Metra, the commuter rail system serving the Chicago metropolitan area, is increasing weekend service as a pilot program on two lines this summer.
The Rock Island and UP Northwest commuter lines will offer expanded weekend service to provide customers traveling from the suburbs with additional options to visit the Chicago area as summer festivities ramp up.
“Our goal with these new summer weekend schedules is to give our customers along these lines more options and make it easier than ever to ride Metra to the Chicago area’s many summer events and attractions,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra’s CEO and executive director. “Combined with our $10 Weekend Pass and free trips for children aged 11 and younger, these new schedules make Metra the way to travel on summer vacation.”
In a recent survey of Metra riders, most respondents reported wanting more frequent service options, as well as faster service. Metra is testing whether offering faster and more frequent service will increase ridership and revenue on weekends with the newly-announced summer schedules.
The new weekend schedules begin the weekend of June 1-2 and end Labor Day weekend. On the Rock Island Line, six new inbound and six new outbound trains will be available to provide hourly service on Saturdays. There are no Sunday changes currently planned, Metra said.
Along the UP Northwest Line, there are five new inbound and five new outbound trains on Saturdays, and three new inbound and three new outbound trains on Sundays and holidays, including new express trains to and from Arlington Heights.
Full schedule information is available here.