Metra commuters upset over latest fare hike

February 7, 2012 by  

The suburban commuter train line that makes it possible for many Chicago area residents to get from point A to point B each day says it desperately needs more money to continue operating. Commuters who rely on the train were not pleased to learn of the 25 percent fare hike recently announced by Metropolitan Rail Lines or Metra.

To add salt to the wound, restrictions were placed on passengers who wanted to stock up on the cheaper fare before the price hike went into effect. Metra policy clear forbids stockpiling, commuters were allowed to purchase only one month’s worth of 10 ride passes at the lower price.

Commuters were previously permitted to stock up on rail passes before higher prices kicked in but it wasn’t feasible this time around, explained Metra spokesman Michael Gillis. Commuters had no choice but to get on board with the new fares.

Metra said there simply was no way of getting around the latest fare hike. Rail line officials say it’s needed to cap the more than $53 million budget deficit and to pay for infrastructure improvements. Printing services would come in handy to note the new price of passes or individual ticket prices, although many riders might not like what they see.

Metra operates a dozen suburban commuter train lines from several terminals in downtown Chicago including Chicago-Union Station, Chicago-Ogilvie Transportation Center, Chicago-LaSalle Street Station and Chicago-Millennium Station. Service runs every one to two hours except during rush hour when commuter trains run more frequently.