Fare Hike, Service Cuts Among Proposed Metra Changes

Riding Metra could soon cost more for commuters.

The transit agency’s leaders are slated to vote Friday on another proposed rate hike which, if approved, would be Metra’s fourth rate hike in four years.

Under the plan, monthly passes, which are popular with suburban commuters, would increase from $9 to $12.50, depending on the zone. That’s more than $100 a year.

Ten-ride tickets would increase to $7.75 and one-way tickets would cost 25 cents more in all zones.

Weekend passes would go from $8 to $10, but would include Friday nights.

For the first time, riders on the North Central, Southwest and Rock Island lines could see cuts in their weekday train service as well, depending on the vote.

Metra leaders said sales tax numbers anad state aid are down and the changes would help close a $45 million budget shortfall for next year.

“The current situation is unsustainable, and threatens the future viability of the important service Metra provides,” Metra Chairman Norman Carlson said in a statement. “With the proper amount of sustained public investment, we can create a system with a long and bright future. It is clearly in the interest of the citizens of northeast Illinois for Metra to do so.”

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