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Metra announces new fares in effect Feb. 1

Metra is making a variety of changes to its fare structure, prices, and purchase channels effective Feb. 1. Here are the highlights, with details about all the changes below.

New Fare Structure

The changes in fare products and the new prices that take effect Feb. 1 are part of a major restructuring of Metra’s fare system that was approved by the Metra Board of Directors in November. Metra’s goal was to create a fare structure that customers can easily understand, that encourages ridership, simplifies onboard fare collection and  meets Metra’s financial and technical constraints.

Fares under the new structure are set at or below pre-pandemic levels, and promotional fares introduced during the pandemic are being discontinued.

Under the new structure, the number of fare zones is reduced from 10 to 4, with downtown stations assigned to Zone 1 and outlying stations assigned to Zones 2 through 4. The zones are based on a combination of distance from downtown, service patterns and ridership characteristics on each line, which vary.

Due to the switchover to the new fare structure, the February monthly pass will not go on sale from vending machines or in the Ventra app until Feb. 1. To lessen the inconvenience to Metra customers, paper January monthly passes will remain valid until noon on Feb. 5. Starting with the March pass, Metra will resume selling monthly passes on the 20th of the prior month.

10-Ride Tickets

  • The 10-ride ticket will no longer be available for purchase. The last day to purchase a 10-ride ticket will be Jan. 31. Tickets purchased on or before that day will be valid for travel for 90 days. The 10-ride ticket is not refundable.
  • The 10-ride ticket is being replaced with a Day Pass 5-Pack, which can be used on any five days within 90 days of purchase. The Day Pass 5-Pack will be available only in the Ventra app.

Monthly Pass

  • The promotional $100 Super Saver Monthly Pass is being eliminated and monthly pass prices will again be based on distance traveled. All monthly pass prices are lower than pre-pandemic prices.
  • A monthly pass will cost $75 from Zone 2 to Zone 1, $110 from Zone 3 to Zone 1 and $135 from Zone 4 to Zone 1. Monthly passes covering trips that do not begin or end downtown (Zone 1) will cost $75. Passes can be used for unlimited travel between the zones selected on weekdays and anywhere in the system on weekends.

Regional Connect Pass

  • The $30 Regional Connect Pass will be available to Monthly Pass buyers in the Ventra app only for unlimited rides on CTA and Pace. Buyers will need to have a Ventra card registered in the app to which the pass can be added. Click here for instructions.

One-Way Tickets

  • One-Way Tickets to Zone 1 will cost $3.75 from Zone 2, $5.50 from Zone 3 and $6.75 from Zone 4. One-Way Tickets covering trips that do not begin or end downtown (Zone 1) will cost $3.75.
  • One-Way Tickets purchased from vending machines will expire three hours after purchase. One-Way Tickets bought in the Ventra app must be used within 14 days and once activated will expire in three hours. One-Way Tickets bought on the train from a conductor are valid for that trip.
  • One-Way Tickets purchased on or before Jan. 31 will remain valid for 14 days after purchase.

Day Passes or Weekend Passes

  • The weekday Day Pass will be priced at twice the cost of a One-Way Ticket and will be valid for unlimited rides for a single day within the zones selected. The $6 and $10 weekday Day Passes will be discontinued.
  • Day Passes purchased from vending machines will expire at 3 a.m. on the day after purchase; Day Passes bought in the Ventra app must be used within 14 days and once activated will expire at 3 a.m. the next day.
  • Day Passes purchased in the Ventra app on or before Jan. 31, 2024, will remain valid for 7 days after purchase.
  • The $7 Saturday, Sunday, or Holiday Day Pass will still be available from machines, conductors or the Ventra app, and the $10 Weekend Pass still will be available on the Ventra app only.

Incremental fares

  • Incremental fares – a surcharge to travel beyond the zones indicated on the ticket – will be discontinued. Riders will be required to buy a ticket valid for the trip they are taking.

Metra Electric lines

  • The Fair Transit South Cook pilot, which allows all riders on those lines to pay the reduced fare rate for tickets, is ending Jan. 31. Ten-ride tickets bought under the pilot will remain valid for 90 days from the date of purchase, and One-Way Tickets bought under the pilot will remain valid for 14 days from the date of purchase.
  • The new Access pilot will begin Feb. 1, offering reduced fares to low-income Metra riders regionwide. All Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient household members living within the six-county region are eligible for the Access pilot.
  • More details about the Access pilot will be announced in mid-January.

Ticket Windows Closing
Metra is closing its remaining ticket windows as of Feb. 1 and repurposing some of the agents as customer service representatives, including at all of its downtown Chicago stations. 

Homewood and Flossmoor riders can purchase tickets through the Ventra app and from conductors on the trains. 

Metra is temporarily waiving the $5 onboard purchase surcharge during the transition period. Once every station is equipped with the new vending machines, it will be reinstated. No specific timeline is currently available.

The onboard surcharge is enforced when a passenger boards at a station that is staffed with a ticket agent or had a vending machine. Passengers can avoid it by using the Ventra App.

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