Metra’s Fare Hike Takes Effect, The Third Increase In 3 Years

CHICAGO (CBS) – Commuters who use Metra are paying more for their rides starting Wednesday.

Metra’s fare increase took effect Wednesday, which is the third increased in the last three years. WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports.

“Every year they are increasing,” said passenger Kamil Yenice. “It’s ridiculous. Our incomes are not going up at the same rate, so it’s not fair.”

Metra one-way passes have increased by 25 cents. 10-ride tickets have increased by $2.75 and monthly passes have increased by $11.75.

“It is what it is. We’re stuck taking the train downtown.”

Bill Stermer is among those who figure that, prices seem to be going up for everything and that Metra has to pay its costs too.

Others are not as charitable, such as Maria Pineda who said she now pays $171 for a monthly pass.

“I think it’s too much, too much increase,” Pineda said. She believes she is not getting her money’s worth.

Commuter Sheril Escartin is also not happy.

“Things are getting more expensive, but we have no choice,” Escartin said.

Depending upon the kind of ticket you buy and how far you are traveling, fares are increasing from about two and a half percent to more than 12 percent.

Escartin said she would like to see improvements go along with the fare increase.

“Maybe, you know, they could be better on time,” said. “They are always having signal problems, especially when the weather is bad. Improve on those [issues]. Maybe better technology, more Wi-Fi.”

Metra said the money generated by the increase will goes towards capital projects.

One month after approving this latest hike, the Metra board voted to give CEO Don Orseno a $28,000 pay raise. Board members said Orseno, who now makes $317,500 annually, was underpaid compared to his peers.

(CBS Chicago/WBBM and The Associated Press contributed to this copy. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE