CHICAGO (CBS) — Metra is cutting service nearly in half as ridership has dropped considerably with more commuters working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The schedule changes, which you can view here, will begin on Monday. Metra will operate its normal weekend schedule this weekend. The alternate schedules represent about half of Metra’s normal weekday service. There will be changes for every line except the Heritage Corridor, which will operate its normal schedule.READ MORE: Nearly 18,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
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“This is an unprecedented situation; we are attempting to do our best to provide service for those who still need public transportation and match service with demand,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski.
While it could not provide numbers, Metra said it experienced a severe drop in ridership late last week, as the impacts of the pandemic spread. That decline has continued this week, particularly after many businesses switched to work-from-home and Gov. JB Pritzker ordered the closing of schools statewide and banned large gatherings in order to stop the spread of the virus.MORE NEWS: Local Vaccination Sites Begin Administering Pfizer Vaccine To Kids Ages 12 To 15 Thursday; Some Sites Extend Hours
Metra is encouraging all riders to use the Ventra app for tickets because it requires less interaction with conductors.