Metra rail commuters in Evanston would face fare hikes of 68 percent over ten years under a plan introduced before the agency’s board today.

Chicago Business reports the fare hikes — proposed by new Metra board chairman Martin Oberman — would fund a $2.4 billion upgrade to the system’s aging fleet of rail cars and locomotives.

Oberman, in an interview, said the upgrade is essential to the region’s future — that “big employers will simply pick another community” if the system isn’t rebuilt.

Oberman says fare hikes at Metra have lagged inflation and fare increase at comparable commuter rail systems elsewhere.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. More in line with other metro areas

    After living out on the East Coast, it's clear that Metra's fares trail far behind those of other commuter rail agencies. For instance, taking a trip that covers roughly the distance from Evanston to the Loop on New York's Metro North or Long Island Railroad costs between $8-$11 depending on the time of day, far higher than Metra's $4.25. Something had to give, and it appears as though it finally has.

    Not saying the fare hike is good news, but it's important to keep it in perspective.

  2. Has Metra thought about issuing price tiers?

    Keep your monthly passes the same. Bbut hike everything else up, and make the weekend pass good for one day instead of two.

    You do have loyal workers that use your service,

    i would not make them pay more than they already are.

    ~peace, thomas 🙂

  3. As usual they get priorities reversed

    Greater Chicago and certainly Chicago keep getting things backward. They don't make Metra and CTA affordable [or CTA riders feeling safe]. Transportation funds should go the CTA/Metra, fares at least not increase and probably ridership and their economic stability would improve. Instead they keep gas taxes low, build more roads and generally encourage people driving—even when they live within blocks of the CTA let alone Metra. They should make it un-economical to drive not to take Metra/CTA let alone walk or bike.

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