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Metra plans 68 percent fare hike

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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.

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