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Metra delays on-board penalty fee increase

Increases to Metra's on-board penalty fee will be postponed, officials announced Friday.

The on-board penalty fee - or a fee applied to riders who buy tickets on board a train when leaving from a station that has an open ticket window - is currently $3. Metra planned to increase this fee to $5 as part of its larger fare increase plan, the rest of which will still take effect Feb. 1. The penalty is intended to discourage riders from paying with cash on-board the train, officials said.

Metra officials said the delay comes as a result of a board decision to begin the new penalty fee when mobile ticketing begins.

Officials said mobile ticketing will be available through an app, allowing riders to pay on the train using smartphones, a credit/debit card or a Ventra account. Metra plans to release the app in late spring or early summer of this year.

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