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TransitXan17

Metra Ticketing

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The Chicago Tribune recently published an article explaining that Metra has some issues collecting ALL fares. I do agree that this is a problem, I was in Wicker Park last week and I hopped on the Blue Line at Damen to transfer to the UP-NW Line at Jefferson Park. I had my ticket prepared for my trip back to zone E but no conductor ever came through to collect it. Sometimes conductors can’t collect the fares during big events like, Lollapalooza, 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, etc. It’s too busy for the conductors to come through the cars. An idea I had was tapping on and off. Just like the London Underground. Someone on the BNSF Line that commutes from Naperville might not always go to Union, they could go to Berwyn for a few times a week or other places depending on their job. Instead of paying for the full F-A Monthly Pass, they could Tap On at Naperville and Tap Off at wherever they need to get off. You could tap your phone of Ventura card right at the door and the conductors would no longer have to go down the full car, you could possibly have conductors at the doors to make share the fares are paid. This is what I saw in Seattle with their Light Rail, no fare gates, just card readers. This is just one idea I have, but I think the Metra Ticketing could change in order to collect ALL the fares.

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2 hours ago, TransitXan17 said:

The Chicago Tribune recently published an article explaining that Metra has some issues collecting ALL fares.

Essentially not news. This is a story that has been running about once a year for about the last 10 years.

2 hours ago, TransitXan17 said:

Sometimes conductors can’t collect the fares during big events like, Lollapalooza, 4th of July, New Year’s Eve, etc.

I figured fares weren't collected for St. Patrick's Day when there was an 11 car train packed to the gills at Northbrook and still taking on passengers, and, of course, there weren't any agents on duty in the stations. I guess the alderman who complained that the parade was just for drunks from the suburbs was correct.

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2 hours ago, TransitXan17 said:

Metra has recently proposed a ‘One Day Pass’ pilot that will last a year and cost $500K. Metra is hoping this pilot could possibly attract new riders.

Daily Herald article that the 1 day pass would only be available on the Ventra app, which, besides, as the article said, being designed to deter sharing, would seem to obviate the problem you noted in the first post about  conductors not checking,as it would be activated. Since no discount compared to two tickets, would only be of benefit in case of multiple rides, such as a trip from a BNSF station  to a Milw N station.

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Any word on the weekend pass flex time? There was a poll that was due to the increase of the weekend pass that it would or can be used Friday after rush hour. Any hope that this will be piloted? I doubt it now but curious.

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As conductors are not allowed to force someone off the train, passengers without a fare or ticket are given a form to fill out. This form list’s the passenger’s name, address, and signature, conductor’s name, and amount owed. Probably a few other things as I’ve never seen one up close. The passenger instructed to mail in the form or bring it to a ticket agent to pay.

How, if at all, can payment be enforced? The conductor gets a carbon copy, so they can at least keep records of repeat offenders.

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On ‎9‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 4:22 PM, Pace831 said:

As conductors are not allowed to force someone off the train, passengers without a fare or ticket are given a form to fill out. This form list’s the passenger’s name, address, and signature, conductor’s name, and amount owed. Probably a few other things as I’ve never seen one up close. The passenger instructed to mail in the form or bring it to a ticket agent to pay.

How, if at all, can payment be enforced? The conductor gets a carbon copy, so they can at least keep records of repeat offenders.

To answer your question, it is not. After all the wasted time and paper, if they don't get the fare they print out a list, just like bad checks. These offenders continue to write bad checks and continue to refuse to pay fares. Nothing is ever done. Yet we continue to wonder why they continue to lose money. And as stated in another post, you can't refuse a ride for some reason, but try to collect a fare or surcharge, you don't get backed up and even reprimanded. Its confusing, disheartening and quite frankly bad practice and encourages bad behavior. Somehow the suits just don't see it that way.

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17 hours ago, trainman8119 said:

To answer your question, it is not. After all the wasted time and paper, if they don't get the fare they print out a list, just like bad checks. These offenders continue to write bad checks and continue to refuse to pay fares. Nothing is ever done. Yet we continue to wonder why they continue to lose money. And as stated in another post, you can't refuse a ride for some reason, but try to collect a fare or surcharge, you don't get backed up and even reprimanded. Its confusing, disheartening and quite frankly bad practice and encourages bad behavior. Somehow the suits just don't see it that way.

Reminds me of a Tribune editorial that Metra should squeeze spending by cutting service, which hits me as no more sustainable than the Editorial Board says raising fares is. But, in addition to the prior reports of conductors not collecting shorts, nobody is enforcing fares, that's a better place to look before looking to the taxpayers. Metra isn't some religious organization or street fair asking for "suggested donations."

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Is Metra still planning to pilot the "Round Trip Plus" ticket option in the Ventra app? Last summer when they consolidated the outer fare zones, they said the other changes would be done "later", but that is still the most recent information I can find.

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What would be the correct fare zones for a trip from Joliet to University Park with transfers at Blue Island and Kensington? H-C inbound and then C-G outbound? Or would it be H-D on the RI and then D-G on the ME (which excludes Kensington Zone C)?

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1 hour ago, Pace831 said:

What would be the correct fare zones for a trip from Joliet to University Park with transfers at Blue Island and Kensington? H-C inbound and then C-G outbound? Or would it be H-D on the RI and then D-G on the ME (which excludes Kensington Zone C)?

