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Metra hikes price of 10-ride ticket

Passengers board Chicago bound MetrtraUniStation. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media

Passengers board a Chicago bound Metra train at Union Station. | Joseph P. Meier~Sun Times Media

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Updated: January 16, 2013 1:56AM

CHICAGO — Metra riders will pay more for 10-ride tickets beginning as soon as February.

The Metra board on Friday voted 8 to 2 to approve a fare hike to generate an estimated $8.3 million. Riders will pay what equates to 10-one way fares for 10, instead of paying the equivalent of nine one-way tickets.

Riders could see the price of the 10-ride tickets increase anywhere from $2.75 to $9.25, depending on the tickets’ zone, which are determined by distance.

The vote wasn’t quite cut-and-dry.

Metra Director Mike McCoy voiced his concerns over the hike, saying riders already suffered last year when fares increased by an average 25 percent.

He recommended the board warn riders much further ahead of a fare increase and that riders should have been given “a year of relief.”

Director Jim LaBelle of Zion said he’d rather support an alternative plan for a 3 percent increase in fares for all riders, instead of singling out more frequent riders. He voted no.

Director Jack Schaeffer voiced his support even though “nobody wants a fare increase.”

The 10-ride tickets account for a quarter of ticket sales.

“The 10-ride is meant as a convenience media, offered as a convenience to riders to save them from having to buy 10 one-ways,” said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

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