Metra board members have approved the rail agency’s third fare hike in as many years, raising prices by more than $11 for monthly pass users.
The hike, approved with a 9-1 vote, was part of a $1.06 billion 2017 budget proposal introduced last month, which included a nearly 6 percent increase for riders. It’s also part of a larger plan put in place last year that would increase fares every year 10 years.
“No one likes to pay higher fares, but unfortunately we can’t ignore our need for more money to invest on our system,” Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno said in a statement. “We hope our customers understand that we are trying to address a serious capital funding shortfall as best we can.”
Last year, Metra fares went up by an average of 10.8 percent as part of the decade-long solution aimed at funding a modernization plan of the aging system.
Over the entire 10 years, fares were set to increase by an average of 68 percent.
The latest hike would raise the cost of a monthly pass by $11.75, a 10-ride by $2.75 and a one-way ticket by .25 cents. The price change is expected to take effect early next year.
Metra said the modernization plan will ultimately reduce delays on its lines and help pay for a federally mandated system used to avoid and prevent trains from colliding.