Welcome to Metra's information page about its proposed 2018 Budget. Metra has proposed a 2018 operating budget of $797.2 million that includes fare increases and, for the first time, cuts in service in order to close a $45 million budget deficit caused by rising expenses, a reduction in state aid and disappointing sales tax revenues. Metra also proposed a 2018 capital budget that totals $196.8 million from its available funding sources – only one-sixth of its estimated annual need.
The operating budget deficit in 2018 and the continuing, severe shortfall in funding for Metra’s capital reinvestment needs point to a growing problem with local, state and federal subsidies for public transportation in the Chicago area. 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 our aging system’s replacement and renovation needs.
Metra is proposing a combination of fare increases and cuts in expenses, including cutting a small number of trains, to close the budget gap. Under the budget proposal:
- The price of One-Way Tickets would increase by 25 cents in all zones (a 2.3 percent to 6.7 percent increase). Customers who ride Metra 30 times a year would pay an additional $7.50.
- The price of 10-Ride Tickets would increase $4.25 to $7.75 (8 percent to 12.6 percent) depending on the zone.
- The price of Monthly Passes would increase $9 to $12.50 (4.1 percent to 8.4 percent) depending on the zone. That would be an annual increase of $108 to $150.
- The price of Weekend Passes would increase to $10 from $8 but they would now be valid on Friday evenings (trains arriving or leaving downtown after 7 p.m.) in addition to all day Saturday and Sunday.
- Reduced fare tickets also will increase, but an earlier proposal to eliminate the reduced fare Monthly Pass has been scrapped.
- The proposed new fare table is here and a PowerPoint presentation showing the change by ticket type and zone is here.
In addition, a small number of weekday trains would be curtailed or eliminated on the North Central Service, SouthWest Service and Rock Island Line, and weekend trains would be cut on the Milwaukee District North Line. Details are here.
More details about what we are proposing for 2018 and why are contained in the links below. To comment about the budget proposal, please attend one of the public hearings on Nov. 1 or 2 (schedule here). Comments about the budget also can be sent to email@example.com
- Our news release about the proposed budget
- A Q&A about the proposed budget and fare increases
- The public hearing schedule for our proposed budget
- The proposed new fare table
- The proposed service cuts
- Sun-Times editorial about our funding issues
- The full 2018 Proposed Operating and Capital Program and Budget book
- The operating budget PowerPoint presentaton from our October 6 Board of Directors meeting
- The proposed fare increase PowerPoint presentaton from our October 6 Board of Directors meeting
- The proposed service cut PowerPoint presentaton from our October 6 Board of Directors meeting
- The capital budget PowerPoint presentaton from our October 6 Board of Directors meeting