Pace, Metra fare reduction pilot program launches in south suburbs

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Cook County pilot program cuts Metra fares in South Suburbs
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Some south suburban Metra and Pace riders will see reduced fares as part of a county pilot program.

COOK COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Cook County officials in partnership with Metra, Pace and the Regional Transportation Authority launched a fare reduction program in the south suburbs Monday.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined by transportation leadership at the launch of the three-year program which reduces fares and increases service on Metra's Rock Island and Electric lines, and expands service on Pace's 352 Halsted route.

The pilot was years in the making, but during the pandemic the county and transportation officials wanted to offer relief for riders in southern Cook County showing the longest commutes, many of whom are essential workers.

"It's means everything, it provides access to job opportunities," said Andrea D. Reed, Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric.

Reed is also a Roseland resident, and said the pilot is progress but more needs to be done to make it seamless for south suburban residents to get to and from work.

"People should be able to use a Ventra card or some sort of linkage to transfer," she said, "so that transportation is equitably accessible and seamless."

County official said Monday the pilot aims to make seamless transfers between all transit operators.