Metra to consider service reductions after Friday amid coronavirus crisis

Both Metra and Amtrak have seen a decrease in riders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as conductors report emptier trains and more suburban riders opt to work from home.

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Metra may consider a schedule reduction amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Metra may consider a schedule reduction amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Elle Lee/Sun-Times file photo

Metra riders can count on trains operating business as usual the rest of the work week, but next week may be a different story. The rail agency may look at limiting schedules as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Metra is considering service reductions, but won’t be changing schedules until after Friday, if they decide to change at all, Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

Both Metra and Amtrak have seen a decrease in riders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as conductors report emptier trains and more suburban riders opt to work from home.

“If we are going to switch, it would not happen before Friday,” Gillis said, “but we have not decided yet.”

If schedules change, Metra will use all available cars to encourage social distancing, according to its website. The rail agency is also encouraging riders to buy tickets via the Ventra app.

Extra crews have also been brought in to disinfect the trains, and are focusing on “high-touch areas such as door handles, rails and seats,” Metra said.

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