As part of Metra’s Strategic Planning initiative, Metra is in the process of completing a Station Optimization Study, which will recommend strategies to better utilize investments in existing and future stations, and balance the mobility needs of the communities we serve with our obligation to utilize the agency’s resources in an efficient way. Staff has developed a draft Station Evaluation Policy to guide the assessment of existing stations and consideration of proposed infill stations (that is, new stations on existing Metra lines, between existing stations).
The policy establishes a plan to review existing stations at least every two years. Metra will collaborate with community stakeholders to create plans of action for stations with low ridership, in order to increase ridership, improve customer experience, and build support for Metra service among nearby residents. The policy also identifies a process for working with communities to address stations where ridership is not able to be improved. (The stations that would be considered “unsustainable,” and therefore the subject of additional analysis, would be the bottom 10 percent, or final 23 stations, on Exhibit 5 of this report.)
In addition, the policy provides guidance for consideration of infill stations (that is, new stations on existing Metra lines, between existing stations). Proposals for new access points to the Metra system must weigh the potential benefits to new riders against drawbacks to existing riders, before they can proceed.
The draft Station Evaluation Policy comment period has closed, and Metra evaluating the feedback we received from the community, stakeholders, and the public.