New to commuter rail in Chicago? Metra trains travel to 241 stations on 11 lines, connecting the Loop with suburbs and nearby cities. To get started, see these quick tips on how to ride Metra trains.
1. Find Your Route
We recommend planning your trip with Google Maps. Simply enter your start and end location, then click on the train icon to get transit routes. If you aren’t sure which stations are near you, view the Metra map or search for “train station” in Google Maps to find the nearest stops.
Note: Not all Metra stations are handicap accessible. Out of 241 stations, 195 stations are accessible in some form. Confirm station status if you need accessibility for wheelchairs or strollers.
2. Look Up Schedules
View Metra schedules online, although you will need to know the Metra line you are traveling on to view the train schedule (or search for your starting station on the Metra website).
The other option is to use Google Maps — for travel on a specific date and time, click on the “Leave Now” option to customize your trip. Google Maps also displays the fare for your trip and commute time.
3. Purchase Fare
There are several ways to buy Metra fare:
- On the train (extra charges may apply)
- From a station vending machine
- Fom an agent at a station
- Via the Ventra App (recommended)
Things to Know
- Purchase fare via the app to save time.
- Bring cash if purchasing fare on the train.
- Only buy tickets on the train if your starting station doesn’t have a vending machine or ticket agent (extra fees apply otherwise)
- The 10-Ride Ticket option can be shared by a group traveling together, but can only be used to ride between the same two stations.
- Choose a monthly pass if you regularly travel between two stations.
- Riding on the weekend? The $8 unlimited-ride weekend pass is a good option if you’re taking several trips or traveling long distances.
How much are tickets?
Metra fares are calculated based zones and distance traveled. The further you travel, the more expensive the fare. If you’re traveling within the same zone, the fare is only $3.75. The most expensive fare is around $10. View all ticket options.
4. Board the Train
Arrive early to your starting Metra station, especially if you need to park and purchase fare. Many stations have parking available for a fee (parking lots not operated by Metra). Or get dropped off at a station or walk to Metra depending on your location. New Uber riders can use promo code TransitGuide to get a free first ride up to $20.
5. Show Proof of Fare
After boarding the train, find a seat and present your proof of payment or purchase fare with cash when the Metra agent arrives. Staff checks tickets as new passengers board the train.