Metra Announces Price Hikes

Metra, Chicago's regional rail provider, has announced that it will increase fares starting in February 2012. For over 300,000 weekday riders, the price increase will mean hundreds of dollars more in fares per year.

Like many other transit agencies, Metra has faced repeated budget deficits during the recession, according to reporter Scott Martin.

Martin also explains that the reason Metra has decided to apply these increases is because, as stated by new management, "the need for capital investment is reaching a tipping point, risking safety, speed, and service. The 2012 budget will end the pattern of using capital funds for operating expenses, leaving a $53 million gap in the budget."

In 2008, fares were last increased by 10 percent. This time around, service cuts were proposed, but riders strongly rejected them. Instead, Martin said that Metra put forward the current plan of fare increases averaging 25 percent.

Full Story: Chicago regional rail passengers to be hit with sharp fare hikes

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