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Metra Considering Charging Riders More During Peak Travel Periods

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Metra is considering changing the way it charges customers, which could result in lower fares for riders who travel outside of rush hour or "off-peak" times.

Metra spokesman Michael Gillis says it's been around 30 years since the commuter rail service has looked at how it charges riders. "We're just brainstorming ideas for how we might do things a little bit differently."

Currently, fares are based on zones and how far riders travel, unlike the CTA, which charges the same fare no matter where you are going. However, according to Gillis, Metra thinks there could possibly be a better approach.

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"We charge different rates for peak and off-peak use. The benefit to Metra for such a system is if you can maybe convince some of the people who are riding the peak trains to shift to off-peak trains, because they have a little more flexibility," he said.

Gillis says that could get more people to ride off-peak trains, while freeing up more seats on crowded trains during rush hour.

It is not yet clear when these changes could take place. Gills says Metra plans to ask riders to share their thoughts on the proposal in the near future.

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