- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Fare prices for Chicago’s Metra commuter agency will increase dramatically over the next 10 years as the agency prepares to modernize the railroad’s fleet.

The Metra board voted Thursday for a 2015 budget that calls for a nearly 11 percent average fare hike in February. The board also voted for a 10-year, $2.4 billion modernization plan. To finance the plan, the board approved a tentative 68 percent fare hike by 2024.

The size of proposed fare hike next year varies for the type ticket. Some senior ticket prices could jump more than 22 percent in the first year. Meanwhile, some full-fare, 10-ride ticket prices would drop fractionally.

Metra Chairman Martin Oberman says the nation’s second-largest commuter railroad can no longer afford to put off the long-needed replacement of its fleet.

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