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Metra seeks rider input on fare restructuring

Some of the fare changes are aimed at encouraging off-peak travel.
Photo – Metra

Metra next month will host meetings to gather rider feedback about several changes to the agency's fare structure, including a plan to introduce a day pass for travel between any two zones.

The aim is to create a flexible fare structure that allows Metra to segment and price markets differently, and to give the railroad more flexibility to increase fare revenue while providing more control over ridership impacts from fare changes, agency officials said in a press release.

The railroad also hopes to encourage off-peak travel and better use off-peak capacity, they said.

To that end, the railroad is considering discounting non-rush hour trips to and from downtown stations. Metra also is looking into redefining its inner zones and consolidating its outer zones.

In summer 2016, Metra hired Four Nines Technology to study the railroad's fare structure, determine opportunities for changes and develop a model for the railroad to evaluate changes. The company surveyed Metra riders in spring 2017.

"What we are hoping to do is to modify our fare structure and ticket options in ways that work well for Metra's customers and also help Metra make the best use of available resources and capacity," said Metra Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Jim Derwinski.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/23/2018