What is Metra?
Metra is the rail agency serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in the Chicago area. We want you to think of us as My Metra. It is the sister agency to the Chicago Transit Authority, which provides mass transit rail (the L) and bus service to Chicago and some suburbs, and Pace, which provides bus service primarily in the suburbs.
Where do Metra trains run?
Metra serves more than 100 communities with 242 stations on 11 lines running from Chicago’s downtown. Click on our online system map to see route and station locations.
When do the trains run?
Does Metra run on major holidays?
Most lines operate on major holidays. Sunday schedules are in effect on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas (lines that do not operate on Sundays therefore also do not operate on those holidays). On other days, such as pre-holiday dates, modified schedules may be in effect. Check with this website or call the Transit Information Center at 836-7000 (city or suburbs) to see if we are running a modified schedule.
How can I get travel information?
Use the RTA online trip planner for routes and train times. If you prefer to speak with a live voice, you can call our Passenger Services Department at 312-322-6777 weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. or the RTA Travel Information Center, evenings and Saturdays, at 312-836-7000. You can also go to our System Map and click on the "Search" button in the upper right corner. Enter your address and the result will tell you the closest Metra station to your location. Metra's online train tracker, metratracker.com, also has a trip-planning function.
How can I track my train?
Metra has an train tracking website, metratracker.com, that lets you see precisely where trains are and when they will reach their stations. You can also view schedules and plan trips. With real-time updates refreshed every 12-30 seconds, an interactive map, and a trip planning option, the site makes traveling faster, easier, and more comfortable.
Where do the lines stop in downtown Chicago?
Metra Electric trains serve Van Buren Station (Van Buren and Michigan) and Millennium Station (Randolph and Michigan). Union Pacific North, Northwest and West line trains use the Ogilvie Transportation Center (Madison and Canal). Rock Island trains use LaSalle Street Station (LaSalle and Van Buren). The North Central Service, Milwaukee District West and Milwaukee District North line trains use the north concourse of Union Station, while the BNSF Railway, SouthWest Service and Heritage Corridor lines use the south concourse of Union Station. Click here for a map of downtown stations.
How much is the fare?
Metra operates a distance-based fare system consisting of ten fare zones. Regular one-way fares to downtown Chicago range from $4 from the closest zone, Zone A, to $9.50 from the farthest, Zone J. To determine your fare, you must know your originating station, your destination, and the type of ticket you wish to buy (One-Way, 10-Ride, Day Pass, Monthly Pass, Saturday or Sunday Day Pass or Weekend Pass). Go to the Fares page to find detailed fare information; select your line, departing station and destination to see the full and reduced fare charts.
What kinds of tickets does Metra sell?
Metra offers a few different ticket options including Monthly Passes (unlimited travel), 10-Ride Tickets (ten one-way trips between selected zones), One-Way Tickets (a single, one-way ride between selected zones), and a $7 Saturday or Sunday Day Pass, good for unlimited rides on either Saturday or Sunday. On the Ventra app only, customers can also buy a $6 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel between three zones or less on a single day; a $10 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel between all zones on a single day; or a $10 Weekend Pass, good for unlimited travel on both weekend days. Metra also has different fare programs for seniors, customers with disabilities, families, students and children. For detailed information regarding all of Metra's Fare Programs, click on the Fares link.
How do I purchase a mobile ticket?
Mobile tickets are sold through the Ventra app.
What fares are available for seniors?
Senior citizens 65 or older, customers with disabilities and Medicare cardholders who have an RTA-issued Reduced Fare Permit are eligible for a reduced fare ticket. The permit must be displayed when buying and using reduced fare tickets. If you are enrolled in the Illinois Circuit Breaker program and have an RTA-issued Ride Free Circuit Permit, you are eligible to ride free. If you are not in possession of either permit, you must apply for one with the RTA. Click here or call 312-913-3110 for information.
Is there a discount for military personnel?
Military personnel who provide proper identification indicating that they are on active duty can purchase reduced fare One-Way and 10-Ride Tickets from ticket agents, One-Way, 10-Ride and Round Trip Plus tickets via the Ventra app and One-Way Tickets from conductors.
Are reduced fares available for students?
Full-time students enrolled in grade school or high school can purchase a Reduced Fare One-Way, 10-Ride or Monthly Pass as part of a state-supported program. College students are not included. Student fares are in effect at all times. When purchasing a ticket, students must present a valid letter of certification from their school (on school stationery) or present a valid school I.D. (both are valid through the end of the calendar year) bearing the student's name, school name and authorized signature. The student identification card or letter of certification must be displayed along with the ticket to the conductor. Failure to do so will result in full fare payment. Student tickets are not transferable. Any questions concerning the above may be directed to Metra Passenger Services at 312-322-6777.
All fare policies concerning standard student fares also apply to home-schooled students. To meet documentation requirements, the student must present a letter with the name and address of the person providing the home schooling as teacher/principal at the top, signed and notarized. Click here to download the form.
Fares for Children
On weekdays, children ages 7 to 11 save 50 percent over One-Way fares. Children under 7 ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult (up to three children free per adult). Under no circumstances will children under 7 years of age be permitted to travel alone. On weekends and select holidays, kids ride FREE with Metra's Family Fares. Up to three children age 11 and under ride free with each fare-paying adult. Purchase a ticket or use your Monthly Pass or 10-Ride Ticket as the adult fare. Family Cars are available on weekends and non-rush hour weekday trains. Family Fares are also available on weekdays during the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Are there any other special discounts or savings?
Yes. We’re glad you asked! You may be eligible for savings of up to 40 percent when you participate in an IRS-approved Transit Benefit program where you work. In order to benefit, your employer must offer a qualified program, and you must be a W-2 employee (1099 contractors, partners and other selected individuals are not eligible). Actual savings are through reduced income taxes (FICA/Medicare, Federal, and State). For more information, visit our Fares page.
