Metra made a variety of changes to its fare structure, prices, and purchase channels effective Feb. 1. Here are the highlights, with details about all the changes below.
- There is a new fare structure with a variety of new fare prices, products, and rules. Fares under the new structure are set at or below pre-pandemic levels.
- Metra closed its remaining ticket windows. Vending machines have been installed at the busiest stations.
- The 10-Ride Ticket is no longer available for purchase.
- The Fair Transit South Cook pilot ended on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines; it was replaced with the Access Pilot Program, which allows reduced fares for low-income riders on all lines.
- The Regional Connect Pass is available in the Ventra app only.
The changes in fare products and the new prices that took effect Feb. 1 are part of a major restructuring of Metra’s fare system that was approved by the Metra Board of Directors in November. Metra's goal was to create a fare structure that customers can easily understand, that encourages ridership, simplifies onboard fare collection, and meets Metra’s financial and technical constraints.
Fares under the new structure are set at or below pre-pandemic levels, and promotional fares introduced during the pandemic are being discontinued. Reduced fare rates are still available to certain groups, see the Q&A for more details.
Under the new structure, the number of fare zones is reduced from 10 to 4, with downtown stations assigned to Zone 1 and outlying stations assigned to Zones 2 through 4. The zones are based on a combination of distance from downtown, service patterns and ridership characteristics on each line, which vary.
- The 10-Ride Ticket is no longer be available for purchase. Tickets purchased before Feb. 1 will be valid for travel for 90 days after purchase. Ten-Ride Tickets are not refundable.
- The 10-Ride Ticket was replaced with a Day Pass 5-Pack: The five Day Passes can be used on any five days within 90 days of purchase. The Day Pass 5-Pack is available only in the Ventra app.
- The promotional $100 Super Saver Monthly Pass was eliminated and Monthly Pass prices are again based on distance traveled. All Monthly Pass prices are lower than pre-pandemic prices.
- A Monthly Pass costs $75 from Zone 2 to Zone 1, $110 from Zone 3 to Zone 1 and $135 from Zone 4 to Zone 1. Monthly Passes covering trips that do not begin or end downtown (Zone 1) cost $75. Passes can be used for unlimited travel between the zones selected on weekdays and anywhere in the system on weekends.
- The $30 Regional Connect Pass is available to Monthly Pass buyers in the Ventra app only for unlimited rides on CTA and Pace. Buyers need to have a Ventra card registered in the app to which the pass can be added. Click here for instructions.
If you buy One-Way Tickets:
- One-Way Tickets to Zone 1 cost $3.75 from Zone 2, $5.50 from Zone 3 and $6.75 from Zone 4. One-Way Tickets covering trips that do not begin or end downtown (Zone 1) cost $3.75.
- One-Way Tickets purchased from vending machines expire three hours after purchase. One-Way Tickets bought in the Ventra app must be used within 14 days and once activated expire in three hours. One-Way Tickets bought on the train from a conductor are valid for that trip.
- One-Way Tickets purchased on or before Jan. 31, 2024, will remain valid for 14 days after purchase.
If you buy Day Passes or Weekend Passes:
- The weekday Day Pass is priced at twice the cost of a One-Way Ticket and is be valid for unlimited rides for a single day within the zones selected. The $6 and $10 weekday Day Passes are discontinued.
- Day Passes purchased from vending machines will expire at 3 a.m. on the day after purchase; Day Passes bought in the Ventra app must be used within 14 days and once activated will expire at 3 a.m. the next day.
- Day Passes purchased in the Ventra app on or before Jan. 31, 2024, will remain valid for 7 days after purchase.
- The $7 Saturday, Sunday, or Holiday Day Pass is still available from machines, conductors or the Ventra app, and the $10 Weekend Pass is still will be available on the Ventra app only.
- Incremental fares – a surcharge to travel beyond the zones indicated on the ticket – are discontinued. Riders will be required to buy a ticket valid for the trip they are taking.
- The Fair Transit South Cook pilot, which allowed all riders on those lines to pay the reduced fare rate for tickets, ended Jan. 31. Ten-Ride Tickets bought under the pilot will remain valid for 90 days from the date of purchase, and One-Way Tickets bought under the pilot will remain valid for 14 days from the date of purchase.
- The new Access pilot began Feb. 1, offering reduced fares to low-income Metra riders regionwide. All Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient household members living within the six-county region are eligible for the Access pilot.
- More details about the Access pilot can be found here.
Metra has closed its remaining ticket windows and repurposed some of the agents as customer service representatives. Tickets are available for purchase through the Ventra app, from new ticket vending machines that have been installed at the busiest stations (see here for list), and from conductors on the trains.
New Fare Zone Map
(To see a list of proposed zone assignments by line, click here)
Questions and Answers