Although the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) achieved unification of Chicago's commuter railroads during the 1970's, the individual railroads continued to actually operate the commuter services, and issue the tickets. And as the 1970's progressed, the railroads began including the RTA logo on their tickets. And the railroads' many different "station to station" fares were replaced by uniform "zone" fares, with zone letters identified on the tickets. Zone A begins downtown and extends 5 miles out, with each subsequent lettered zone 5 miles long.

Shown are tickets issued at stations, along with cash fare receipts issued by conductors for fares paid on the train. The forms at the top right were issued at the downtown station, using ticket dispensing machines operated by the agents. Those ticket machines were developed long before this age of electronics. For each kind of ticket, a long metal "card" would be inserted into the machine, "programming" the machine to print out the proper ticket form. Such ticket machines have also been used by Amtrak, and by various northeastern commuter railroads.