I think H -C with the transfer in Blue Island, then C - G from Kensington to University Park is correct.

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5 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I think H -C with the transfer in Blue Island, then C - G from Kensington to University Park is correct.

The reason I suggested the other option is that the conductors on Blue Island branch trains don’t collect fares until after Kensington, and the ME schedule is timed for transfers there. The branch line itself seems to be treated as a shuttle to the main line (neither inbound nor outbound, even though the train continues downtown). So it would seem that D-G would be correct if the initial boarding were in Blue Island, which is an “outbound trip”. I wasn’t sure if adding an additional transfer from RI, which involves a switch from inbound to outbound, changes the fare calculation.

On the other hand, the branch is split between zones C and D, so maybe they would treat the last segment of the trip as “coming from zone C” no matter which branch station was the origin.

I might be overanalyzing, but @trainman8119 can probably clear this up.

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On 9/26/2019 at 10:46 PM, Pace831 said:

The reason I suggested the other option is that the conductors on Blue Island branch trains don’t collect fares until after Kensington, and the ME schedule is timed for transfers there. The branch line itself seems to be treated as a shuttle to the main line (neither inbound nor outbound, even though the train continues downtown). So it would seem that D-G would be correct if the initial boarding were in Blue Island, which is an “outbound trip”. I wasn’t sure if adding an additional transfer from RI, which involves a switch from inbound to outbound, changes the fare calculation.

On the other hand, the branch is split between zones C and D, so maybe they would treat the last segment of the trip as “coming from zone C” no matter which branch station was the origin.

I might be overanalyzing, but @trainman8119 can probably clear this up.

The real answer is h-d then d-g. The bean counters would prefer c-g, but most conductors (emphasizing most)  would probably accept the d-g transfer...I know I would. This subject comes up often.

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EBD55F4F-17F8-49EF-9A34-9934A4C0B540.thumb.jpeg.5d5804f8ab15bbf0fd5dab99ce12972f.jpeg

Is the ticket at left a new design (compared to the one at right), or have they been around for a few years? This is the first time I’ve seen one, but also the first time I bought a ticket for Zone I.

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19 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

EBD55F4F-17F8-49EF-9A34-9934A4C0B540.thumb.jpeg.5d5804f8ab15bbf0fd5dab99ce12972f.jpeg

Is the ticket at left a new design (compared to the one at right), or have they been around for a few years? This is the first time I’ve seen one, but also the first time I bought a ticket for Zone I.

I haven't bought a  paper ticket in years.  I use the Ventra App for my Metra ticket. 

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

I haven't bought a  paper ticket in years.  I use the Ventra App for my Metra ticket. 

Same. Last time I bought a paper ticket it looked like the one on the right, regardless of what zone I went to.

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2 hours ago, Erin Mishkin Jr. said:

...the tickets are different. I wonder if they are different per each line.

Both the tickets pictured were purchased at Ogilvie (yesterday and about 2 months ago, respectively), so I don't think that's it. Most likely, there are still some old ones in stock and they will soon all be the new design. Since Metra tickets are equally valid on any line, I can't imagine why each line would have different tickets, or why the design would be drastically different between zones.

2 hours ago, Erin Mishkin Jr. said:

the line that goes to MIlwaukee

You mean the Milwaukee District? Metra doesn't go to Milwaukee.

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5 hours ago, Pace831 said:

EBD55F4F-17F8-49EF-9A34-9934A4C0B540.thumb.jpeg.5d5804f8ab15bbf0fd5dab99ce12972f.jpeg

Is the ticket at left a new design (compared to the one at right), or have they been around for a few years? This is the first time I’ve seen one, but also the first time I bought a ticket for Zone I.

I've only seen the one on the right and the paper ticket. I can let you know if I encounter the new design since I'll be returning to Chicago this coming Friday. I'll do my best to buy a physical ticket

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8 hours ago, Pace831 said:

Both the tickets pictured were purchased at Ogilvie (yesterday and about 2 months ago, respectively), so I don't think that's it. Most likely, there are still some old ones in stock and they will soon all be the new design. Since Metra tickets are equally valid on any line, I can't imagine why each line would have different tickets, or why the design would be drastically different between zones.

You mean the Milwaukee District? Metra doesn't go to Milwaukee.

Yes, I got them at Union Station. And yes, I meant the line that goes into Wisconsin, I never knew the line does not go all the way up to Milwaukee.

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4 hours ago, Erin Mishkin Jr. said:

Yes, I got them at Union Station. And yes, I meant the line that goes into Wisconsin, I never knew the line does not go all the way up to Milwaukee.

The UP North Line from Oglivie goes to Kenosha.  At Union station. you can buy a ticket from the agent or from the vending machine.   CTA has a Ventra machine there as well.

I have never seen it nor tried it, but I wondered if South Shore would accept a Metra D zone ticket or only it's own Zone 3 ticket, even though it's the same thing?

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2 hours ago, artthouwill said:

The UP North Line from Oglivie goes to Kenosha.  At Union station. you can buy a ticket from the agent or from the vending machine.   CTA has a Ventra machine there as well.

I have never seen it nor tried it, but I wondered if South Shore would accept a Metra D zone ticket or only it's own Zone 3 ticket, even though it's the same thing?

I'd wager it's against the rules, but a conductor might let it slip once

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