CHICAGO — Metra proposed Friday a $1.06 billion budget plan that includes a average 5.8 percent increase in fares, set to take effect Feb. 1 if approved.
The resulting $16.1 million in revenue from the fare hike will help fund "the agency’s huge capital needs," according to a press release.
Ticket prices will change as follows:
• One-way tickets would cost 25 cents more, or 2.4 percent to 7.1 percent more depending on the Metra zone.
• 10-ride tickets would cost $2.75 more, or 2.9 percent to 8.9 percent more.
• Monthly passes would cost $11.75 more, or 4 percent to 12.3 percent more.
Other proposed fare increases include an additional 25 cents on the reduced-fare one-way ticket, an additional $1.50 on the reduced-fare 10-ride ticket and an additional $7.50 on the reduced-fare monthly pass.
“Last year, we said that without a new state bond program, we may need to raise fares even higher than we had projected to fund our capital budget,” Metra executive director and CEO Don Orseno said in a press release.
“By finding budget efficiencies and carefully prioritizing our capital needs, we are proposing a 5.8 percent increase in fare revenue for 2017 — with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward capital improvements,” Orseno said.
The 2017 proposed budget, which covers day-to-day costs of running the commuter rail agency, will set aside $781.2 million for operating costs and $279.5 million for capital improvements.
The proposed budget will be the subject of eight public hearings in the Chicago area on Nov. 2 and 3. The hearings will be webcast live on Metra's website.
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