Metra reminds its customers that fare increases go into effect Feb. 1 and trims to service on four lines begin Feb. 5.
As of Feb. 1:
- The price of One-Way Tickets will increase by 25 cents in all zones (a 2.3 percent to 6.7 percent increase).
- The price of 10-Ride Tickets will increase from $4.25 to $7.75 (8 percent to 12.6 percent) depending on the zone.
- The price of Monthly Passes will increase from $9 to $12.50 (4.1 percent to 8.4 percent) depending on the zone. Monthly Passes are available for purchase in advance, with sales beginning on the 20th of each month.
- The price of the Weekend Pass, which allows unlimited rides throughout the Metra system on both Saturday and Sunday, will increase to $10 from $8.
- The price of some reduced fare tickets and passes will also increase.
The new fare table is here.
Starting Feb. 5, a small number of weekday trains will be curtailed or eliminated on the North Central Service, SouthWest Service and Rock Island Line, and weekend trains will be cut on the Milwaukee District North Line. With the changes, some train runs have been eliminated, some train departure times have changed, some trains have been renumbered and others have changed or added station stops. A brief summary of the changes is here and the new schedules are here. Customers are advised to check the new schedules to understand how their commute may be affected. Paper copies of the new schedules will be available at Metra’s downtown stations on Tuesday, Jan. 25.
In November 2017, the Metra Board approved a $797.2 million operating budget for 2018 that included about $17 million in fare increases and about $3 million in trims in service in order to close a $45 million funding gap. Metra is taking a variety of other actions, including $11 million in efficiencies, to closing the operating budget gap.
The Board also approved a 2018 capital budget totaling $196.8 million, only one-sixth of Metra’s estimated annual need for the maintenance and renewal of its capital assets.
“We are raising fares because everything we did last year will cost more to do this year,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “And we are raising fares because the public subsidies that would normally help us cover those rising costs have been cut. We are simply using these funds to cover the increased costs of operating the railroad.”
As they voted to approve the agency’s 2018 budget and capital program, Board members noted that the shortfalls in funding for both operating and capital needs point to a growing problem with local, state and federal subsidies for public transportation. The sales taxes and state aid that fund about half of Metra’s operating budget and the local, state and federal grants that pay for nearly all of its capital budget are not keeping up with rising costs and the aging system’s replacement and renovation needs.
For detailed information regarding all of Metra’s fares and the agency’s 2018 operating budget and capital plan, please click here.