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Metra on Fare Hikes: Not So Fast

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 13, 2011 7:00PM

Metra Engine at Union Station Chicago [chuck-reynolds]
Metra has been the most vocal of the Chicago area's three public transit agencies to propose a rate hike, when they aren't quietly enacting schedule changes and putting observers on train runs to make sure conductors are collecting fares. The Tribune reports today Metra has decided to slow their roll on a fare hike after hearing complaints about it from, well, damn near everyone.

Metra's fares are based on distance, which means residents in far suburbs pay more to travel into Chicago and suburbs close to the city limits. Metra's proposed fare increases, however, seemed to disproportionately affect riders in Chicago, who would see anywhere from a 44 to 69 percent rate hike, compared to 9 to 34 percent for suburban riders.

Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk already questioned Metra's fare hike plans. they've been joined by State Sens. Barbara Flynn Currie and Kwame Raoul, South Side churches and community groups.

We ask again why Metra is looking at fare hikes when the Metra Board doesn't have the best reputation for fiscal responsibility.