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Price Rising For Metra Link-Up Pass To CTA, Pace

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

Metra locomotive (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — When Metra fares increase Feb. 1, so will the price of the Link-Up Pass many Metra monthly ticketholders use to ride the CTA and Pace.

Historically, the Link-Up Pass has been sold at a discount. That ends with the increase in price from $39 a month to $45.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The Link-Up is the closest thing Chicago-area transit agencies offer to a universal pass. It is accepted at all times by Pace and during rush hours by the Chicago Transit Authority, limited on the CTA to 6-9:30 a.m. and 3:30-7 p.m. weekdays.

The CTA provides about 2.8 million rides a year using the Link-Up Pass, mostly on downtown bus routes radiating to and from Metra stations, while Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said that the commuter bus agency provided roughly 220,000 rides to Link-Up passholders in 2011. The two agencies split the revenue.

Historically, the CTA has received 70 percent of the revenue and Pace 30 percent, but newly-approved revisions to the agencies’ Link-Up agreement change that to an 85-15 split, generating $500,000 a year for the CTA.

Wilmot said that Pace will get some of the money back in increased compensation for its acceptance of CTA monthly passes.

Metra has offered the Link-Up Pass since 1986. Executive Director Alex Clifford said it will continue to do so as a “convenience” to its monthly passholders.