• Will Metra Fare Increase Derail Your Budget?

    Chicago area commuters who have been using the Metra train lines instead of paying the rising costs of gas for driving may soon be reconsidering their options. The Chicago Tribune reported on November 11, 2011, that the board of directors for the commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority approved fare increases averaging 25 percent, the largest single fare hike in the agency’s history and the biggest jump in nearly four years.

    Metra officials told the Tribune that the increases are necessary to help close an anticipated $53.6 million budget gap in 2012. Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said about 80 percent of 7,000 respondents to an online survey said if given a choice of reduction in service or fare increase, they would take the increase. “People are pretty set in their schedules and they strongly opposed service reductions,” Pardonnet told the Tribune.

    Metra CEO Alex Clifford warned that commuters can expect more increases in the future, but they will be more frequent and smaller. Under the plan which goes into effect Feb. 1, 2012, one-way tickets will increase an average of 15.7 percent across all fare zones, ten-ride tickets will go up an average of 30 percent and monthly passes will increase an average of 29.4 percent.

    For those already struggling through hard times, the additional cost of getting to and from work may lead to additional families seeking foreclosure help . If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage and are concerned that transportation expenses are going to make a bad situation worse, you should speak to our Chicago bankruptcy lawyer about the possible benefits of filing for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy attorney