Under the IGA, Metra will charge its reduced fare rates – normally charged to seniors, persons with disabilities and K-12 students – for all tickets to all riders on the lines starting. Those rates, which involve no changes to Metra’s fare structure and can be implemented immediately, will be evaluated as the test progresses. The county will cover the difference between the reduced fares and full fares for three years.
“Metra is excited to work with Cook County to improve public transportation in the region and act as a catalyst for economic development and growth,” said Metra CEO Jim Derwinski in a statement. “We would like to thank President Preckwinkle for her vision and financial support in bringing this project to fruition.”
“Cook County is extremely excited to partner with Metra and Pace to bring enhanced and affordable transit options to residents and workers in the Southland,” said Preckwinkle in a statement. “This is part of our overall approach to ensure that we are equitably allocating public resources to benefit our communities with the greatest need.”
The plan includes expansion of Pace’s 352 Halsted Service, which will improve the hours and frequency of service between the CTA Red Line's 95th/Dan Ryan station and the Pace Chicago Heights Terminal on weekdays, Saturday and Sunday. An iGA between Pace and the county is also in the works. As Fair Transit moves forward, additional tweaks to service options will be made.