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I've mentioned many issues with Metra as a real transit system and not just commuter rail.

As you may know, Metra operates on a zone system. Downtown is A, where I live is F. So when I buy a monthly ticket, it's for travel between A and F.

Now I pay over $160 a month for this ticket. If I wanted to get on the train at F and go down to Joliet, which is zone H I would have to pay. My ticket is no good.

This is a broken system for transit. I can understand distance based pricing. What I can't understand is the system being so commuter oriented that its ticket system is broken for anyone who might want to use it for something other than commuting.

I would like to see it be a number ticket. A to F is 6 zones. Give me a ticket that says 6 on it. I can use it to travel 6 zones.

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Nice. Thanks!

Cameron Puetz said:

Adam, I agree with everything you've said here about the stupid Metra ticketing system.  If you have a few minutes to spare, please do their quick survey HERE-- it has a nice open-ended final question that you could copy-paste what you've written above, for the Metra management to read and consider.
 
Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

I would like to see it be a number ticket. A to F is 6 zones. Give me a ticket that says 6 on it. I can use it to travel 6 zones.

They actually refused to let you use your A-F monthly pass to go F-H? On the Rock Island?

I'm surprised because I once needed to go H-A and all I had was an A-F 10-ride pass and like two dollars. (This was several fare increases ago.) So they punched the pass once and let me pay cash for the remaining two zones. And this was on one of the UP routes (I forget which), which seem to have some of the least accommodating conductors in the system.

Oh, and don't get me started on the BNSF conductors claiming to have never before seen a weekend pass from an ME vending machine. Every. Single. Time.

I agree. It's stupid and outdated, and I have to wonder how many folks get pissed off and end up driving or using other forms of transportation for future trips because they're disgusted with Metra.

Thunder Snow said:

Adam, I agree with everything you've said here about the stupid Metra ticketing system.  If you have a few minutes to spare, please do their quick survey HERE-- it has a nice open-ended final question that you could copy-paste what you've written above, for the Metra management to read and consider.
 
Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

I would like to see it be a number ticket. A to F is 6 zones. Give me a ticket that says 6 on it. I can use it to travel 6 zones.

Jennifer said:

They actually refused to let you use your A-F monthly pass to go F-H? On the Rock Island?

No. I've never had to ride the train from Mokena to Joliet, but I was looking into it today because I might want to go see some baseball next year. I asked a Metra official and found out that the ticket isn't valid from F to H.

Now what they do "under the table". I don't know, but the rules are the important thing. I can depend on rules. I can't depend on the kindness of the conductor of the day.

I'm surprised because I once needed to go H-A and all I had was an A-F 10-ride pass and like two dollars. (This was several fare increases ago.) So they punched the pass once and let me pay cash for the remaining two zones. 

This is actually the rules if I remember. It's a dollar past your final zone and 50 cents for each other zone.

you can always but a zone extension ticket. at either  the station or on the train. So if you have an A to F ticket they will figure out the difference from and A to H ticket and you will pay the fare difference. Its usually only a buck or two. It is actually a system that works quite well because you are being charged by distance not a flat rate. Imagine if all metra tickets were one price.

I think you are misunderstanding my issue. I'm assuming you actually read the post, because I'm a little baffled how you could have taken a want of single price tickets from it?

I don't want to go A to H

I want to go F to H

My issue is that I've already put a large amount of money into a distance ticket that it's really a distance, but a set of zones that I can go between.

My ticket should cover riding across six zones, not between A and F.

jen said:

you can always but a zone extension ticket. at either  the station or on the train. So if you have an A to F ticket they will figure out the difference from and A to H ticket and you will pay the fare difference. Its usually only a buck or two. It is actually a system that works quite well because you are being charged by distance not a flat rate. Imagine if all metra tickets were one price.

Officially the policy is that its a seperate ticket.  Now some conductors are more willing to be flexible and understand that the rules are not exactly fair and will accept the tickets.  But metra really needs to rethink its policy. 

Jennifer said:

They actually refused to let you use your A-F monthly pass to go F-H? On the Rock Island?

I'm surprised because I once needed to go H-A and all I had was an A-F 10-ride pass and like two dollars. (This was several fare increases ago.) So they punched the pass once and let me pay cash for the remaining two zones. And this was on one of the UP routes (I forget which), which seem to have some of the least accommodating conductors in the system.

Oh, and don't get me started on the BNSF conductors claiming to have never before seen a weekend pass from an ME vending machine. Every. Single. Time.

While you think that may be unfair, it is common practice among those transit systems whose fares are distance based.

Think of the alternative. Extending the use of your Metra pass to "H" will undoubtedly lead to raised prices on the A to H monthly pass. How is that fair for those folks who use it only for weekday commutes?

Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

I think you are misunderstanding my issue. I'm assuming you actually read the post, because I'm a little baffled how you could have taken a want of single price tickets from it?

I don't want to go A to H

I want to go F to H

My issue is that I've already put a large amount of money into a distance ticket that it's really a distance, but a set of zones that I can go between.

My ticket should cover riding across six zones, not between A and F.

jen said:

you can always but a zone extension ticket. at either  the station or on the train. So if you have an A to F ticket they will figure out the difference from and A to H ticket and you will pay the fare difference. Its usually only a buck or two. It is actually a system that works quite well because you are being charged by distance not a flat rate. Imagine if all metra tickets were one price.

I still don't think you're getting it. I don't want an extended ticket. I want a numbered zone ticket. I want a ticket that lets me go six zones. If A to F or B to G or C to H. I'm willing to pay to extend the "distance" of my ticket.

As long as my ticket will only take me A to F, I'm not going to go anywhere else. If I want to go to Joliet, I'll just drive. It's easier, cheaper, and more convenient. 


Duppie said:

While you think that may be unfair, it is common practice among those transit systems whose fares are distance based.

Think of the alternative. Extending the use of your Metra pass to "H" will undoubtedly lead to raised prices on the A to H monthly pass. How is that fair for those folks who use it only for weekday commutes?


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