Metra Electric

Commuters crowd the 51st-53rd Hyde Park Metra station during evening rush hour on Feb. 14. 

More weekday and weekend Electric Line service will be added next month to accommodate returning riders as COVID-19 fears ease and to provide transportation to a new Amazon facility to be built in University Park, Metra announced Wednesday.

Beginning May 10, Metra will add four trains to the Electric Line’s weekday schedule, four trains to the weekend schedule, and adjust the schedules and/or stopping patterns of seven additional trains.

Metra said the changes were prompted by changing ridership patterns and would add reverse commute options for workers at the new Amazon warehouse. On weekends, Metra will also be providing additional express trains to shorten trip times to and from the suburbs.

The schedule changes represent "about half-and-half reverse commute and post-pandemic adjustments,” Metra spokeswoman Meg Thomas-Reile told the Herald.

"If you look at the schedule, we’ve added some trains and altered stopping patterns of others so that we increase express options for those traveling further out while still accommodating commuters who need to travel on the city’s South Side and closer suburbs. We’ve also altered departure times for several late evening and night trains to accommodate CDOT construction of a pedestrian bridge over our tracks at 43rd Street." 

The Electric Line is currently providing about 4,500 passenger trips a day, or 16.8% of pre-pandemic ridership, Thomas-Reile said, adding that ridership has been climbing incrementally and steadily since January across the Metra system.

“Our discussions with Amazon to create additional reverse commute options are just one of the many initiatives we are working on to ensure that Metra service post-pandemic is responsive to the region’s travel needs,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “Providing access to employment centers is a critical service, and we plan to continue to pursue these opportunities to make Metra the best option for our region’s workers and employers.”

The village of University Park and Amazon said April 22 that the company would invest $150 million in a new 1.2 million-square-foot fulfillment center near Interstate 57 and University Parkway that is expected to create at least 800 jobs. The facility is expected to be operating in two years, according to the village.

Here is detailed information about the new service, according to Metra:

New Weekday Service:

  • Outbound Train 101 will depart Millennium Station in Chicago at 4:50 a.m. and make all stops to University Park, arriving at 6:03 a.m.

  • Inbound Train 138 will depart University Park at 6:30 p.m. and make all stops to Millennium Station, arriving at 7:36 p.m. The schedules for Train 101 and Train 138 are intended to accommodate the needs of commuters traveling to suburban job sites.

  • Inbound Train 722 will depart Homewood at 6:37 a.m., make all stops to Kensington, express to 59th Street, then express to Museum Campus/11th Street, stop at Van Buren, and arrive at Millennium Station at 7:23 a.m. 

  • Passengers on train 147 needing to access stations from 75th Street through Blue Island will need to transfer to new outbound Train 247.

New Weekend Service:

  • Outbound Train 101 will depart Millennium Station in Chicago at 4:50 a.m. and make all stops to University Park, arriving at 6:03 a.m.

  • Inbound Train 828 will depart University Park at 6:40 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:49 p.m. The schedules for Train 101 and Train 828 are intended to accommodate the needs of commuters traveling to suburban job sites.

  • Inbound Train 8022 will depart University Park at 6:20 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:21 a.m. This train will operate as an express from Kensington to 63rd Street (flag stop*) and skip stops between 51st/53rd Street and Museum Campus/11th Street.

  • Outbound Train 8055 will depart Chicago at 5:10 p.m. and arrive in University Park at 6:12 p.m. This train will skip stops between Museum Campus/11th Street and 51st/53rd Street and operate as an express from 63rd Street (flag stop*) and Kensington.

*Note: At stations designated as flag stops, trains will discharge passengers on notice to the conductor or pick up passengers on station platforms visible to the engineer.

Weekday Train Schedules Changing as of May 10:

  • Inbound Train 702 will depart University Park at 6:15 a.m., operate as an express from Homewood to 59th Street and no longer make stops between Calumet and Kensington. Train 722 will now accommodate passengers boarding at these stations.

  • Outbound Train 147 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 9:30 p.m., make all stops to 63rd Street, express to Kensington and make all stops to University Park.

The following weekday train schedules will be modified to accommodate CDOT bridge construction:

  • Outbound Train 349 will depart Chicago 15 minutes later at 9:45 p.m.

  • Outbound Train 149 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 10:30 p.m.

  • Outbound Train 151 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 11:30 p.m.

  • Outbound Train 351 will depart Chicago 35 minutes later at 11:45 p.m.

  • Inbound Train 150 will depart University Park 5 minutes later at 11:50 p.m.

The full Metra Electric Line schedule for arrival and departure information for these trains at intermediate stations is available at metrarail.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.