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Metra Approves 2018 Budget With Fare Hikes

CHICAGO (CBS) — Metra’s board voted to approve a $797.2 million dollar budget and capital program. It includes fare increases as well as service cuts on several lines.

 

The commuter rail service will raise ticket prices on One-Way tickets by 25 cents in all zones, Monthly Passes will increase from $9.00 to $12.50 and 10-Ride tickets will jump from $4.25 to $7.75. Both classifications will depend on the zone. Weekend Passes go up from $8.00 to $10.00.

Several weekday trains will either be cut back or eliminated altogether as part of the 2018 budget and capital program. Those include the North Central Service, SouthWest Service and Rock Island Line.

In a news release, Metra said for next year, growth expenses will account for $30 million of its $45 million dollar operating funding deficit.

Board members said shortfalls in funding are part of a growing problem with local, state, and federal subsidies for public transportation. Noting that taxes and grants on the local, state and federal levels “are not keeping up with the needs of aging system’s replacement and renovation needs.”

More than half of the capital funds will be spent on, among other things, rehabbing locomotives and rail cars and bridge replacement projects.

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