA are working to resolve this matter.