Riding Metra

There are a lot of interesting, educational and just plain fun things to do in Northeast Illinois and Metra can get you where you want to go. The 495-mile Metra system serves 241 stations in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry and Kane.

On Metra you can reach Chicago's beautiful lakefront, museums, zoos, sporting events, shops and restaurants, concerts, special events, schools and colleges as well as quaint, historic suburbs and small towns. In some cases, Metra can take you practically to the front door. In other cases, your destination can be easily reached via connecting Pace buses and/or CTA buses and trains.

On weekends and holidays, Family Fares allow kids 11 and under to ride free when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.

Get a group of 25 or more together and save on a special outing. Call 312-322-6772 for details.

The schedules, fares and other arrangements shown at this site are subject to change without notice. Neither Metra, its contract carriers, Pace nor the RTA assumes responsibility for errors in timetables, nor for inconvenience or damage resulting from missed stops, missed trains, delayed trains, cancelled trains, failure to make connections or shortages of equipment.

Overcrowding Tips: Whenever there is a problem on one of our lines that could result in the disruption of evening rush-hour service, Metra will implement a plan to prevent dangerous overcrowding conditions from developing at our downtown stations. Our plans will be announced through e-mailed alerts, our website, station announcements and the media. If we believe there is a need to implement such a plan, we kindly request your cooperation to make it work.

Here’s what you can do:

  • When you receive a station overcrowding alert, please consider helping us by remaining at work or somewhere else downtown a little longer.
  • Please consider seeking an alternate way to get home.
  • Please keep your voice down or avoid conversing during announcements at the station so others may hear the updates over the PA system.
  • Please avoid forcing your way into the confined waiting area outside the gates.
  • Please spread out throughout the station and at Union Station, consider waiting in the Great Hall. You can hear the announcements there.
  • For your safety and the safety of others around you, please avoid overcrowding on platforms.
  • Please leave room for people to get off the arriving trains.
  • Please keep a passageway open in the waiting areas sufficient for arriving customers to get through the station on their way to their final destinations.
  • Please follow all directives of police and station personnel.
  • Sign up to receive e-mailed alerts through a My Metra Account.
  • Please understand that we are working as hard as we can to get you home safely, as quickly as possible.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. 

Baggage: There is no checked baggage on Metra trains. Because of limited space, skis, non-folding carriages or other large items cannot be carried. Baggage should not block aisles or other seats. Please comply with train crew instructions.

Pets: Only service animals assisting customers with disabilities are permitted on trains.

Standees: Every effort is made to provide enough seats, but occasionally, due to fluctuations of traffic or changes in travel habits, some standing occurs. There may be seats available elsewhere on the train. When all seats in your car are occupied, a trainman can advise whether seats are available elsewhere on the train.

Metra Quiet Cars: To give passengers some peace and quiet during their commute, Metra has designated Quiet Cars on all morning inbound and evening outbound rush-hour trains Monday - Friday. The cars are designed to give riders a space free of some common nuisances such as cellphone calls, loud headphones and loud conversations.

On all lines except the Metra Electric Line, the Quiet Cars are the second car from the locomotive and the second car from the other end of the train on rush-hour trains with six or more cars. If there are five cars or fewer on the train, only the second car from the engine is a Quiet Car. On the Metra Electric Line, only the third car from the south end of the train is a Quiet Car. There are no Quiet Cars on two-car trains.

All Quiet Cars are identified with decals on outside of the car and signage inside the car.

The rules are simple:

  • No cell phone calls.
  • If passengers must answer their phones, they should make it brief or move to the vestibule or another car.
  • Conversations are discouraged; if they must be held they should be short and in subdued voices.
  • All electronic devices must be muted, and headphones should not be loud enough for anyone else to hear.

Quiet Cars are in effect on all inbound trains arriving downtown at or before 9 a.m. and all outbound trains leaving downtown between 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m, Monday - Friday. Click here to see the Quiet Car brochure.

Metra expects Quiet Cars to be largely enforced by peer pressure and conductor intervention when necessary. Many riders said that having a rule in place empowered them to ask noisy people to be quiet or move. Conductors carry small notices that they can discreetly present to passengers who are violating the quiet car rules.

Metra hopes all passengers will remember to treat their fellow passengers with courtesy and respect, no matter where they are sitting. 

Quiet Cars are a registered service mark of Amtrak.

