Metra is proposing the most significant fare overhaul in decades – one that would reduce ticket prices for Brookfield and Riverside commuters and get rid of popular systemwide day and monthly passes.
Under the proposed fare changes, which the Metra Board of Directors will vote on in August, the commuter rail system would go from 10 fare zones to four and create a flat $3.75 fare for riders who whose trips don’t begin or end at Union Station and other downtown terminals.
Metra would eliminate the $10 systemwide day pass and $6 day pass, replacing them with a zone-based, one-day pass that would cost the equivalent of two one-way tickets. The 10-Ride tickets, which allow riders to make 10 one-way trips for the price of nine, would be placed with a Ventra-only “bundle” of five day passes that would cost the equivalent of 9.5 one-way tickets.
Most notably, it would replace the $100 monthly pass with zone-based monthly passes that would cost the equivalent of 16 one-way tickets.
All those changes would represent a price decrease for Brookfield and Riverside commuters. The price of one-way tickets to and from Union Station would go down from $5.50 to $3.75, and the monthly pass would cost $75.
The changes come as Metra is facing a fiscal cliff as the federal stimulus funds are expected to run out in 2026. The proposal tries to strike a balance between attracting more riders, especially those who don’t follow traditional suburb-to-downtown commuting patterns, while putting more money in Metra’s coffers.
Last year, Metra proposed eliminating unlimited monthly passes and day passes, but backed down after opposition from the Metra directors representing the collar counties and some parts of suburban Cook County, whose constituents would’ve paid more for the monthly passes.
Metra is currently soliciting feedback on its fare proposal. For more details, and to submit comments, visit Metra’s website or email to 2024FarePlan@metrarr.com.