Cook County, Metra, Pace and Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) leaders on Monday officially launched a pilot project to improve public transportation in south Cook County, starting with reduced Metra fares on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines and extended service on Pace’s 352 Halsted route.
Fair Transit South Cook, a three-year pilot project, aims to reduce costs and make transit more convenient for residents and essential workers in south Cook and north Will counties. Ultimately, the pilot seeks to provide seamless transfers between all transit operators in subsequent phases.
“Making transit an easier choice for our south Cook communities is a top priority and I am thrilled we have finally arrived at the point where we can put our vision of a regional transit partnership into action,” Cook County Commission President Preckwinkle said.
Under the pilot, all riders on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines will pay Metra’s reduced fare rates – which are normally for seniors, K-12 students and other eligible groups – for all tickets.
The reduced fare tickets are available now from ticket agents, ticket machines and the Ventra app. The paper and mobile tickets will be marked for use on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines only.
Updated timetables for Pace’s Halsted 352 service can be viewed from their website. Information about both pilot initiatives can be found on the County’s
“With this effort, we are promoting transit equity and supporting essential workers and those most in need." said Metra Board Chair Romayne Brown. "We are making transit an easier choice and a better choice. It’s truly a win-win situation for everyone.”
Pace’s Board Chair Richard A. Kwasneski said, “The Halsted route is carrying more than 2,300 people each day during the pandemic and we’re looking forward to serving even more people with increased frequency and extended hours.”