Holidays: Sunday schedules are in effect on New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Lost Tickets/Refund Policy (Effective February 1, 2014):
Refunds for unused and unexpired tickets are available as per the following guidelines. No refund or replacement ticket will be issued for lost, destroyed or stolen tickets.

REFUNDS AVAILABLE VIA MAIL:
Any eligible ticket may be submitted to our Revenue Accounting Department for refund. All tickets paid with cash, check, traveler’s checks, gift certificates, etc., ordered via our Ticket by Mail program, or by mixed tender type (more than one form of payment) must be forwarded to our accounting office for processing. The form required to initiate a refund for unused or partially used tickets can be found here, in the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of our website, or be obtained from any ticket sales location. Mail the refund form request, along with the tickets, to: Metra Revenue Accounting Department Attn: Refunds – 547 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60661.

Union Pacific Customers: To expedite the refund process or submit TBM payments for tickets purchased from the Union Pacific, please use the following address: Union Pacific Passenger Accounting, P.O. Box 617763 Chicago, IL 60661.

REFUNDS AVAILABLE AT A TICKET SALES LOCATION:
The following tickets may be refunded by a ticket sales agent at any ticket selling location. No matter the original tender type, Metra does not issue cash refunds. Cash refunds will not be given for tickets originally purchased with a debit/credit card; please note the requirements for each type.

Ten-Ride Tickets: (Refunds only available within the first three months from date of purchase and subject to a $5 handling fee).

Refunds are available on unused and unexpired Ten-Ride tickets provided they were purchased using a debit/credit card either at a ticket window or via Ticket by Internet. For tickets purchased at a ticket window, the customer must submit the purchase receipt and the same debit/credit card used for purchase.

For tickets purchased via the Ticket by Internet program, customer must provide the e-mail shipment confirmation, which contains the last four digits of the credit card used and the same credit/debit card.

Partially used refund calculation: The cost of a one-way for the specific zone-pair combination will be deducted for each ride taken.

Monthly Tickets: (Subject to a $5 handling fee if returned after the first day of the month)

Any monthly ticket, other than a Ticket by Mail ticket, purchased using a debit/credit card may be processed for refund at any ticket sales location, provided that the customer presents the purchase receipt and the same debit/credit card used for the purchase. All monthly tickets, regardless of method of payment, will be refunded on a percentage basis depending on the date returned with 100% refunded on or before Day 1 of the month for which the ticket is valid, 85% refunded on Day 2. The amount refunded continues to be reduced by 5% for everyday thereafter until close of business on Day 18 of the month at which time no refund is permitted.

Ventra LinkUp and PlusBus cards are not eligible for refunds.

Ventra Customer Service: 877-669-8368

Other Tickets:
Weekend tickets are non-refundable.
One-Way tickets are non-refundable and valid for 14 days (including the date of purchase).
Tickets purchased with an RTA Fare Check are non-refundable due to current tax laws.
Tickets purchased through an employer sponsored fare media program are eligible for credit through the employer’s program manager.

Deadly Weapons Policy: Only properly authorized law enforcement personnel are allowed to have deadly weapons on-board Metra trains.

Dangerous Materials Prohibited on Metra Trains: Inflammables, acids, compressed gases (except medically required oxygen tanks) or articles or materials having or capable of producing strong offensive odors, explosion or fire, or articles or materials likely to endanger persons or property are not permitted on-board Metra trains. This includes empty or partially empty containers of oil, gas, petroleum products, paint or varnish.

Lost Articles: Neither Metra, its contract carriers, Pace, nor RTA assumes responsibility for articles left on trains, buses or at stations. For lost and found, call the following numbers:

All Union Station trains312-322-4269
 
Union Pacific trains312-496-4751
Rock Island District trains312-322-8957
Metra Electric District trains312-322-7819

A few considerations to make everyone's Metra experience more pleasant:

  • No smoking is allowed on any trains, in stations or within 15 feet of station and enclosed area entrances.
  • No seats are reserved. Please do not inconvenience other customers by hogging or holding seats or blocking seats with bags or briefcases.
  • Please refrain from placing shoes or feet on seats or upper deck railings.
  • Please don't block the doors, making it difficult for other passengers to get on or off at their stations.
  • Please be considerate of others and keep volume on headsets low.
  • Please also be considerate of others while using cellphones.
  • Help us maintain a clean environment by not leaving litter on trains, in stations, or in stairwells and walkways.
  • Passengers whose conduct is disorderly or unsafe will not be allowed on the train.
  • Obscene language, or that which is disturbing to other passengers is prohibited.