Due to declining on-site ticket sales, Metra today announced that Union Pacific (UP) Railroad will no longer staff the Oak Park and Kenilworth Stations with ticket agents as of the close of business on Thursday, March 30.
Ticket sales have declined at many Metra stations as passengers have switched to online and mobile purchasing. Although the ticket office is closing, passengers will continue to have access to the station facilities at the UP West Line Oak Park Station, where more than 1,100 customers board each weekday, and the UP North Line Kenilworth Station, where more than 300 people board each weekday. The positions are being eliminated through attrition.
“Technology is changing the way our customers buy Metra tickets. By the end of last year, about 30 percent of all tickets were being purchased through the Ventra App,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Don Orseno. “Evaluating the best use of our limited resources and redeploying the agents from these stations to locations where we need more manpower is simply a good business practice.”
In January, customers at the Kenilworth Station purchased 817 tickets, the lowest of the 10 stations staffed by an agent on the UP North Line. The sales, which totaled $29,897, were also the lowest on the line. During the same month, customers at the Oak Park Station purchased 1,209 tickets, the second-lowest amount on the UP West Line. The sales generated $28,131, the least of all eight staffed stations on the line.
After March 30, customers who use the Oak Park and Kenilworth Stations will be able to use cash to purchase a One-Way paper ticket onboard from a conductor at no extra cost. In addition, customers can purchase tickets from an agent or vending machine at all five downtown stations, online here or through the free Ventra App, available in the App Store and Google Play.
On-site ticket sales were previously eliminated at the Riverside and Brookfield stations on the BNSF Line, the 91st, 95th and 99th Street stations on the Rock Island Line, the Bensenville Station on the Milwaukee West Line, the 57th Street Station on the Metra Electric Line, the Hubbard Woods and Lake Bluff stations on the UP North Line and the Harvard Station on the UP Northwest Line.