Metra fares, service cuts coming in February

(Chris Phan/Flickr)

CHICAGO (AP) — Metra is reminding commuters that fares will increase Feb. 1 and some service will be reduced Feb. 5.

It’s the fourth straight year that the suburban Chicago commuter rail agency has raised fares. And Metra has warned that more increases could be coming.

Officials say the changes are necessary to close a $45 million deficit caused by state funding cuts.

On Feb. 5, the frequency of some weekday trains will be reduced or the routes eliminated on the North Central Service, SouthWest Service and Rock Island Line. Weekend trains will be cut on the Milwaukee District North Line.

New schedules are explained on the Metrarail page online. Paper copies will be available at downtown Metra stations beginning Jan. 25.

The Metra Board approved a $797 million operating budget in November.