Some Metra riders didn't mind extra security

May 21, 2012 (CHICAGO)

ABC7's Eric Horng rode a Metra train Monday and shared his experience.

Even before I enter the Millenium Station, it's clear from all the barricades and police outside that this would be no ordinary train ride.

Once inside, I encounter more police, private security, and Secret Service, which keeps us waiting in the terminal instead of on the platform.

There's no pat-down or metal detector to go through but when the southbound Electric Line train is ready to board, there's a bag search. After passing by a bomb-sniffing dog, passengers are led to the train in a single file line, where there's another bag search.

"It was pretty overwhelming," said Metra rider Lisa Landoe. "There was probably 25 Secret Service agents per civilian at the Millenium Station."

I take my seat across from Chris Long, of Forest Park. This is her second trip on the Electric Line Monday.

"There was one young man who had a duffel bag with his McDonald's and water," Long said. "They made him take that out."

We leave on time.

As the conductor takes our tickets, he's accompanied by a security guard.

We speed past the museum and 18th street stations and as we approach McCormick Place, we see large groups of police and Secret Service out or window before we pass underneath the complex without slowing down.

As I leave the 55th Street station, I'm ahead of schedule because of the fewer stops.

The inconvenience, however, was greater for those wanting to use the 25 stops that were closed, including the entire Blue Island branch.

But most riders seemed to take it in stride.

"This is what it is," Landoe said. "I mean, I appreciate the city doing everything it can to keep us safe. So it really wasn't a problem."

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