Everything You Need to Know About Metra Train Ticket Cost

Traveling by train in the Chicago metropolitan area has never been easier, thanks to Metra. Whether you’re commuting for work or exploring the city, understanding Metra train ticket costs can help you plan your journey better. Let’s dive into the ins and outs of Metra fares, ticket types, and some handy tips to get the best value for your money.

Metra, the commuter rail division of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), provides a convenient and efficient way to navigate the bustling Chicago area. With its extensive network covering over 1,100 miles of track and nearly 500 trains running on weekdays, Metra serves as a lifeline for daily commuters and occasional travelers alike. However, figuring out the Metra train ticket cost can sometimes be a bit confusing. This article aims to break down the various ticket options, prices, and tips to help you make the most of your Metra experience.

Understanding Metra Train Ticket Cost

Metra’s fare system is designed to accommodate a variety of travel needs, with prices varying based on distance, time of travel, and ticket type. Here are the main factors that influence Metra train ticket costs:

Distance-Based Fares

Metra operates a zone-based fare system. The further you travel, the more you pay. The network is divided into zones, with Zone A covering downtown Chicago and additional zones extending outward. Your fare is determined by the number of zones you travel through.

Ticket Types

Metra offers several types of tickets to suit different travel frequencies and needs:

  1. One-Way Tickets: Perfect for occasional travelers, these tickets are valid for a single trip between two stations.
  2. Ten-Ride Tickets: Offering a discount compared to buying ten individual one-way tickets, these are great for those who travel regularly but not daily.
  3. Monthly Passes: Ideal for daily commuters, monthly passes offer unlimited rides between specified zones for a month.
  4. Weekend Passes: For those planning weekend adventures, these passes offer unlimited rides on Saturdays and Sundays.
  5. Reduced Fare Tickets: Available for seniors, people with disabilities, children, and Medicare cardholders, these tickets provide significant savings.

Peak vs. Off-Peak Travel

Metra’s fare structure also distinguishes between peak and off-peak travel times. Peak times generally include weekday mornings and evenings when the trains are busiest. Traveling during off-peak times can be cheaper, and off-peak fares are available on weekends and holidays as well.

Detailed Breakdown of Metra Train Ticket Costs

Now, let’s delve into the specific costs associated with each type of ticket.

One-Way Tickets

One-way ticket prices are determined by the number of zones traveled. Here’s a general idea of the costs (as of the latest updates):

  • Zone A to Zone A: $4.00
  • Zone A to Zone B: $4.25
  • Zone A to Zone C: $5.50
  • Zone A to Zone D: $6.75
  • Zone A to Zone E: $7.75
  • Zone A to Zone F: $8.75
  • Zone A to Zone G: $9.75

And so on, with prices increasing as more zones are covered.

Ten-Ride Tickets

Ten-ride tickets offer a discount, usually around 10-15%, compared to buying ten individual one-way tickets. For example, a ten-ride ticket for travel between Zone A and Zone D costs around $60.75, compared to $67.50 for ten one-way tickets.

Monthly Passes

Monthly passes provide the most significant savings for regular commuters. The cost of a monthly pass depends on the zones traveled. Here are some examples:

  • Zone A to Zone A: $105.00
  • Zone A to Zone B: $123.25
  • Zone A to Zone C: $149.50
  • Zone A to Zone D: $179.25
  • Zone A to Zone E: $205.25
  • Zone A to Zone F: $230.25
  • Zone A to Zone G: $254.00

Weekend Passes

Metra offers an unlimited ride weekend pass for just $10. This pass is valid for unlimited travel on all Metra lines on Saturdays and Sundays, making it a great option for weekend outings.

Reduced Fare Tickets

Reduced fare tickets are generally half the price of regular fares. Eligibility includes seniors (65+), people with disabilities, children ages 7-11 (under 7 ride free), and Medicare cardholders. For example, a one-way reduced fare ticket from Zone A to Zone D costs about $3.25.

How to Purchase Metra Tickets

Buying Metra tickets is simple and convenient. Here are the main ways to purchase your tickets:

Online and Mobile App

The easiest way to buy tickets is through Metra’s website or the Ventra mobile app. The app allows you to purchase and store tickets on your smartphone, making it easy to manage your travel.

Ticket Agents and Machines

You can buy tickets from ticket agents at major stations or from ticket vending machines available at many stations. It’s always a good idea to purchase tickets before boarding the train to avoid onboard surcharges.

Onboard Purchase

If you need to buy a ticket onboard, you can do so, but be prepared to pay an additional $5 surcharge (except at stations without ticket agents or vending machines).

Tips for Saving on Metra Train Ticket Costs

Traveling by Metra doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips to help you save on your ticket costs:

Plan Your Travel During Off-Peak Times

If your schedule is flexible, try to travel during off-peak times when fares are lower. This can save you a few dollars per trip.

Take Advantage of Ten-Ride Tickets

If you travel regularly but not daily, ten-ride tickets offer a nice discount compared to buying individual one-way tickets each time.

Use Weekend Passes

Planning a weekend outing? The $10 weekend pass is a steal for unlimited travel on all Metra lines.

Check for Employer Benefits

Some employers offer transit benefits that can help cover the cost of your Metra tickets. Check with your employer to see if you qualify.

Look for Special Promotions

Metra occasionally offers promotions and discounts, so keep an eye on their website and social media channels for any special deals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I calculate my Metra fare?

You can use the Metra fare calculator on their website. Simply enter your starting and ending stations, and it will provide you with the fare for your trip.

Are there any discounts for students?

Yes, Metra offers reduced fares for students. Full-time students enrolled in an accredited grade school or high school can purchase reduced fare tickets with a valid student ID.

Can I get a refund on my Metra ticket?

Refunds are available for unused tickets, but conditions apply. Monthly passes can be refunded on a prorated basis if returned before the 12th of the month. Ten-ride tickets can be refunded if all rides are unused. One-way tickets are non-refundable.

Are Metra tickets transferable?

No, Metra tickets are non-transferable and can only be used by the person whose name appears on the ticket.

What happens if I lose my ticket?

If you lose your monthly pass, contact Metra immediately. They may be able to issue a replacement for a fee. Lost one-way and ten-ride tickets cannot be replaced.


Understanding Metra train ticket costs can help you make informed decisions and save money on your travels. Whether you’re a daily commuter or an occasional traveler, Metra offers a variety of ticket options to meet your needs. By planning your travel wisely and taking advantage of discounts and promotions, you can make the most of your Metra experience. Safe travels!