Metra will begin scheduling a weekday outbound express train to the Tinley Park 80th Avenue station, and weekend express trains on the Rock Island District will become permanent starting Monday.
Train No. 413, which departs at 4:57 p.m. and stops at all stations south of Blue Island except Joliet, will now stop at 35th Street express to Tinley Park/80th Avenue, where it will arrive at 5:30 p.m., and then make all remaining stops with the addition of Joliet, according to a statement from the village of Tinley Park.
This change will cut nearly 15 minutes from the existing ride and should relieve overcrowding issues on No. 415, which departs LaSalle Street at 5:15 p.m., expresses to Midlothian and makes all remaining stops to Joliet, Metra officials said.
Commuters who now take train No. 413 to stations before 80th Avenue will be able to take No. 303, which will now depart at 5 p.m. and serve all mainline stations to Tinley Park/Oak Park Avenue. Customers who now take No. 303 can take No. 617 or No. 419, according to the statement.
Also starting Monday, Metra is making schedule changes to a handful of other trains to reflect actual operating conditions, improve connections and enhance operational efficiency. In addition, Metra’s temporary weekend express trains on the Rock Island line will be made permanent Monday, according to the statement.
Last June, six express trains were added to the Rock Island schedule in each direction on Saturdays and Sundays. The express trains bypass the Beverly Branch, which is served by separate trains, prompting a 20-minute reduction in travel time between suburban stations and downtown Chicago, according to the statement.
The weekend express service was set to end Nov. 29, but is now being made part of the permanent weekend schedule. However, the departure and arrival times are being slightly adjusted. Inbound express trains will leave Joliet five minutes earlier, and outbound express trains will leave LaSalle Street 10 minutes later, which will reduce travel time by five minutes.
“We received very positive feedback from customers who liked the new weekend express trains on the Rock Island and wanted us to continue operating them,” Metra Executive Director Don Orseno said in the statement. “Moving forward, we plan to review adjustments to our other train schedules to see where new or expanded express service might make sense.”