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Metra Says It Lost $800,000 During NATO Summit

Metra

Metra commuters were subjected to extra screening Saturday morning. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Metra says it lost $800,000 in revenues during the NATO Summit weekend last month, as riders stayed away.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, the Chicago Tribune says the losses include $400,000 in tickets that passengers didn’t buy during the May 20 and 21 summit, and also lost money due to expenses for various security measures such as bomb-sniffing dogs.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

Metra officials tell the Tribune that ridership was down significantly throughout the four-day summit period, and some said they were surprised the total costs weren’t higher.

Metra says the federal government will likely reimburse the agency about $200,000, the Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, the South Shore Line train to Northwest Indiana says it lost about $100,000 because of the summit, the Tribune reported.

During the summit, Metra closed several stations on its Electric District line, which runs right under McCormick Place where the summit was held. Metra also banned backpacks and any bags larger than 15 inches by 4 inches, as well as food and beverages, tools and pepper spray.

On Monday, May 21, the official Metra word was that ridership was down about 50 percent from the normal 150,000 for the Monday morning rush hour.

But WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reported on normally full inbound Union Pacific-North line trains, it looked more like 10 or 20 percent ridership. The volume of passengers was noticeably less than Friday, and about on a par for a normal sleepy Sunday.