Metra Board approves $1.6B FY24 budget, focus on system rehabilitation

Metra Board approves $1.6B FY24 budget, focus on system rehabilitation Image credit: Metra

The Metra Board of Directors approved a $1.1 billion operating budget for 2024 that includes a major revision to the fare structure and a new mix of fare products. It also approved a $574.9 million capital budget that continues significant investment in railcars, bridges, and stations.

The operating budget is 4.9% higher than the 2023 budget (excluding $65 million in added costs that will be reimbursed by Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, or NICTD) driven by expected inflationary (general, medical premiums, fuel, insurance) and contractual (union agreements) increases.

The operating budget incorporates a revision to the fare structure. Under the new fare structure, which will take effect on Feb. 1, 2024, fares will be equal to or lower than pre-pandemic levels. 

The capital budget of $574.9 million funds 97 projects throughout the system. About 63% of the budget will fund work in four categories:

  •   Bridge and retaining wall replacement and rehabilitation: $143.8 million;
  •   Stations and parking rehabilitations: $77.5 million;
  •   Yard improvements, including facility acquisitions: $71.1 million;
  •   Railcar rehabilitation $67.6 million.

The capital budget is funded by:

  •   $252.1 million in federal formula funding;
  •   $117 million USDOT Mega grant for Union Pacific North Line bridges;
  •   $73.8 million in Illinois PAYGO funds;
  •   $130 million in RTA bonds;
  •   $2 million in RTA Section 5310 funds.

Source: Metra