Metra today reminded customers about the fare increase scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1. Approved by the Metra Board of Directors last November, the increase will generate 2 percent in additional fare revenue to fund a portion of the new operating costs for the federally mandated Positive Train Control (PTC) safety system and the purchase or rehabilitation of railcars and locomotives as part of Metra’s 10-year, $2.4 billion modernization plan.
In addition, the surcharge to purchase train tickets from a conductor onboard when an agent or ticket vending machine is available will change from $3 per person to $5 per group beginning Feb. 1. This change was approved by the Metra Board of Directors as part of the 2015 budget but was postponed until mobile ticketing was introduced. Metra customers are encouraged to download the new Ventra App, which will allow them to buy any kind of Metra mobile ticket anytime, anywhere, including onboard the train, so they can avoid the penalty.
Last year, Metra approved a $945.5 million budget for 2016 that provides for $759.8 million in operating costs and $185.7 million to fund capital improvements. The agency originally had projected that it would likely need a 5 percent increase in fare revenue in 2016, including a 3 percent increase to cover operating costs. However, Metra was able to cover inflationary cost growth with $5.7 million in budget efficiencies, lower gas prices and higher regional sales tax receipts. Therefore, the Metra Board approved a 2 percent net increase in fare revenue instead of 5 percent to generate $6.5 million in new revenue.
Metra customers who buy One-Way Tickets will pay a quarter more per ticket, an increase of 2.4 percent to 7.7 percent depending on the zone. If these customers take the train 30 times a year, they will pay an additional $7.50 annually to ride Metra.
Metra customers who buy 10-Ride Tickets will pay $1.75 more or 17 cents more per trip. The increase works out to 1.9 percent to 6 percent, depending on the zone. If these customers ride the train to work about half the time, they will pay $3.50 more per month and $42 more per year.
Metra customers who buy a Monthly Pass will pay $2.50 more per month, an increase of 0.9 percent to 2.7 percent, depending on the zone. Assuming most of these customers use Metra to commute full-time to work each month, they will pay about 12 cents more per day and $30 more per year.
Other fare increases include an additional 75 cents on the reduced fare 10-Ride Ticket and $1.25 on the reduced fare Monthly Pass.
Even with these increases, Metra’s one-way and monthly fares remain the lowest of any of its peer railroads in the nation.
For more information about fares, please click here.