01/13/2013 11:31 am ET Updated Jan 13, 2013

CTA Pass Hike Begins Monday: Rail, Bus Passes Increase In Price

Penny-pinching CTA riders, it's time to stock up: on Monday, the agency's controversial pass hike goes into effect, increasing the price of some passes nearly 75 percent.

Last month, the CTA approved increasing the price of all of its multi-ride passes. As of Monday, one-day passes will cost $10 (instead of $5.75), three-day passes will go from $14 to $20, weekly passes from $23 to $28 and 30-day passes will now cost $100, a $14 increase.

But the agency is not taking any action against CTA riders tempted to stockpile passes ahead of the price hike, WGN reports. By comparison, Metra -- which is increasing the price of its 10-ride tickets 11 percent beginning Feb. 1 -- added an expiration date to 10-ride tickets purchased before Jan. 31.

The base, single-ride CTA fare will remain unchanged Monday and will continue to do so through 2015, though Blue Line riders departing from O'Hare International Airport and paying with either cash or by buying their ticket from a machine will now have to pay a $5 one-way fare rather than $2.25. Anyone using a Chicago Card linked to a multi-day pass will also be exempt from the new $5 O'Hare fare for six months beyond Monday and O'Hare workers will be permanently exempt from the new O'Hare surcharge.

The pass fare hike is estimated to generate about $65 million in revenue for the agency. The CTA's 2012 operating budget faced a $277 million deficit and the agency last increased fares in 2009.



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