The Metra Board has released for public hearings and comment a Preliminary 2013 Program and Budget that includes a "baseline" budget that does not raise fares but also some additional scenarios for raising fares to address capital needs.
The budget document is available on the Metra website, www.metrarail.com, and contains information about the operating budget as well as the capital budget.
The baseline $713 million operating budget covers next year’s operating costs without raising fares, in part by severely cutting from the Farebox Capital program and identifying $6.6 million in operating efficiencies.
The additional fare scenarios in the preliminary document give some options for raising fares to increase that amount. For every 1 percent increase in total farebox revenue collections, Metra would generate about $3 million for capital investment.
Here are some possible Metra fare suggestions:
1. Change the price of a 10-ride ticket so it costs the same as 10 one-way fares (instead of the current nine). That would generate about $8.2 million for capital.
2. Change the price of a monthly ticket so it equals, for example, 29.5 one-way fares (instead of the current 28.5). That would raise $4.6 million.
3. Raise all fares by a certain percentage. A 5 percent across-the-board increase would generate about $14.2 million.
4. Raise all fares by a certain amount. A $0.25 across-the-board increase would generate about $14.2 million.
5. Some combination of all those scenarios.
The Metra system is huge in territory and inventory ant it is hugely expensive to maintain. It is important to continue investing in the Metra systems so that it can continue to serve the six-county region’s residents for the many years into the future, and we hope that the public agrees.
Metra looks forward to hearing the public’s voice and opinions in this continued discussion.

Advertisements