Why this is important
Riding the CTA, Metra, and Pace and transferring across agencies should be as easy as possible. The RTA is committed to make our transit system seamless by removing travel barriers such as implementing systemwide day passes or discounted transfers. With additional long-term funding, the RTA and Service Boards can also expand ride-free and reduced fare programs for seniors and riders with disabilities. A system that is easier and more affordable to ride will encourage more people to take transit rather than driving.
Together, the agencies will work to identify funding to remove unaffordable barriers and expand regional free or reduced fare programs to low-income individuals.
Agencies are participating in a joint effort led by Cook County to analyze fare integration.
Metra and Pace are continuing to participate in the Fair Transit South Cook fare pilot.
CTA and Pace continue to advance their 1-day, 3-day, 7-day, and 30-day integrated passes as well as eliminating Pace to Pace and CTA to CTA transfer fees.
Take a key role in pursuing funding described in Shared Activities.
Continue to administer free and reduced fare programs for seniors and people with disabilities enrolled in Illinois Department on Aging’s Benefit Access Program.
Continue expanding U-Pass flexibility to all colleges.
Continue to advance Ventra 3.0 rollout planned for 2024/2025.
Study fare integration and fare subsidies.
Input from stakeholder working groups
The stakeholder working groups are pushing for better regional transit fare integration including passing single-ride fare instruments, reducing or eliminating transfer fares between systems, and coordinating with public and private services to address the first and last mile of transit trips. Working groups also encourage expanding free or discounted fares to low-income residents and evaluating the equity implications of potential distance-based fares.
What we as a region could do with more resources
Additional resources would allow for more seamless fare products, and the sure expansion of existing discounted and ride-free programs to include more underprivileged groups or even fare-free transit service.