Metra Experimenting with McHenry County Train Fares

A press release from Metra outlining a cut in fares between Crystal Lake and Harvard to $5:

Metra Board approves fare pilot programs

The Metra Board of Directors has agreed to test a new day pass, the consolidation of Metra’s outer zones and the reassignment of certain stations to a closer zone as part of an effort to attract riders and simplify its fare structure.

Woodstock Metra Station

The ideas were among recommendations that emerged from a fare policy study that began in 2016.

The pilot programs will:

Introduce “Round Trip Plus,” a day pass for unlimited travel between any two zones, available only on the Ventra App, priced at twice the cost of a One-Way Ticket.

  • The pass will increase customer convenience, simplify fare payment, save time and encourage use of the Ventra App.
  • 75 percent of riders in a survey said they were likely or very likely to use such a product.
  • Pilot will begin with the introduction of a new Ventra App in late summer.

Consolidate Zones K and M (there is no Zone L) into Zone J, thereby capping fares for trips that exceed 45 miles (about 1 percent of Metra riders come from those zones).

This will consolidate four Zone K stations (Kenosha, Antioch, McHenry and Woodstock) and one Zone M station (Harvard) with five existing Zone J stations (Round Lake Beach, Lake Villa, Long Lake, Ingleside and Fox Lake).

  • Consolidating Zones J, K and M will cap the fares to stations in those zones and potentially mitigate ridership declines for trips that are currently the most expensive for riders from stations that have less service.
  • Pilot will begin in July.

About 110 additional round-trip riders per day will be needed to recover the estimated revenue impact of $380,000.

[There is also one in the South Suburbs.]

The pilot programs will be evaluated after a year to determine if they resulted in ridership gains and if the changes should remain in place. Other recommendations from the fare study, including off-peak pricing, are still being evaluated for possible future action.

The fare study effort started in the summer of 2016, when Metra hired California-based Four Nines Technologies to study Metra’s fare structure, determine opportunities for changes and develop a model to help Metra evaluate the potential changes.

For more information on the fare study, click here.


Metra Experimenting with McHenry County Train Fares — 4 Comments

  1. How about a discount for “Suicide Alley”.

    Every time someone offs themselves, it creates big delays, and added expense to find an alternative ride home.

  2. LTRESIDENT/anonymous coward- do us all a favor- go to your medicine cabinet, pick out your favorite synthetic opioid(I’m sure you have a top 3 list), and eat every capsule in the bottle.

    You’ll never be bothered by suicides again. #MAGA

    And, if you don’t have the balls to do that, please make sure your death from diverticulitis is swift. A slow death from diverticulitis is very expensive.

  3. Wow, John. A follower of Maxine?

    Death threats AND violence!

    Nice touch.

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