Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by chirailfan
Haven’t driven over to the Aurora Transportation Center which is close to where Hill Yard is located. BNSF uses 19 sets to run a full weekday schedule. Would not be surprised if the longest sets (2 - 10 cars and 3 - 11 cars) are tied up. One of the Downers Grove express trains yesterday after 5pm used a 9 car set. Barely anybody got off at Route 59 when it made its stop around 6pm. Route 59 on a normal weekday around 6pm is a steady stream of people getting off a train at that time and trying to get out of the lot as quickly as possible.
  by ohioriverrailway
Is everyone still running normal length consists, or have cars been removed as well as overall service?
  by doepack
ohioriverrailway wrote: Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:16 pm Is everyone still running normal length consists, or have cars been removed as well as overall service?
On UPW, I don't think more than two of the six Elburn based nine car sets are in use on any given day since the adjusted schedule went in this week. Everything else is five or six cars, and I haven't seen more than three cars open on any given train. With the way ridership has plummeted, having just one car open in some cases would be sufficient enough for the current reality without violating the "social distancing" mantra. Hardly anyone is riding...
  by orangeline
I have a question concerning how Metra passenger car configuration. Entry/exit is through a single set of double doors in the middle of each car, one set per side. Passengers tend to congregate in the central vestibule for at least 30-60 seconds prior to their stop. A trainman or conductor is also present to operate the doors. In normal times social separation at busier stations is considerably less than a 6 foot radius around any one person. Even with much lower passenger loads I imagine it difficult to change such ingrained behavior in riders. Do the train crews have some way to minimize their exposure to riders getting on/off? How about ticket validation between stations and sale of tickets where offices are not open at a station? I'm curious how it works and how it may evolve.
  by eolesen
On Monday, I was out and about & hit a couple parking lots between noon and 2pm to do some parked car counts. It sure doesn't look like traffic is returning...

Using 2018 survey data and making a gross assumption that two people were in each car (which helps adjust for pedestrian boardings and drop-offs).... it's still between 5-8% of "normal" right now, and probably less given the unscientific adjustment/assumption.
Code: Select all
Line   Station         2018   Cars   % 
MD-W   Big Timber       619   50     8%
UP-NW  Crystal Lake    1115   40     7%
UP-NW  Pingree Road     701   25     7%
UP-NW  Cary             871   25     6%
UP-NW  Fox River Grove  451   12     5%
  by doepack
Yep, still mostly empty lots here in the DuPage corridor too. Taking an unofficial survey on recent walks, College Ave. remains flat (~10), but there's now a modest increase to around 20-25 at Glen Ellyn.

I'll be very surprised if UP-W gets extra service added anytime soon, according to Metra's ridership dashboard, only three daily trains average more than 30 people in a car. The rest of the trains are empty enough to promote extreme social distancing...
  by MetraBNSF
Have not been out that way in a while but Route 59 at this time last year averaged about 20 cars on both sides of the tracks (Aurora south; Naperville north). While most likely still large expanses of open parking, wouldn’t be surprised if there’s 50-75 vehicles in the lots during the day.
  by daybeers
It would be awesome if some of Metra's parking could be turned into TOD.