Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Why doesn’t Metra have wireless internet on its trains yet? Mostly because it would be enormously expensive and a technological challenge, too. But should they?
By Darren McRoy Should Metra get Wi-Fi? Even if it’s expensive and hard to implement and maintain? The commuter-rail network is considering the possibility, the Chicago Tribune and other news agencies report, but price and technology continue to be two major barriers, despite that a DePaul University report shows 48 percent of Metra riders use personal electronic devices during their commutes. According to the paper, it could cost over $70 million to install wireless internet on all 11 Metra lines over five years—though some of that could perhaps be recouped by paid plans or sponsorships—and there’s a fear that the technology might quickly become obsolete or go unused by customers who prefer other connectivity, like smart-phone hotspots …
Friday, March 8, 2013
Eric Bennett of Hickory Hills was killed Thursday evening after he was hit by an eastbound Metra train at the Cass Avenue crossing in Westmont.
Updated at 4:57 p.m. Westmont Police Department officials investigating the death of Eric Bennett, the 31-year-old Hickory Hills man struck by a Metra train Thursday at the Cass Avenue crossing, are waiting to see Metra's onboard video from that train before releasing any information about what led to the fatal collision, Sgt. Stephen Thompson said Friday afternoon. "At that point we’ll have more information," Thompson said. Typically, he said, Metra gets that video to investigators within seven days of the incident. Original story: The Westmont Police Department has released the identity of the man who died Thursday night after being struck by a Metra train in Westmont. The deceased is 31-year-old Eric Bennett of Hickory Hills, according…
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Metra's board voted to drop the discount on its 10-ride ticket. Now it costs the same as 10 individual fares, instead of nine. Tell us what you think of the decision. Plus, Patch breaks down the numbers surrounding the increase.
If there's one thing you can say about the increase in Metra's 10-ride ticket, it's that you get what you pay for. The Metra board of directors voted 8-2 on Friday, Nov. 16, to make the 10-ride ticket cost as much as 10 individual tickets, ABC 7 News reports. Currently, the price of the 10-ride ticket is equal to nine individual tickets. READ: Check Out the Full ABC 7 News Story for More Details The increase goes into effect Feb. 1. Because no one demanded it, Patch breaks down the numbers surrounding the 10-ride fare hike. Metra fares are dependent on distance. Here's how much that 10th ticket will cost for a commuter to travel from his or her home station to downtown Chicago. What are other commuters paying to make it to work? Here's a …
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Don't get caught in a traffic snarl or miss your train.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Metra riders are prohibited from bringing coffee and face other restrictions on what they can carry on trains during the NATO summit. Breast milk, however, is okay.
As Chicago gears up for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit at McCormick Place, Metra has stepped up security throughout its rail system, including the Southwest and Rock Island lines. From May 19 through May 21, riders will face security screenings and restrictions on what they can carry on to trains while global leaders are in town for the NATO summit, Metra announced Monday. You may also want to ditch the latte. Riders will be prohibited from carrying food or beverages on the train, including coffee. However, breast milk can be carried on a train but is subject to inspection and should be declared if you’re being screened. Riders may also see increased police presence and perhaps even a bomb- sniffing dog or two. The following…
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Last year, Metra approved fare hikes to help cover a budget deficit attributed to diesel fuel prices, new federal regulations and higher insurance premiums for the company.
A 30 percent increase to Metra's 10-ride tickets and monthly passes takes effect today, Feb. 1, for commuters throughout the Chicago area. Last year, Metra approved fare hikes to help cover a budget deficit attributed to diesel fuel prices, new federal regulations and higher insurance premiums for the company. Taken together, the overall average increase is about 25 percent. The commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transit Authority is facing a $65 million deficit in 2012 and $100 million deficit in 2013. Read "The Fact Check: Is Metra Fudging the Savings Numbers?" What do the percentages mean for you? In Zone A, there will be an average monthly increase of $78. In Zone D, the monthly increase is about $135. View the PDF …
Monday, October 17, 2011
Metra put out a special issue of its commuter newsletter to sell its price hike plan to riders. The Fact Check sees if "On the Bi-Level" is on the level.
To sell a proposed fare hike to commuters, Metra recently put out a special edition of its commuter newsletter On The Bi-Level. Here's a look at the part relating to consumer cost. Note: Metra is still fiddling with the fare plan before the Nov. 11 vote, so the numbers here are just the proposal as reflected in the commuter newsletter. You can see a more complete presentation of these numbers at www.metrarail.com. The Claim: A commuter from Zone F (which includes Mokena) will pay $607.98 a month to drive to downtown Chicago compared to $162.25 for a monthly pass under the proposed fare hike. ... Problem 1: Metra compared its monthly rate to Loop parking garages' daily rates. Metra figured the cost of driving for someone who pays $18 a day…
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Instead of SouthWest Service line cuts, Metra's Board of Directors will vote next month on several changes to the fare structure before letting the public have a say.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Jesse Marx
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Metra's Board of Directors has decided against a proposal that would have cut weekday and weekend trains along the SouthWest Service Line, but the board is looking at an average 30 percent fare hike to plug next year's budget hole. Directors have settled temporarily on a proposal from Metra staff to raise one-way tickets by 17 percent, monthly tickets by 29 percent, and 10-ride tickets by 32 percent. In the meantime, they also agreed to discontinue the subsidy for Link-Up and PlusBus passes, round all tickets to the nearest quarter, and shorten all expiration and refund dates on sales. Ten ride tickets, for instance, would be redeemable for only 30 days, down from one year, with a $5 processing fee. The commuter rail division of the …
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Congressman Dan Lipinski and 22 elected officials send letter to Metra opposing cuts in weekday and weekend trains to southwest suburbs.
Commuters who get off work at 5 p.m. may have to wait up to two hours to catch a Metra train home out of downtown Chicago if a plan to cut weekday and weekend service to the southwest suburbs goes through. Some weekday trains on the Southwest Service Line are on the chopping block and weekend service may be eliminated altogether if a proposed plan by Metra to plug a $100 million budget hole goes through. Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and 22 elected officials along the Southwest Service line sent a pointed letter to Metra expressing their opposition to reduce service, saying that such service cuts would “disenfranchise” commuters in the southwest suburbs. READ the letter from elected officials. Elected officials, including suburban mayors…
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Tinley residents Donna Grace and Gail Crabtree dropped off their friend in Oak Forest just 15 minutes before crashing into a Metra train.
When Jeanette Slager got out of her friend, Donna Grace's car in Oak Forest around 3:45 p.m. Thursday she told her, "Now, you go straight home, you hear?" The 84-year-old had no idea that Grace, 81, and her passenger, Gail Crabtree, 97, would never make it home — at least not to Tinley Park. "They're smiling down," Slager, 84, said Saturday. "They made it to God's home. That's where they are." The two women died around 4 p.m. Thursday when Metra officials said Grace drove her blue Saturn at the front of a passenger train near 167th and Central Avenue in Oak Forest. Video footage from a camera inside the train shows all equipment at the crossing was "working as intended," Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said Friday. Slager has spent the last …