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Metra to shutter two ticket offices as digital fare sales increase

Metra's Oak Park Station.
Photo – Metra

Metra this week will close ticket offices at two stations due to declining on-site sales.

As of Friday, the commuter railroad will no longer sell tickets at the UP West Line Oak Park and the UP North Line Kenilworth stations. Ticket sales have declined at many Metra stations as passengers switched to online and mobile purchasing, agency officials said in a press release.

Although the ticket office is closing, riders will continue have access to station facilities. The ticket agent positions are being eliminated through attrition, Metra officials said.

"Technology is changing the way our customers buy Metra tickets. By the end of last year, about 30 percent of all tickets were being purchased through the Ventra app," said Metra Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Don Orseno. "Evaluating the best use of our limited resources and redeploying the agents from these stations to locations where we need more manpower is simply a good business practice."

Riders who board at the Oak Park and Kenilworth stations will be able to use cash to buy a one-way paper ticket onboard at no extra cost, Metra officials said. Passengers also can buy tickets from an agent or vending machines at all five downtown Chicago stations, online or through the Ventra app.

Metra has closed on-site ticket sales at the Riverside and Brookfield stations on the BNSF Line, the Bensenville Station on the Milwaukee West line, and the Hubbard Woods and Lake Bluff stations on the UP North Line.

To learn about other passenger railroads' transition to mobile apps, read this feature from Progressive Railroading's January issue.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/27/2017