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Park Forest residents who use the Metra to travel will notice the commuter rail has changed its passes and ticketing system starting Feb. 1.
Metra is introducing a new fare plan, which means ticket prices will increase. Metra is eliminating the promotional rates offered since the pandemic began in 2020 but said new fares are lower than pre-pandemic rates. Under the new structure, fare zones are reduced from 10 to four, with downtown Chicago stations assigned to Zone 1 and outlying stations assigned to Zones 2 through 4. The zones are based on a combination of distance from downtown Chicago, service patterns, and ridership characteristics on each line, which vary.
Another change that Metra riders can expect is the commuter rail eliminating the 10-ride ticket. The 10-ride ticket was replaced with a Day Pass 5-Pack: The five-day passes can be used on any five days within 90 days of purchase. The Day Pass 5-Pack is available only in the Ventra app.
A program that previously cut fares on the Metra Electric lines, which serves Park Forest residents, will end and be replaced with a new program for low-income riders on all lines. These changes come as Metra ridership continues to rise to pre-pandemic rates.
Metra has closed its remaining ticket windows and repurposed some agents as customer service representatives. Tickets are available for purchase through the Ventra app, from new ticket vending machines that have been installed at the busiest stations (see here for list), and from conductors on the trains.