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riding metra

Accessibility

In compliance with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all 11 train lines in the Metra system are fully accessible to customers with disabilities. Metra has modified railcars and made accessible most of its busiest train stations to accommodate individuals with hearing, vision and mobility disabilities. Train service for customers with disabilities spans all six counties in metropolitan Chicago. Individuals with disabilities may request a reasonable modification of Metra policies, practices, and procedures in order to accommodate a disability. Click here for information on how to do so. Click here to contact us.

Senior citizen/disability fares

Senior citizens 65 or older, customers with disabilities, and Medicare cardholders who have an RTA-issued Reduced Fare Permit are eligible for a reduced fare ticket. If you are enrolled in the Illinois Circuit Breaker program and have an RTA-issued Ride Free Circuit Permit, you are eligible to ride free. If you are not in possession of a RTA Reduced Fare Card you must contact the RTA at 312-913-3110 to apply.
 
Metra Electric customers: The credit card vending machines sell only full fare tickets. RTA Reduced Fare Permit-holders who purchase tickets can receive a rate adjustment at one of the downtown station ticket windows.

Railcar accessibility

The railcars on the Electric District are equipped with roll-on bridge plates that cover the gap between the vestibule and the high-level platforms.
 
The rest of the Metra system is operated by diesel locomotives.The diesel-powered lines have at least one lift-equipped car per train to provide access from low-level platforms. Each accessible car can be identified with the international "access" symbol. Non-downtown platforms have an accessible boarding area or areas where the lift-equipped train car will stop for boarding. Each accessible car has three wheelchair areas for customers who prefer to remain in their chairs. Customers can also transfer to standard seats.

Station accessibility

Metra currently has 173 fully accessible stations and 22 partially accessible stations. These represent our busiest stations used by more than 94 percent of our customers. Customers who use wheelchairs at partially accessible stations will be able to access train platforms from the street. However, ramps, ticket windows, buildings and shelters may not fully conform to ADA guidelines. These stations are designated as partially accessible so as not to deter customers from facilities which may be usable.
 
Customers can check the level of accessibility at stations they plan to use.

Your comments are welcome

We greatly value our customers and would like to hear from you about your trip on Metra. Your comments about our service or suggestions for improvement are always appreciated, please refer to Contact Metra.

What is P-8?

Under the ADA, commuter rail systems are not required to operate complimentary paratransit systems. Accordingly, Metra does not operate such a system. However, Metra does provide what is called P-8 service (short for paragraph 8 of the Jones II Consent Decree).
 
P-8 is a shuttle service from a qualified origin to the next accessible station. Metra does this at no additional charge to the passenger and does not require certification of disability status. Reservations may be made any time the day before the ride is needed or with as little as three hours notice when necessary.
 
If someone who ordinarily rides from a non-accessible station were to break a leg, for example, he or she could use the service during recuperation without going through a formal certification process.
 
P-8 connections are guaranteed - that is, if you miss the train because the ride is late, and another train is not available right away, the driver will take you to your destination station. In the unusual event the train is late, the driver will wait until it arrives.

What are the rules for P-8?

There are some rules governing the use of P-8 service. To qualify for the service:
  • The origin or destination must be within ½ mile of a non-accessible Metra station. This is called the qualifying station.
  • Travel is allowed only to or from the next accessible station on the same line.
  • If an accessible bus or train operates within ½ mile of the qualifying station to or from the next accessible Metra station, the trip is not eligible.
P-8 service exists temporarily and only to provide transportation for persons with disabilities to the next accessible station. It is not a paratransit service. Those who need paratransit should contact the RTA at 312-917-HELP.
 
As Metra stations and Pace and CTA buses become accessible, fewer P-8 trips will be eligible.
 
Please see below for examples at the time of writing. For the most current information, please contact Metra Passenger Services or refer back to this page. P-8 service is provided by a private company, SCR Transportation. For service, contact SCR at 800-868-5401.

Examples of eligible and non-eligible trips

  • Most trips within the city of Chicago are not eligible since all of Chicago is within ½ mile of an accessible bus line most of the time. There are, however, very limited exceptions.
  • For example, because the accessible (#1 Indiana) bus does not operate weekday evenings after the rush hour or on weekends, P-8 service is eligible on parts of the South Shore Line to the McCormick Place Station during those periods.
  • Trips from Main Street Station in Evanston to Rogers Park Station are eligible because CTA buses do not go to Metra's Roger Park Station. Trips to Central Street Station from Main Street Station are eligible only between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. since a CTA bus operates during the day.
  • Trips from Oak Park Station are not eligible since CTA's Green Line runs downtown.
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