Metra's reverse-commute service offers express trains between Chicago, Lake Forest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some reverse-commute Metra riders -- those traveling from the city to the north suburbs -- will get to their destination faster starting Monday.

The "reverse-commute trains" will operate express on the Milwaukee District North Line between Chicago's Union Station and Lake Forest during the morning and evening rush hour.

About 160 people were on the first train Monday when it left Union Station at 6:25 a.m.

Employees and employers in the north suburbs requested that Metra offer the option.

"It's a big deal and it's all about talent," said Kevin Considine, president of Lake County Partners, a nonprofit economic development corporation. "In any company today, any company would say their No. 1 challenge is to attract and maintain qualified talent."

His group approached Metra about adding reverse commute service with hopes that the addition of the special reverse-commute trains would help companies recruit and retain employees who live in Chicago.

"They said they are hearing a demand for it from their employee and people trying to recruit that maybe they would have an easier job recruiting talent from Chicago," said Mike Gillis, of Metra.

The two-year pilot program is being paid for by several companies, the city of Lake Forest, the village of Deerfield and Metra.

If the two-year project is successful for the businesses and Metra, the next investment would be capital improvements which would include a new turnaround just north of Lake Forest to get trains to the station quicker.

Full details of the new schedule are available on Metra's website.
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