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Metra Monthly Commuter Newsletter
February 2017
Ventra App use continues to grow
     It’s been a little more than a year since Metra and its transit partners introduced the Ventra App, and our customers have taken to it in droves –  already about a third of all ticket sales are coming through the app.
     “We couldn’t be happier with how our customers have accepted and adopted mobile ticketing so rapidly and extensively,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We’ve accomplished what we set out to do, which is to put a Metra ticket vending machine in the pocket of everyone who owns a smartphone.”
      Because it’s been awhile since the app launched and because we have thousands of new users since our education campaign, we thought we'd provide a link to information about how use the app and display your ticket to a conductor
. Thanks for riding Metra, and using the Ventra App.
  Read More  
Metra Board honors train crew...
Above, the crew of Milwaukee North Train No. 2155, Conductor Joe Miles (from left), Assistant Conductor Paul Antens and Engineer Manny Sedano, were honored by the Metra Board of Directors last month for their quick and decisive actions to safely evacuate passengers and communicate with emergency responders following a police shooting on the train while it was stopped in Deerfield on the night of Jan. 6. Rich Oppenheim (right), the assistant superintendent of the Metra district that includes the Milwaukee lines, was also praised for going to the scene to coordinate Metra’s response and look after customers
...and recognizes Home Depot
Below, Metra Board Chairman Norman Carlson (left) and Metra Community Affairs Manager Richard Mack (right) present a certificate of appreciation to Rafael Agosto (center), manager of the Deerfield Home Depot store, for the comfort and refuge the store extended to Metra customers during the incident on Milwaukee North Train No. 2155 on Jan. 6.

How Metra got its name
To a group of leaders from the RTA’s Commuter Rail Service Board who gathered in April 1985, the identity of their fledgling agency rested in a name. Board leaders wanted a service mark that would bring the complicated patchwork of rail lines under one umbrella. And they wanted something a little catchier than the Commuter Rail Service Board. How did they decide on "Metra"? Read more in The Signal, a new feature on Metra's website.

 WHY THE EXTRA STOP? 
    
    
A number of my other commuters and I take the UP West Line to Chicago each morning and we take a number of different rush hour trains. The trains are packed with 500, 600, 700 commuters. Every rush hour train slows down, stops and then needs to get back to speed after dropping off one or two workers at the yard. The productivity that is wasted among thousands of the commuters inconvenienced by stopping for workers is ridiculous. The wait can be even longer after stopping at Western Avenue and then waiting for a train coming on the competing train line. Metra should require the workers to ride to Chicago and take a shuttle bus back to the yard. Also, I assume the workers are not paying a fare to ride the train like the other commuters.  
 Father Time

Using trains to position crews for service is common to Metra lines. It’s more efficient and inexpensive to use trains that are already making the trip to move them between yards and rest facilities than to buy shuttle buses and hire drivers to do it. That saves fares/taxpayer dollars. We limit the number of trains that make the stops, and the stops are brief and built into the schedule. Also, workers who are first reporting for work do pay their fare.

  A NICE TRIP   
 
 I rode the BNSF Line from my hometown of Naperville to Chicago on a recent jaunt to the Art Institute with some buddies and I must say I was positively enthralled with the quality of the ride. The conductors’ uniforms were pristine and really made me feel at home.
Thomas

Wow, thanks for the compliment. We’re really glad you had a nice trip, and thanks for riding.
 COURTESY RULES  
    

     I just wanted to offer a shoutout to the “blonde angel with the blue purse” who offered me her seat one morning on Metra Rock Island Train No. 415, which was packed with standees (I was one of them) due to the breakdown of the earlier train. She must have sensed my discomfort and halfway downtown she offered me her seat. Since I had forgotten to take my anti-inflammatory knee medication that morning, I so much appreciate her kind gesture. There are good, kind people in this world!
Jeannie

Yes, and lots and lots of them are our customers. We’re glad everyone (OK, most everyone) is looking out for their fellow riders and practicing common courtesy.

 TO THE POINT  

Been taking the train for 28 years and seen it all. For all the complainers, you are likely right, but I have three words for everyone who rides: Japanese commuter train. Things could be worse. Watch a video one day. Everyone get over yourselves and have some common decency.
Three Words

We’ve seen them and they are very crowded. Thanks for the dose of perspective.
Two stations
get artwork
The first artwork to be installed in Metra stations under a streamlined Comm- unity Enhancement Program features portraits of residents of the South Chicago neighborhood that were created with the assistance of people who also live in the area...
Full story
Brookfield ticket office to close
Due to declining ticket sales at the Brookfield Station, BNSF Railway will no longer staff the station with a ticket agent as of the close of business Tuesday, Feb. 7.  Although the ticket office is closing, passengers will continue to have access to the station facility at Brookfield...

 
Full story
Railroad crossing fines doubled
Metra reminds drivers that starting Jan. 1, the penalties doubled for those who try to cross railroad tracks after the grade crossing systems have activated. Metra initiated the law to help promote rail safety awareness and eliminate preventable injuries and deaths...
Full story
Read More in the Metra Newsroom

Feb. 11-20 

Take Metra, CTA to Chicago Auto Show
If you're going to the Chicago Auto Show this year, let Metra and the CTA do the driving. The show at McCormick Place can be reached directly from the Metra Electric Line, and CTA buses can get you there from Ogilvie, Union Station and Millennium. Click here for details.

Feb. 15 

Metra Board of Directors to meet
The February meeting of the Metra Board of Directors will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the 13th floor board room of Metra headquarters, 547 W. Jackson. Go here to see the agenda two days before the meeting and a webcast the day of the meeting.

Feb. 20 

Metra to offer regular service on Presidents Day
Metra will be offering its regular weekday service on the holiday.
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