BEVERLY — Metra ticket offices at the 95th and 99th street stations in Beverly will close March 14.
The commuter rail service announced the closure Wednesday morning, pinning the decision on poor ticket sales at the stations along its Rock Island District line.
The ticket vendor at the 95th Street station was selling an average of 39 tickets per day. About 525 people board the train at this station on typical weekdays, Metra said in a news release.
The vendor at 99th Street was selling about 58 tickets a day with roughly 620 people boarding the train on weekdays, Metra said, adding that the ticket sales at these two locations were the lowest of all of Metra's manned stations.
“We continue to look for ways to be more efficient with our limited resources, and redeploying the agents from these stations to locations where we need more manpower is simply a good business practice,” said Don Orseno, Metra's chief executive officer.
Commuters will be able to buy a paper ticket onboard from a conductor at no extra cost after the offices close. Metra riders also can buy tickets from an agent or a vending machine at the Downtown stations.
Metra has begun selling tickets via its website, too. And in November, the train service introduced a mobile ticket system that relies on smartphones equipped with the free Ventra app. Some 1 million tickets were bought via the app within 60 days of its launch, Metra officials said.
“Technology is changing the way Metra customers are buying tickets,” Orseno said.
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