It’s the old saying: The numbers don’t lie.
One look at the fare increases that were proposed by Metra’s staff last month, and it was clear that something was out of kilter.
Metra riders pay by distance traveled. Why should riders who buy tickets in zones A and B, which include stations in the city of Chicago primarily, face increases as much as 67 percent for a monthly pass, while riders in suburbs like Downers Grove, only be facing a 28 percent increase?
Readers told the Tribune this wasn’t fair.
Activists and community groups on Chicago’s South Side raised their voices. Lawmakers like State Sen. Kwame Raoul and State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, Democrats from Hyde Park, became alarmed, too.
So to set the scene for our coverage of Friday’s Metra board meeting, the Tribune decided to highlight these concerns. In doing so, we learned that Metra CEO Alex Clifford was already scaling back the numbers to make them more equitable.
On Friday, Metra rolled back those outsized fare increase proposals, and brought them in line with what other riders would pay.
The rest of the train-riding public will now get their say at a series of eight public hearings on the fare hikes and Metra’s 2012 budget before final action comes Nov. 11
The Tribune will continue to listen, and report on issues important to readers.
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