Metra Says Take a Fare Hike

One-way, weekend fares go up

By BJ Lutz
|  Saturday, Nov 14, 2009  |  Updated 9:11 AM CDT
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The Metra Board voted to increase one-way and weekend fares about $.30 each beginning Feb 1. The move will affect roughly 20 percent of riders, Metra said.

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Chicago Transit Authority commuters may have dodged a fare hike for now, but Metra riders weren't as lucky this Friday the 13th.

The Metra Board voted to increase one-way and weekend fares about $.30 each beginning Feb 1. The move will affect roughly 20 percent of riders, Metra said.

The penalty for buying a ticket aboard the train also increased, up $1 from $2.  The biggest increase will come on the weekends. The cost of an unlimited ride ticket will bump up $2.

Officials said they hope more people will buy 10-ride tickets and monthly passes, which can now be purchased online using a credit card.  Fares for those tickets will not rise.

Unlike the CTA, the Metra says it can't put off the fare increases.

"Yes, they were able to postpone the fare increases, but they're going through significant service cuts," said Phillip Pagano, Metra's Executive Director.

To balance its $613 million budget, Metra is also tightening its own belt by freezing management salaries and leaving about 150 positions unfilled.

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