Digest: Metra introduces new schedules on four lines as of Jan. 11

News Wire Digest second section for Dec. 18: Cook County approves plan to reduce fares on two Metra lines; Sound Transit budget will maintain current service and expansion projects
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Metra's Long Lake station will be one of two converted to flag stops as part of schedule changes coming Jan. 11.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Friday morning commuter rail and transit news:

Metra sets schedule changes for four lines, will make two stations flag stops

Metra will introduce new schedules on four lines as of Jan. 11, moves the agency says are intended to improve travel options and train operations across its system. Extensive changes are planned for the Milwaukee District North and Milwaukee District West lines; the Milwaukee North changes will include the addition of two trains, elimination of two others, and conversion of the Ingleside and Long Lake stations to flag stops for all trains currently scheduled to stop at those locations. Changes for the Milwaukee District West include the addition of two inbound and two outbound trains. The North Central Service will see adjustments to schedules for three trains, while the Metra Electric Line will see changes to resolve issues created by the implementation of positive train control. Details on all the changes are available here.

Cook County approves 'Fair Transit' program, which will reduce fares on Metra Electric, Rock Island lines
The program that will significantly reduce fares on Metra’s Rock Island and Electric lines has received its final approval from Cook County, Ill., commissioners, but the Chicago Transit Authority will not participate in the pilot South Cook Fair Transit program. The Chicago Tribune reports the three-year trial program will cut fares on the two Metra lines by 50% to address areas on Chicago’s South Side that are underserved by public transit. Metra had approved its participation in the program last month [see “Metra board approves 2021 budgets, agrees to plan …,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 14, 2020]. The original plan included participation by the CTA, to allow such features as free transfers between the CTA and Metra, but Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was not in favor of the program, saying it would hurt CTA revenues.

Sound Transit approves budget maintaining current service and construction, says long-term capital changes are coming
Seattle-area commuter agency Sound Transit has approved a 2021 budget that maintains current levels of service and continues work on current light rail expansion projects, but longer-term changes are still to come that will likely delay construction of projects that are planned but have not yet started construction. In a press release, the agency says the Sound Transit board will “update the agency’s capital program schedules and plans to fit within the agency’s revenues that have been reduced due to the pandemic. Details of the new budget are available here.





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