DOWNTOWN — Passengers on Metra’s Electric Line won’t be able to buy monthly and 10-ride passes from non-Downtown stations soon.
The Electric Line is the only of Metra’s lines that uses vending machines to sell tickets in its stations. In recent months, there has been a “surge” in people buying monthly passes and 10-ride tickets with stolen credit cards at the machines, according to a Metra news release.
In response, Metra decided to stop selling monthly passes and 10-ride tickets at Electric Line stations outside the Downtown area. Monthly and 10-rides passes will still be available on the Ventra app and at the Millennium and Van Buren stations on the line, but not at other stops.
One-way tickets will still be available at all the machines on the line. Once Downtown, riders can speak to a Metra agent to apply the value of their one-way ticket to a monthly pass or 10-ride if they wanted to buy one of those passes.
“We are sorry we need to take this step and inconvenience our customers, but we hope they understand that we are trying to eliminate a practice that is costing us money,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra CEO and executive director, in a news release. “By removing these tickets from the vending machines, we are removing a reason why criminals come to our stations, thereby making the stations safer.”
Metra is buying “new machines with more modern security features,” and once it has those installed it will determine if it will restart sales of these tickets through the machines, according to the news release.
The company has also given notes explaining the situation to Electric Line passengers: