The bill, introduced by Illinois State Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr., a Democrat, would set fares for Metra Electric trips within the city as equal to CTA rail fares, which are $2.50 at the regular rate. Metra Electric fares within the city currently range from $4 to $5.50 for a single ride.
South Side community activists have long discussed converting the Metra Electric line, which runs from downtown into the south suburbs, into a rapid-transit line with more frequent stops to make up for a lack of rapid transit options on the far South Side.
“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” said Linda Thisted, co-chair of the Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric, which supports the bill. “A lot of people can’t afford Metra Electric fares so they take really slow buses. This could transform the South Side and the South Shore.”
The coalition is made up of business, neighborhood and transit advocacy groups, including the Center for Neighborhood Technology, the Active Transportation Alliance and the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce.