Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by ohioriverrailway
How do the Chicago area carriers handle reduced ridership when something like this happens? Just reduce the number of cars in a train or remove trips or both? Seems like there'd some kind of minimum frequency on the long runs...thinking South Bend for instance...where it wouldn't devolve to just two trains a day.
  by justalurker66
So far only extra trains planned for Saturday were cancelled on the NICTD South Shore. My expectation is that if ridership is affected they will reduce the number of cars in service. I do not expect a reduced number of runs. Less cars in service would mean more time for cleaning between runs.

South Shore Line officials continue to monitor and address potential impacts from novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and are taking steps to further reduce the risk to our passengers from exposure to the virus.

As of March 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of the American public are unlikely to be exposed to the virus at this time, and the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. However, as a precautionary measure, the SSL has implemented a heightened maintenance protocol, including increasing the frequency and intensity of our sanitizing procedures on trains and in stations.

CDC-approved sanitizers and disinfectants with 24-hour effectiveness in killing COVID-19 will be in use every day on all frequently used surfaces. This is including, but not limited to, station and on-board train seats, arm rests, floors, door frames, interior hand holds, bathroom sinks, toilets and door knobs.

In addition, we are reinforcing basic methods of protection with all train personnel, and encourage passengers to utilize soap and water onboard the trains for appropriate hand-washing measures.

https://www.mysouthshoreline.com/commut ... recautions

Metra Coronavirus response

Dear Metra Customers,

Please know that Metra is doing everything it can to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We understand the importance of regularly cleaning and disinfecting our stations and equipment for the health and safety of our customers and employees. You can read about our efforts below. Customers can do their part, too, by following the guidelines of health professionals to prevent the spread of the virus, including regularly washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and other measures. Metra will remain in touch with federal, state and local health authorities and will make any changes to our procedures as necessary.

Thank you and be safe.

Jim Derwinski
CEO/Executive Director

  by eolesen
Mayor Lightfoot met with leaders of large employers in Friday and encouraged them to keep employees ou tnn of downtown.

Schools all over are closing, restaurants and bars are being forced closed by the Governor, and business travel to and from the city is at a standstill.

Why Metra hasn't made moves to reduce schedules is beyond me.

  by STrRedWolf
Just dipping in here for a point to make.

NJ Transit in New Jersey has a 20% dip in ridership currently. It's still running a full schedule.

Those trains are usually stuffed to standing. Want to bet those 20% are the standees?
  by chirailfan
Hello. Been following the board for a bit.

The public transit agencies might be mum now but chances are they are monitoring (lack of) ridership and likely considering reducing service. Probably just a matter of time.
  by Tadman
It seems the South Shore has extended the March monthly pass into April but has not reverted to Saturday schedule yet. I can't believe those trains aren't running empty.
  by ohioriverrailway
Saturday schedule with two added peak trips IB and OB begins on Monday on the NICTD.
  by eolesen
Glad to see our tax dollars are being used in the least useful way by operating nearly empty trains on a full weekday schedule....

It's Thursday. The rest of the country seems to be adopting a 15-day posture, yet there's still no plan to run Metra on a reduced schedule.

Amazing. They make the Federal response look competent and timely.
  by chirailfan
Metra switching to alternate schedules on Monday, March 23 due to coronavirus

https://metrarail.com/about-metra/newsr ... oronavirus

(March 19, 2020) - Metra will begin operating an alternate weekday schedule on Monday, March 23, to adjust for the reduced number of riders due to school closures, work-from-home mandates and other consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. It will operate its normal weekend schedules this weekend on lines that have weekend service.

Although Metra does not have hard numbers, it experienced a severe drop in ridership late last week, as the impacts of the pandemic spread. That decline has continued this week, particularly after many businesses switched to work-from-home and Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the closing of schools statewide and banned large gatherings in order to stop the spread of the virus.

Because it remains difficult to accurately predict the demand for service, and therefore the amount of service required to meet that demand, further adjustments are possible if the alternate schedules prove inadequate. Metra will give customers ample warning if schedules need to be adjusted again. Any potential changes to weekend schedules also will be announced with ample warning.
  by lstone19
A count of cars in the Roselle (MD-W) lot late this morning (I was out walking for exercise), which can hold several hundred cars, was 24 in the permit lot and 5 in the daily fee lot. That's down from 44 and 12 last Thursday before the "stay at home" restrictions went into effect.
  by eolesen
I noticed the other night that the lights in seven of the nine coaches on a UPNW early evening train were turned off. Has Metra implemented sleepers in addition to quiet cars?
  by chirailfan
Curious to check out Naperville and Route 59, the two highest boarding stations outside of downtown in the entire Metra network. 59 will give a better indication since the lots are spread out. Anecdotal evidence has shown people are still riding the trains from that far out but at greatly reduced numbers.
  by chirailfan
5:30pm the Aurora side (south of BNSF main) of the Route 59 station had 20 cars in the lot (14 permit, 6 daily). Might not be a completely accurate estimate as it’s after 5pm and 5 trains have stopped at the station since 3pm.

The Naperville side (north) had 15 cars in the lot.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by eolesen
Drove thru Barrington today, and noticed two of the four sets normally used for early morning departures still tied up in the coach yard at 1030am.

Haven't made it out to Crystal Lake or Harvard, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a few more trainsets stored in those coach yards as well.
  by lstone19
eolesen wrote: Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:03 am Drove thru Barrington today, and noticed two of the four sets normally used for early morning departures still tied up in the coach yard at 1030am.

Haven't made it out to Crystal Lake or Harvard, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a few more trainsets stored in those coach yards as well.
Not surprising. I analyzed the current MD-W schedule and it can be operated with seven of the ten equipment sets assigned to the MD-W.