CHICAGO (CBS) — New fare increases for Metra riders went into effect on Thursday, and several routes were facing service cuts starting next week.
The fare hikes and service reductions were approved as part of the rail agency’s $797 million budget and capital program for 2018, and will help eliminate a $45 million deficit.
One-way tickets will rise by 25 cents in all zones. Ten-ride tickets will jump $4.25 to $7.75, depending on the zone. Monthly fares – the most popular ticket for riders – will go up between $9 and $12.50, also depending on the zone. Tickets for unlimited rides on the weekends will go up from $8 to $10.
This was the fourth year in a row Metra has raised fares.
A handful of trains also will be eliminated or altered, starting Monday, on five Metra lines – Milwaukee District North, North Central Service, Southwest Service, Heritage Corridor, and Rock Island Line. For a summary of the schedule changes, click here. https://metrarail.com/sites/default/files/assets/riding-metra/combined_schedule_adjustments_feb2018.pdf
Metra also will chop utility costs and advertising spending. The agency also will impose a hiring freeze.
Agency officials also noted they still need to pay for some capital improvements, including “positive train control” systems mandated by Congress.
Metra’s fare hikes follow increases at the CTA and Pace last month.