Problems Persist On Public Transit
UPDATED 02/03/11 6:42 a.m.
CHICAGO (STMW) – Four Metra lines are running on modified schedules, and some Amtrak cancellations remain in place, as area transit agencies deal with the lingering effects of the 2011 Blizzard.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports
Only a few flights arrived at O’Hare Airport Wednesday and Midway’s operations were shut down, according to the city Department of Aviation. Airlines have canceled more than 2,200 flights at O’Hare and at least 400 flights at Midway. Thursday’s cancellations and delays will be announced later Thursday morning.
Southwest Airlines has suspended all operations at Midway through at least 6:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the Southwest website. The resumption of Southwest’s service at Midway is contingent upon the conditions of the runways, taxiways, other airport services, and the city’s infrastructure to and from the airport, the airline said.
Travelers who had originally scheduled flights from, to, or connecting through Chicago’s airports Wednesday or Thursday are strongly encouraged to check their airline’s website or call them to confirm the status of their flight.
The CTA said bus and train ridership was lighter than normal Wednesday, according to a 4:30 p.m. update
on the CTA’s website. If people absolutely have to travel, the CTA says rail service is currently the best alternative.
As of early Thursday, all eight of the CTA’s rail lines are operating normally. Trains on the Pink Line between the Pulaski and 54/Cermak stations on the West Side began normal operations early Thursday.
Service on the Yellow Line, which operates between Howard Street and Skokie, was also restored early Thursday.
Dozens of bus routes remain re-routed, mostly because of the lingering closure of Lake Shore Drive, the website said. Bus service was expected to “remain challenging” until the streets are cleared, CTA President Richard Rodriguez said Wednesday morning.
Metra trains are running on all lines Thursday, but the four following lines will run on modified schedules, their website said.
• Union Pacific/Northwest Line
• Union Pacific/North Line
• Union Pacific/West Line
• Milwaukee District/North Line
Pace resumed all regularly scheduled service at full strength Thursday morning, Pace announced it a press release.
Pace will operate feeder route service to and from Metra Stations Thursday, according to its website.
Buses will operate using a regular schedule even though some Metra lines are running on a modified schedule, the website said. Riders should be patient and avoid exposure to extreme cold as they wait for buses, the website said.
Amtrak plans to restore most corridor services in the Chicago Hub on Thursday, February 3, following this week’s blizzard conditions, according to a notification on Amtrak’s website.
All Hiawatha Service trains to and from Chicago and Milwaukee, all Wolverine Service, Blue Water and Pere Marquette trains to and from Michigan and three of the five round-trips on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor are scheduled to operate, subject to residual weather-related delays.
For Chicago Hub Amtrak trains originating Thursday, the following are canceled:
• Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service: Trains 300 and 301, 304 and 305.
• Chicago-Carbondale Illini and Saluki: Trains 390 & 391 only
• Chicago-Quincy Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg: All trains canceled.
For Chicago Hub trains originating Thursday, Chicago-Quincy Illinois Zephyr & Carl Sandburg trains are all canceled, as well.
Other Amtrak services that serve Chicago, such as the Southwest Chief, the California Zephyr, and the Empire Builder and the New York Cardinal have also been affected and may have some trains canceled or delayed Thursday.
Affected Amtrak passengers with telephone information in their reservations are being notified, and anyone traveling in the Midwest should check the status of their train before leaving home.