For the fourth year in a row, Metra is increasing ticket prices.
Metra officials say this is in response to a $45 million budget shortfall, which Metra attributes to “rising expenses, a reduction in state aid and disappointing sales tax revenues.”
Metra commuters could see one-way tickets increase by 25 cents in all zones and anywhere from 4.1 percent to 12.6 percent for 10-ride tickets and monthly passes.
For travelers going from the Naperville station to Chicago that means a monthly pass would increase from $199.50 to $210.25, a five percent increase.
Some are not happy about the change.
“What else are you going to do if you need to get somewhere? They can charge any price they want, and we’d have to take it,” said one commuter.
“I guess it’ll make it a little bit harder to get to work, but I’ll figure it out,” Lex Miller said.
But others we spoke with say the increase is worth it.
“The Metra train is the only way I can get in and out of the city pretty easily, and it’s kind of worth it,” said Emily Donahue.
“A month it costs about $1500 to $2,000 to drive a car down there if you’re putting in gas, maintenance and parking. Significantly less even with the price increase from Metra,” Reid Stone said.
For the first time ever, Metra will also be cutting some services to try to close the budget gap.
Some weekday services being shortened or cut will be along the North Central Service, Southwest Service, and the Rock Island Line.
Weekend service will also be cut along the Milwaukee District North Line.
In a statement, Metra officials wrote, “Clearly this model is not working… We need a long-term, predictable source of funding to ensure our agency’s financial sustainability.”
Metra will be holding public hearings regarding the budget on November 1st and 2nd.
You can find details on the meeting closest to you on their website.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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