August 12, 2016
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Metra Introduces Speedier Midday Service

Residents of Chicago’s southern suburbs served by the Metra Rock Island Line can save 15-20 minutes on their midday commuter rail trips into the city with the Aug. 1 launch of express midday service, which bypasses some stops along the route while local trains stop at all stations.

“Reducing travel times by adding midday express trains will encourage more people from the south suburbs to take the train because the service is now more convenient because it gives them more flexibility,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “It’s just another example of how we are identifying opportunities to meet market needs within the bounds of our existing resources.”

The six-month trial program includes the addition of three inbound express trains and two outbound express runs during the midday hours, inspired by the success of weekend express service launched last year. A total of 733 people used the new service on opening day.

Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority is funding the pilot project with a $140,000 Innovation, Coordination and Enhancement Grant. Metra will evaluate ridership levels at the end of six months before deciding whether to make a permanent change to the Rock Island schedule.
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