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Metra: Everything You Need to Know

Author : Chicago Desi
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Metra is the commuter rail agency serving
Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in the Chicago
area. It is the sister agency to the Chicago Transit Authority, which
provides mass transit rail (the L) and bus service to Chicago and some
suburbs, and Pace, which provides bus service primarily in the suburbs.

Metra''s Site is at

Following are some of the Frequently Asked Questions from Metra''s site:

Where do Metra trains run?

Metra serves more than 100 communities with 241 stations on 11 lines running from Chicago's downtown. Click on our online system map to see route and station locations.

When do the trains run?

Trains run frequently during weekday rush
hours and about every hour during off-peak times. They also operate on
weekends on most lines. Click on the Maps & Schedules link for more information.

Does Metra run on major holidays?

Yes. Sunday schedules are in effect on
New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving
and Christmas. On other days, such as pre-holiday dates, modified
schedules may be in effect. Check with this website or call the Transit
Information Center at 836-7000 (city or suburbs) to see if we are
running a modified schedule.

How can I find my route?

Use our easy online trip planner
for routes and train times. If you prefer to speak with a live voice,
you can call our Passenger Services Department at 312-322-6777 weekdays
from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. or the Travel Information Center,
evenings and weekends, at 312-836-7000, city or suburbs.

Where do the lines stop in downtown Chicago?

Metra Electric trains serve Van Buren Station (Van Buren and Michigan) and Millennium Station (Randolph and Michigan). Union Pacific North, Northwest and West line trains use Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Canal). Rock Island trains use LaSalle Street Station (LaSalle and Van Buren). The North Central Service, Milwaukee West and Milwaukee North line trains use the north concourse of Union Station, while the BNSF Railway, SouthWest Service and Heritage Corridor lines use the south concourse of Union Station.

How much is the fare?

Metra operates a distance-based fare
system consisting of twelve fare zones. Regular one-way fares to
downtown Chicago range from $2.75 from the closest zone, Zone A, to
$9.25 from the farthest, Zone M.

What kinds of tickets does Metra sell?

Metra offers a few different ticket
options including monthly passes (unlimited travel between fare zones
indicated), 10-ride tickets (ten one-way trips), one-way tickets (a
single, one-way ride), and an unlimited ride $7 weekend pass. Metra also
has different fare programs for seniors, customers with disabilities,
families, students and children. For detailed information regarding all
of Metra''s Fare Programs, click on the Tickets link.

What is the Seniors Ride Free Program?

Beginning, September 1, 2011, only low
income seniors enrolled in the Illinois Circuit Breaker Program will be
eligible for free transportation.  All other seniors can still travel
on Metra, CTA and Pace fixed routes at reduced price by using the RTA
Reduced Fare Permit.

Seniors who are not eligible for free transportation will receive an
RTA Reduced Fare Permit. The seniors who qualify for the ride free
permit will receive a Circuit Permit that will look similar to the
current Circuit Permit Ride Free for people with disabilities. For
additional information regarding these fare programs, please click here.

Is there a discount for military personnel?

Military personnel who provide proper
identification indicating that they are on active duty can purchase
reduced fare one-way and 10-ride tickets from ticket agents and one-way
tickets from conductors. Military fare tickets are sold only at Metra
ticket offices or on-board trains.

Where do I buy tickets?

Tickets are available for purchase at
all downtown stations and at all outlying stations where a ticket agent
is on duty. One-way tickets can be purchased on the train, but if an
agent is on duty at the station where you boarded, the conductor will
charge you an additional $3. Ten-ride tickets and monthly passes also
can be purchased online. Questions regarding ticket orders can be
e-mailed to

Does Metra replace or refund tickets?

Refund Policy (Effective February 1, 2012):

Refunds for unused and unexpired tickets are available as per the
following guidelines.  No refund or replacement ride will be permitted
when tickets have been lost, destroyed, stolen or unaccounted for on the
day of travel.

All Ten-Ride and One-


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