I have a solution for Metra's cash problems which does not necessitate raising fares: Collect fares from passengers! My wife and I rode the Northwest train downtown on a recent Sunday. The train was packed with Cubs fans and opera fans going to see "Oklahoma!" It was standing room only. The Cubs fans in our car (the last of five) departed at Irving Park Road without paying a fare. Our ten-ride pass was not punched until after Clybourn.
My guess is that an extra one or two cars would have thinned out the crowd and allowed the two conductors working the train to collect all fares. Doesn't anyone at Metra anticipate days when a passenger crush is expected? The two events that filled our train were well known in advance. Can two conductors be expected to work a standing room only train?
This is not the first time my wife and I have observed this condition.