As ridership grows, Metra delivering 18 more weekday trains to UP West Line
Metra Union Pacific West riders can expect a lot more choices on Dec. 5, when the commuter railroad restores 18 more trains to the line.
There will be nine more inbound and nine additional outbound trains on weekdays, bringing the total available from 40 to 58.
"We have said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that Metra is committed to adjusting its schedules to meet growing ridership and our riders' changing needs," Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement.
"We are greatly encouraged by the growth in ridership so far this year and are happy that we are able to expand service on the UP-West Line to provide commuters with another option as winter sets in."
Passengers heading downtown from Elmhurst and points west can expect more morning rush trains with similar service from Ogilvie Transportation Center to the suburbs in the afternoon.
A new peak-time train to and from Glen Ellyn also is in the mix.
The revised schedule is considered a pilot project, with more changes to come assuming ridership grows. To learn more, go to metra.com/alternate-schedules.
Metra also is planning to add trains to the Milwaukee West, Milwaukee North, North Central Service and SouthWest Service lines in the coming weeks, officials said at a Nov. 11 meeting.
The agency has been incrementally growing service that was cut as COVID-19 surged in spring 2020 and commuters stayed home. Ridership is about 38% of 2019 levels, according to Regional Transportation Authority data for September.
For example, the North Central Service, between downtown and Antioch, currently has no trains on weekends.
The first increases were to the busy BNSF Line in March this year, then to the UP Northwest Line in April. The railroad also upped trains on the UP North, but construction projects have affected that route.