Chicago’s Metra Board of Directors approved a one-year contract to evaluate the agency’s distance-based fare structure and fare products and recommend changes that will ensure Metra is best serving the region’s needs.
California-based Four Nines Technologies’ scope of work includes determining opportunities and costs of potential fare structure changes and developing a model that can help Metra evaluate those potential changes. The one-year contract is not to exceed $315,300.
“This team will play a significant role in partnering with our agency to evaluate our fare structure and make creative recommendations for changes, reflecting Metra's overall efforts to modernize its operations, engage customers and increase ridership,” said Metra Board Chairman Martin J. Oberman. “The entire Metra Board feels strongly that we need to do this important work, particularly in light of our many funding needs and our major funding challenges.”
Some of the areas Four Nines Technologies will be reviewing include: changes to Metra fare zones, including the number of zones in the system; distance-based versus flat fare options; various current and prospective ticket offerings and ticket types; and ticket pricing options, such as peak and off-peak fares, discounted tickets, reduced fares and transfers. The firm will also conduct the required Federal Transit Administration (FTA) fare equity analysis and develop recommendations with a proposed action plan.
“We are pleased to have a firm working with us that has the experience and expertise needed to help us review our fare policies,” said Metra Executive Directors/CEO Don Orseno. “This is a major undertaking for our agency and the first time we’ve had someone come in and study our fare structure since Metra was founded.”
Once the contract with Four Nines Technologies is signed, their scope of work is expected to take one year to complete.