By Steven Graves

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s reopening means more people traveling into the city, with more cars already on the roads.

But when will Metra add more trains to its schedule? CBS 2’s Steven Graves searched for some answers to that question on Thursday.

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Metra has told us before – getting fully back on track is a slow process.

But while Chicago’s reopening plans are speeding up, Graves asked a Metra spokesperson if there is a week or date that Metra has set to bring things back to normal.

“No, we don’t have a concrete date in mind,” said Metra spokesman Michael Gillis.

What they do have are gradual plans. More trains and time slots launched in mid-April, and more weekday and weekend trains are also coming to the Metra Electric line next Monday.

“We heard from some people that they would like to go to a new job site in University Park,” Gillis said.

And that is how Metra is fueling its changes – based off rider feedback and demand. And that ridership grows every week.

On Wednesday, it hit a high of 32,000 riders systemwide. That is up from 29,000 a day last month.

The average pre-pandemic was 275,000 riders.

But adding more trains is a balancing act – one that evaluates money and capacity limits.

“Every three or four weeks, we are adjusting one or two schedules of our eleven lines,” Gillis said. “We expect that to continue.”

Over on the Chicago Transit Authority, the system is running at full service.

But rides on trans and buses are also still down from normal – only at about 30 percent of pre-pandemic operations.

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Numbers on both systems could rise if they mirror what’s happening on the roads right now.

“What we’re seeing is overall, traffic volume is just about back to where it was. But the patterns are different,” said Dan Ginsburg, who analyzes data from TrafficCarma.

Ginsburg said more people are traveling on the roads – not during rush hour – but throughout all hours of the day. And summertime usually sees a spike.

“Public transit is a big part of it, and there are two pieces of that,” Ginsburg said. “One is how are businesses going to be handling when their employees are coming in, and the other is what are people’s comfort levels going to be?”

Both Metra and the CTA say they will ramp up campaigns to increase people’s comfort level on public transit.

Metra issued an announcement recently about more weekday and weekday train service on the Metra Electric line beginning this coming Monday. Four trains are being added to the weekday schedule, as well as the weekend schedule – and Metra is adjusting the schedules or stopping patterns of seven other trains.

The changes are being driven both by ridership patterns and to add reverse commute options for those who are working at the new Amazon facility in University Park.

The new schedule can be viewed here.

New Weekday Service:

• Outbound Train 101 will depart Millennium Station in Chicago at 4:50 a.m. and make all stops to University Park, arriving at 6:03 a.m.
• Inbound Train 138 will depart University Park at 6:30 p.m. and make all stops to Millennium Station, arriving at 7:36 p.m. The schedules for Train 101 and Train 138 are intended to accommodate the needs of commuters traveling to suburban job sites.
• Inbound Train 722 will depart Homewood at 6:37 a.m., make all stops to Kensington, express to 59th Street, then express to Museum Campus/11th Street, stop at Van Buren, and arrive at Millennium Station at 7:23 a.m.
• Passengers on train 147 needing to access stations from 75th Street through Blue Island will need to transfer to new outbound Train 247.

New Weekend Service:
• Outbound Train 101 will depart Millennium Station in Chicago at 4:50 a.m. and make all stops to University Park, arriving at 6:03 a.m.
• Inbound Train 828 will depart University Park at 6:40 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:49 p.m. The schedules for Train 101 and Train 828 are intended to accommodate the needs of commuters traveling to suburban job sites.
• Inbound Train 8022 will depart University Park at 6:20 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:21 a.m. This train will operate as an express from Kensington to 63rd Street (flag stop*) and skip stops between 51st/53rd Street and Museum Campus/11th Street.
• Outbound Train 8055 will depart Chicago at 5:10 p.m. and arrive in University Park at 6:12 p.m. This train will skip stops between Museum Campus/11th Street and 51st/53rd Street and operate as an express from 63rd Street (flag stop*) and Kensington.

Weekday Train Schedules Changing as of May 10:

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• Inbound Train 702 will depart University Park at 6:15 a.m., operate as an express from Homewood to 59th Street and no longer make stops between Calumet and Kensington. Train 722 will now accommodate passengers boarding at these stations.
• Outbound Train 147 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 9:30 p.m., make all stops to 63rd Street, express to Kensington and make all stops to University Park.
• The following weekday train schedules will be modified to accommodate CDOT bridge construction:
• Outbound Train 349 will depart Chicago 15 minutes later at 9:45 p.m.
• Outbound Train 149 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 10:30 p.m.
• Outbound Train 151 will depart Chicago 10 minutes later at 11:30 p.m.
• Outbound Train 351 will depart Chicago 35 minutes later at 11:45 p.m.
• Inbound Train 150 will depart University Park 5 minutes later at 11:50 p.m.