Where do I buy tickets?
Tickets are available for purchase at all downtown stations and at all outlying stations where a ticket agent is on duty or a vending machine is available. One-Way Tickets can be purchased on the train, but if an agent is on duty at the station where you boarded, the conductor will charge you an additional $5. The Ventra app can be used to purchase any kind of Metra mobile ticket on your smartphone, anytime and anywhere. Download it for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Tickets are not sold on this website.
Does Metra replace or refund tickets?
No refunds or replacement tickets will be issued for One-Way or 10-Ride tickets or Day or Weekend passes. Refunds for unused Monthly Passes are available per the guidelines that can be found here, but lost, destroyed or stolen Monthly Passes will not be refunded or replaced. (Refunds for unused passes are subject to a $5 handling fee if returned after the first day of the month.) Metra is not responsible for lost articles, errors in timetables, or for inconvenience or damage resulting from missed stops; delayed, cancelled or missed trains; failure to make connections; or shortages of equipment.
Are there toilets on the trains and in the stations?
All Metra trains have toilets on board. Some stations have bathrooms, but most do not.
Can I bring my bike on the train?
Generally yes, but see our What's Allowed on Metra Trains for the full list of rules.
Is smoking allowed?
No smoking is allowed on any trains, in stations or within 15 feet of station and enclosed area entrances (this includes e-cigarettes).
What are Metra's Pets on Trains policy rules?
Pets are permitted on weekend trains and non-peak weekday trains (trains arriving in Chicago before 6:31 a.m. and after 9:30 a.m. and departing Chicago before 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m.) Only small pets in enclosed protective carriers are allowed. Carriers will not be allowed to take up seats, seating areas or obstruct pathways on trains or in stations and must be small enough to be carried on by a single person. They must fit in a passenger’s lap or under the seat at all times. Metra reserves the right to remove passengers with pets that are noisy or disturb other customers. Owners will be responsible for the behavior and cleanup of their pets.
Service animals are allowed on all Metra trains at all times.
Can I bring food on the trains?
Yes, but please be courteous to other riders by remembering to use the trash receptacles.
What are Metra Quiet Cars?
To give passengers some peace and quiet during their commute, Metra has designated Quiet Cars on all morning inbound and evening outbound rush-hour trains. The cars are designed to give riders a space free of some common nuisances such as cellphone calls, loud headphones and loud conversations. On all lines except the Metra Electric Line, the Quiet Cars are the second car from the locomotive and the second car from the other end of the train on rush-hour trains with six or more cars. If there are five cars or fewer on the train, only the second car from the engine is a Quiet Car. On the Metra Electric Line, only the third car from the south end of the train is a Quiet Car. There are no Quiet Cars on two-car trains. All Quiet Cars are identified with decals on outside of the car and signage inside the car. The rules are simple: No cell phone calls. If passengers must answer their phones, they should make it brief or move to the vestibule or another car. Conversations are discouraged; if they must be held they should be short and in subdued voices. All electronic devices must be muted, and headphones should not be loud enough for anyone else to hear. Quiet Cars are in effect on all inbound trains arriving downtown at or before 9 a.m. and all outbound trains leaving downtown between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Metra expects Quiet Cars to be largely enforced by peer pressure. Many riders said that having a rule in place empowered them to ask noisy people to be quiet or move. Conductors carry small notices that they can discreetly present to passengers who are violating the quiet car rules. While our goal is to keep cars as quiet as possible, passengers should not expect the car to be completely silent. Metra hopes all passengers will remember to treat their fellow passengers with courtesy and respect, no matter where they are sitting. Quiet Cars are a registered service mark of Amtrak.
What about alcohol?
Alcoholic beverages are permitted except during certain events and festivals, such as the Taste of Chicago and Blues Fest.
Does Metra operate a Lost and Found office?
Yes. To inquire about lost articles, please stop by the downtown terminus of your line or call the following phone numbers:
- Millennium: 312-322-7819
- LaSalle Street: 312-322-6509
- Union Station: 312-322-4269
- Ogilvie: 312-496-4751
Is Metra accessible to people with disabilities?
All Metra's train lines are fully accessible. Most stations are also fully accessible or have partial ADA accessibility. If you are in need of assistance, you should call ahead to check the level of accessibility at the stations. For more details, see our Accessibility page.
Is there parking at Metra stations?
Monthly permit and/or daily fee parking is available at most stations. However, Metra does not administer parking at most of these stations. Generally, the municipality in which the station is located oversees the parking; each has different parking rules and regulations. Some stations are overseen by Metra's parking contractor, SP+. There is a contact phone number for parking information on each station page. For full Parking information, click here.
Is baggage allowed on Metra trains?
There is no checked baggage on Metra trains. Because of limited space, skis, non-folding carriages or other large items cannot be carried. Baggage should not block aisles or other seats. There is a rack on the upper level of trains that can accommodate most luggage. Please comply with train crew instructions.
Who determines Metra policies?
Metra is run by an 11-member Board of Directors made up of representatives of the six-county area. Ten are appointed by county board chairman or commissioners, and one is appointed by the mayor of Chicago.
How is Metra funded?
Metra uses fare revenues to pay for a little more than half of its operating costs and public subsidies, primarily a regional transportation sales tax, for most of the rest. For its capital costs, including major infrastructure and rolling stock expenses, Metra relies overwhelmingly on local, state and federal assistance.
Where are Metra’s headquarters?
We’re at 547 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Illinois, 60661.
How can I contact Metra?
You can call our Passenger Services Department at 312-322-6777 weekdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. They'll be happy to answer your questions. For additional options, please refer to Contact Us.