City Cast

How Your Metra Ride Could Change

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on August 23
A Metra train in 2022

A Metra train in 2022. (Scott Olson / Getty)

Hopping on the Metra to avoid traffic or getting ghosted by CTA? Check out the commuter railway’s proposed changes that could affect your ride — including the cost.

A map of Metra's proposed fair zones.

Proposed fair zones. (Metra)

How Has Ridership Been?

Ridership is slowly recovering from the pandemic, with Metra seeing 2.9 registered trips in June, less than half of the 6.4 million rides at the same time in 2019, according to WBEZ.

What is Metra Proposing?

In an effort to boost ridership before federal relief runs out by the end of the year, the agency has suggested:

  • Having four zones instead of 10, based on proximity from downtown.
  • Fare restructuring to match the zone changes, including dumping the popular 10-ride pass for other ride packages.
  • Marketing to infrequent riders to take the Metra more often — like a day trip to the Brookfield Zoo or running an errand to Ikea.

What’s Next?

Feedback provided by the public will be incorporated into a final proposal. Public hearings will happen ahead of an expected vote by the Metra Board of Directors in November. Changes could go into effect by February.

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