Metra Rate Hike Approved

November 11, 2011

Local train riders are going to have to start dishing out more to get back to their metro Chicago real estate: Metra’s rates are going up.

The Metra Board of Directors on Friday unveiled the agency’s 2012 budget, which includes fare increases on all ticket types starting February 1, 2012, in an attempt to close a projected budget gap of $53.6 million.

The board had been debating for months on whether to raise fares. The group even set up an online survey asking respondents if they would rather pay more or lose services. About 80 percent said they would pay more.

Some of the proposed Metra fare changes:

*One-way tickets will increase an average of 15.7 percent across all fare zones; reduced fare one-way tickets will rise an average of 10.3 percent.

*Ten-ride tickets will go up an average of 30 percent; reduced fare 10-ride tickets will increase an average of 18.9 percent.

*Monthly passes will jump an average of 29.4 percent; reduced fare monthly passes will go up an average of 10.8 percent.

*All together, the overall average increase is 25.1 percent.

The board also agreed on several fare policy changes that would also begin on February 1, including:

*One-way tickets will be valid for only 14 days, instead of a year, and will no longer be refundable.

*The 10-ride ticket discount will be reduced to 10 rides for the price of nine, rather than 10 for the price of eight.

*Ten-ride tickets are valid for a year, but will be refundable only within three months of the date of purchase.

*Monthly passes will be valid through the end of the month instead of noon on the first day of the following month.

*The Metra subsidy for the Link-Up and PlusBus tickets will be eliminated and riders will have to pay the full costs of those passes. The new price of the tickets is being worked out with the CTA and Pace.

*Young adult fares on weekends and holidays will be eliminated.

The budget will now be forwarded to the Regional Transportation Authority, which will vote on it in December.

To see the new 2012 budget fares, click here.

Categories: Economy

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