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The Metra Board approved a two-phase contract with VenTek International, of Petaluma,
Calif., for a total of 650 ticket vending machines. The total cost, including acquisition and five years of support
and maintenance, is not to exceed $70 million.
The first phase will consist of 225 machines to replace the 45 existing ticket vending machines (at downtown stations and the busiest Metra Electric Line stations) and existing point-of sale credit card readers at 58 manned stations, and 75 machines to pilot a proof-of-payment system. The second phase will add 350 more machines so that all 242 Metra stations would have at least one vending machine.
The weather-hardened, fully ADA-accessible vending machines will accept cash or credit
and could eventually accept Ventra cards. They will sell any Metra ticket, printing them at the time
of purchase to save on costs, and will be available 24 hours a day. Currently, most stations do not
have agents, and most of the staffed stations have agents only in the morning hours.
Metra expects the first-phase machines to be installed starting in the middle of 2022 and
finishing about a year later.
Read the Metra media release here.