Emergency Preparedness / Public Awareness

The safety and security of our commuters is our highest priority. Metra is committed to providing the safest and most secure travel environment for commuters. Emergency preparedness is part of this effort. Metra works with federal, state and local agencies as well as our transit partners to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from incidents in order to minimize the impact on life, property and the economy.

Metra was the first transit system in the nation to train all of its employees in awareness and recognition. This training is critical in how employees react to threats and perceived threats. 

Metra Police Officers and management staff are certified in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS training prepares personnel for handling incidents regardless of cause, size, location or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

Metra provides training for the emergency responders who serve the 110 communities in which we operate. The training provides an overview of our evacuation process and familiarizes the emergency responders with our equipment and our safety procedures.

Metra works with federal, state and local officials and emergency responders to educate them about Metra’s abilities to assist emergency responders, with the goal of minimizing the impact of incidents that occur on Metra.

In addition, Metra has improved its emergency messaging systems at stations and platforms, allowing us to communicate information to commuters about safety or security issues through special announcements or general information messaging.

Public Awareness
Metra is committed to informing customers, as well as the general public, about emergency preparedness through its public awareness campaigns. Metra is part of Transit Watch, a nationwide public awareness outreach campaign that encourages the active participation of transit passengers and employees in maintaining a safe transit environment. On behalf of Transit Watch, Metra has integrated the “See Something? Say Something” public awareness program designed to encourage collaboration between Metra and its commuters. 

Metra keeps its public informed through its website, which contains emergency preparedness and awareness information. Metra also incorporates public awareness through various poster campaigns, verbal announcements and electronic message boards on our trains and station platforms, and other forms of signage located at each of our stations and downtown terminals.

The public is reminded that, before an act, terrorists may use a variety of activities to find out more about their target, to test its security procedures, and to plan their attack. Everyone should be alert for the following suspicious activities: 

  • Conducting surveillance: Be aware of individuals who are seen multiple times at the same locations, sitting in parked vehicles, waiting or loitering at stations for extended periods, taking notes or annotating maps, or showing an abnormal interest in Metra’s operations and facilities.
  • Infiltrating secure areas: Be aware of individuals who are entering restricted areas, attempting to gain access into restricted areas or asking for security sensitive information.
  • Testing security: Be aware of individuals who are changing or tampering with locks, disabling surveillance equipment, compromising fences or gates or following Metra vehicles.
  • Suspicious behavior: Be aware of unusual or out-of-place activity for your transportation and community environment.
  • Suspicious packages, bags or vehicles: Be aware of unaccompanied packages or bags placed in a discreet location or other obscured area, or unoccupied vehicles parked close to buildings, bridges, stations, terminals, or other critical structures.
  • Photography & Videography: For safety and security reasons, photography or videography on Metra property is only permitted in areas that are clearly open to public use.  Areas that are accessible only to Metra employees, including but not limited to, the right-of way and rail yards, are highly restricted areas and are not able to be accessed for photography or videography by the general public.  Metra will prosecute trespassers to the fullest extent of the law.

Individuals seeking permission for all photographic and videographic opportunities should complete and submit the form here per the instructions indicated.  Instructions for Submitting Application:

  1. Submit application at least 20 business days prior to your proposed first shoot day, Monday-Friday, excluding Metra holidays. Return completed Permit Application via either Fax, email or mail to:
  2. Send a COPY of your Application and your non-refundable $500.00 Permit Application Fee.

Metra will evaluate your Application. If your Application is accepted, you will be required to agree to the terms and conditions of a License Agreement for Film and Video Productions which includes restrictions on use of Metra property and equipment, an indemnification provision, and insurance requirements. A location fee, fee for use of Metra equipment, location and services, Metra staff time are applicable and will be assessed. All applicable fees must be paid in full and insurance requirements must be met before you begin your activity on Metra property.

Submitting an Application does not guarantee that Metra will issue an Agreement for filming. Metra’s primary purpose is to provide safe, secure, reliable and clean transportation services to its passengers. Metra may, at its sole discretion, deny your Application to prevent interference with Metra’s primary transportation responsibilities.

You can help keep Metra a safe and secure travel environment by reporting unattended packages and suspicious activity to the Metra Police at 312-322-2800.  Never assume someone else will make the call.