Metra Revamps Website for Credit Cards
On Wednesday, Metra will roll out a new website offering riders the convenience of buying tickets online by credit card. Revolutionary, given that for more than 150 years you could only buy a Metra ticket with cash or check. The "Ticket-by-Internet" feature will allow a rider to order up to two monthly tickets and three 10-ride tickets per transaction which Metra sends to you by mail. Regular commuters can go to the website and create a "My Metra" account to manage billing information, create a custom view of train schedules, and set up personalized e-mail alerts for service updates. You won't be able to buy tickets with a credit card at stations yet, but Metra says we can expect that in March 2010.
According to Chicago Breaking News Metra put off accepting credit cards because they did not want to pass processing fees on to customers. The new system will cost Metra about $2.2 million in startup expenses and annual processing fees of about $3-5 million. Metra has joined the CTA in the development of a credit card that would act as a universal fare card for Metra, CTA, and Pace - implementation is slated for mid-2012.