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Commuting back and forth to work just got easier thanks to expanded service on the Metra Milwaukee District North Line that aims to help those living in Chicago and working in Lake County.

The morning and afternoon train schedule has been improved to accommodate rush hour customers at Lake Cook Road, Deerfield and Lake Forest. A new outbound express train departs Union Station at 6:25 a.m. and arrives at Lake Cook Road at 7:04 a.m., Deerfield at 7:08 a.m. and Lake Forest at 7:15 a.m. In the afternoon, express service leaves Lake Forest at 5:09 p.m. and 5:35 p.m., Deerfield at 5:15 p.m. and 5:41 p.m.  and Lake Cook Road at 5:18 p.m. and 5:44 p.m., and arrives at Union Station in about 50 minutes or less.

The new schedule can be viewed here.

These changes make it convenient and fast to commute to work from Chicago neighborhoods like Fulton Market, West Loop, Wicker Park, Logan Square, Old Irving Park, Portage Park and Edgebrook.

The two-year reverse-commute pilot project is being funded by a public-private partnership between Metra and Lake County Partners, an economic development corporation affiliated with Lake County businesses and governments. AbbVie, Horizon Pharma, Trustmark Insurance, Tenneco, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Lake County government, the city of Lake Forest and the village of Deerfield are participating in the partnership.

“We are excited to launch this test of new reverse-commute service between Chicago and Lake County,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “We are hopeful that this initiative will build our ridership, help local businesses to recruit top talent and have a positive impact on economic activity in Lake County. This partnership also is an innovative way to test the demand for service to Lake County and potentially improve our infrastructure.”

“With this new service, it is now easy to live downtown and work in Lake County,” said Lake County Partners President and CEO Kevin Considine. “This is a tremendous opportunity for city dwellers to build careers at any of our globally recognized companies.”

"Working with the private sector to achieve their employment goals by attracting talented young people who desire to live in Chicago is a win-win-win situation," said Metra Chairman Norm Carlson. “The city of Chicago, Lake County and the employers all benefit. Public assets and operating funds are leveraged by private investment to enhance rail service that is a green solution. We look at this partnership as being a prototype for future expansions of Metra’s service to benefit the public. This is regional cooperation at its finest.” 

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