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Metra proposes 2010 budget, fare increase


Last week, Chicago’s Metra unveiled its proposed $613 million operating budget for 2010. The recession has caused sales tax receipts to hit a 10-year low, and although the budget does not include changes to commuter-rail service, it does propose a fare hike.

Metra would raise one-way fares by about 6 percent, or an average of about 30 cents per ticket, depending on the travel zone. Weekend fares would increase from $5 to $7. The fare hikes would take effect Feb. 1.

Metra already has adopted a series of other cost-control measures that have saved about $4 million in administrative costs, such as leaving about 150 open positions unfilled, freezing management salaries and asking non-union employees to pay more for their health insurance.

The agency will hold public hearings during the next several weeks to obtain feedback on the budget proposal.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/20/2009