Here is the most recent information about Metra's response to the COVID-19 crisis as the Chicago area begins to reopen:
At least at the start of June, Metra will continue operating the current alternate weekday schedules on all lines. Most Metra lines operating weekend service (except the Metra Electric) have temporarily changed to Sunday schedules for both Saturday and Sunday service. Saturday service on Metra’s SouthWest Service Line is suspended until further notice. The Metra Electric Line will continue to operate Saturday schedules on Saturdays and Sunday schedules on Sunday. The first car will be available for passengers again. As ridership grows, Metra will add cars to trains and add trains to the schedule to allow for passengers to physically distance as much as and as long as possible.
Metra is asking for all passengers to cooperate and take responsibility for their own actions – we are all in this together. That includes practicing responsible physical distancing, wearing a face covering while riding the train (per Gov. Pritzker’s Executive Order) and staying in their seat and not crowding the aisles or vestibules.
In general, Metra will aim for trains that are no more than about half full: one passenger per two-seater on the lower level and one passenger per every other seat on the upper level. (There will be exceptions for families or others travelling together.)
Metra is launching a new $10 All-Day Pass on June 1 and strongly encouraging customers to buy it in the Ventra app, giving them a “Touch Less, Pay Less” option to ride its trains safely and affordably. Click here for details.
While Metra will resume accepting cash as payment for fares at ticket windows and on trains on June 1, it strongly encourages passengers to buy their tickets with the Ventra app to limit interactions between crews and passengers. The new $10 All-Day Pass can be purchased with cash, but if you boarded at a station where an agent was available, the conductor will charge an additional $5 fee for buying it on the train.
Starting immediately, Metra will no longer accept checks on its trains.
- Metra is allowing doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other medical personnel on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic to ride free on Metra trains at least through the end of June. To ride free, medical personnel only need to present a work ID showing that they are employed at a hospital, doctor’s office, medical facility or local fire department to a Metra conductor.
Keeping our customers and employees safe is Metra’s top priority. We are doing what we can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The measures we are taking include:
- Metra has spent the last few months deep cleaning its more than 1,000 railcars. It also has been studying best practices and experimenting with new cleaning methods, new cleaning solutions and new cleaning machines in a still-evolving effort to identify the most efficient and effective way to ensure cars are as safe as possible.
- Metra is cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch areas (such as seats, seat handles, armrests, door handles, handrails, vestibule posts and handholds) as frequently as possible, at least once a day. It also will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect toilets and toilet areas at least once a day.
- As supplies become available, Metra will be installing additional hand sanitizer dispensers on all cars. There are already dispensers in the toilet areas.
- Metra’s intention is to vigorously inspect cars and maintain the cleanliness it has achieved by deep cleaning, and it wants to exceed industry standards for sanitation.
- Cleaning Metra-maintained stations multiple times a week. We will maintain our schedule and will pay special attention to disinfecting high-touch surfaces. We are also bringing in extra crews to increase the cleaning and disinfecting of downtown stations. We have also asked the municipalities or other entities that maintain the stations in their communities to do the same.
- Adding to our inventory of hygienic supplies including hand sanitizers, sanitizing wipes and disinfectants so employees have ample amounts of these essential supplies.
We also urge our customers and employees to take precautions recommended by federal, state and local healthcare officials:
- Please wear a face covering while riding the train. Customers are required to wear a mask or face covering in public places when a six-foot social distance cannot be maintained.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If a tissue is not available, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or shoulder.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
We will continue to monitor this situation and work with health officials.
For updates, call Illinois’ COVID-19 Hotline at 1.800.889.3931 or email email@example.com.
You can also get updates from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).