The Northeastern Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation, under its trademark Metra, operates eleven commuter rail lines that serve 200+ stations across the RTA's six-county service area. Unlike the 'L' lines, fare pricing is based on zones instead of a flat boarding fee. In addition, being mainly commuter rail service, frequent service is generally only provided during rush hours, although Metra is known for its speed and reliability. The eleven lines (while there are eleven, the Metra Electric line has three different branches) connect into one of four different downtown stations: Union Pacific North, West, and Northwest arrive in the Richard B. Oglivie Transportation Center (known more casually as the "Northwestern Station"); Milwaukee District North and West, North Central Service, Southwest Service, Burlington Northern, and Heritage Corridor converge in Union Station (along with being the nexus of Amtrak); the Rock Island Line arrives in the La Salle Street Station; and the Metra Electric arrives in the Randolph Street Station.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District ("NICTD"), separate from the RTA, operates the South Shore Line, an interurban line that runs between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. It arrives and departs from the Randolph Street Station.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago area's masstransit agencies face a serious financial shortfall, according to Illinois Auditor General William Holland, who added fuel on Thursday to the agencies' argument that a big funding boost was needed.
"Revenues for masstransit are not sufficient to pay the cost of current operations and capital renewal programs, nor provide new services," according to a performance audit released on Thursday.
Last month, the RTA, which oversees the ChicagoTransit Authority, Metra rail and Pace suburban buses, said it needed $10 billion from state and local sources over the next five years to cover maintenance and expansion.
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