Metra chairman says fare hikes a possibility

CHICAGO – Metra's new chairman says that it is unclear whether the commuter train service raises fairs next year.

Metra has already unveiled a $713 million budget that includes "scenarios" for possible fare hikes of as much as 10 percent, but the Chicago Tribune reports that the new chairman, Brad O'Halloran, says the board hasn't decided if a fare hike would be needed.

O'Halloran says Metra riders would rather have small, regular increases than large fare hikes. Metra's board is holding public hearings about the budget through Thursday and is scheduled to vote Nov. 16.

O'Halloran, a village trustee from Orland Park, is Metra's first chairman from suburban Cook County and just the third chairman since Metra was created in the early 1980s.