Metra to Revamp Fare Structure, Close Final Ticket Windows

Agents at outlying stations on the BNSF Line will stop selling tickets effective January 8 and agents on all other lines will stop on February 1. Photo by Justin Franz.

Metra to Revamp Fare Structure, Close Final Ticket Windows

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

In an effort to cut costs, Metra is closing its remaining ticket windows on all lines in and out of Chicago. 

The change in how Metra sells tickets at some stations comes at the same time it revamps its fare structure. Under the new structure, the number of fare zones will be reduced from 10 to four, with downtown stations assigned to Zone 1 and outlying stations assigned to Zones 2 through 4 based on a combination of distance from downtown, service patterns and ridership characteristics on each line. It is also making changes to its monthly passes and multi-ride tickets. The changes were approved by Metra’s board of directors last year. Officials hope the simplified fare system will attract new riders. 

A sign informing passengers that a ticket window on the BNSF Line had closed in the spring of 2022. Photo by Justin Franz. 

The fare changes will occur on February 1, the same day agents will stop selling tickets at all downtown stations and stations on all lines except BNSF. Agents on the BNSF line will stop selling tickets a few weeks earlier on January. 8. Passengers will now have to purchase a ticket through a phone app, new ticket machines installed at the busiest stations or from conductors on trains. Some of the impacted stations will become customer service representatives. The BNSF line had eight stations (excluding Union Station) that still had ticket agents, including Aurora, Route 59, Naperville, Lisle, Downers Grove Main Street, Hinsdale, Western Springs and LaGrange Road. 

For more information about the changes, visit Metra’s website.

This article was posted on: January 8, 2024