Metra UP North riders get schedule relief

October 4, 2010 9:50:47 AM PDT
The Union Pacific North Line schedule is back to normal after complaints about delays and crowded trains prompted Metra to cancel a construction project.

Metra went back to the drawing board after too many passengers were inconvenienced.

"I want a nice commute, and so I'm very excited that the schedule has changed back," Janice Alberts said.

Metra had changed the schedule on the Union Pacific North Line so they could add a new station and rebuild 22 bridges on the busy line, which runs from downtown Chicago's Ogilvie Transportation Center to Kenosha, Wisconsin. Metra received a crush of complaints after the change August 22 to accommodate the $185 million, 8-year project.

When that happened, passengers were steamed about standing-room-only trains because the project limited the line to a single track.

"The Evanston riders couldn't get a seat. I come from the northern suburbs, and it was easier for us," said Tom Churchwell. "I think the closer you got into the city, the harder it was to get a seat, and people were unhappy about that. Trains were clustered. bad service."

And fewer trains meant riders weren't getting to work on time.

"You always got late to work, and they usually were late 10 to 15 minutes every day," said Karin Meltzer, commuter. "I think it's good they listened to the consumers because we have to use the train to get to work on time."

The old schedule was reinstated Sunday.

"It is a positive thing when Metra did listen to the riders and make some adjustments. It may have been an inconvenience overall, but I think it is a positive thing that they listen to the commuters," said commuter Dave Sheikh.

Meta officials say they do not know how much a revised construction plan will cost. They say they may have to send the project out for a rebid.


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