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Metra to increase train cars for high-demand areas during Taste of Chicago

More cars will be added the BNSF and Union Pacific West lines

Sun-Times Media

Metra will increase the number of trains operating on BNSF and Union Pacific West lines next week due to anticipated crowds heading to the Taste of Chicago.

Both lines will have at least one additional car per train.

BNSF lines from Aurora to Downers Grove Main Street will see extra service from July 10 to 14, while Union Pacific West line travelers will see increased service on July 13.

Trains will be rescheduled to offer express travel for people farther from the city, in addition to more frequent pick-ups for stops closer to the city.

Cars will also be opened that are sometimes closed — both on the high demand lines and lines other than BNSF and Union Pacific West.

“We’re always limited by the amount of equipment. Everyone wants more, but we only have so many trains and crew to operate them,” said Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile.

Chicago residents accounted for 42% of 2018 Taste of Chicago attendees, according to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events,

Another 26% traveled from the Chicago suburbs; 4% were Illinois residents coming from outside of the suburbs and city; 26% came from another U.S. state; and 2% traveled internationally to attend the event.

No alcohol will be permitted on Metra trains after 7 p.m. Friday, July 12 and all day Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14.

Due to the increased, expected number of passengers, the trains may not be able to accommodate bicycles from July 12 to 14.