Metra Logo

Metra will not raise fares in 2020, which will be the second year in a row that the agency has not raised fares.

In a Wednesday news release, the agency also announced that due to the new state capital program that they will budget $2.6 billion for capital improvements over the next five years.

Priorities will be railcars, locomotives, stations, bridges and service improvements.

Metra expects its overall operating budget to increase by $5 million next year, from $822 million in 2019 to $827 million in 2020.

Higher revenues from the regional transportation sales tax, which funds a little more than half of Metra’s operating budget, will cover the $5 million and no fare increase will be needed.

Metra also unveiled a preliminary capital program that includes nearly $2.6 billion in funding over the next five years, a significant increase from recent years thanks to the new state capital program.

Metra expects to receive about $215.5 million in each of the next five years from the sale of state bonds, and an additional $73.8 million a year from “Pay Go” funding tied to a higher state fuel tax, for a total of $1.45 billion in new state money.

The money will be added to $962 million in expected federal funding, $145.8 million in expected RTA funding and $26 million in Metra fare revenue devoted to capital needs.