By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s been a slow ride for Metra’s pandemic recovery, but there are signs of riders getting back on board.

Monday is Rider Appreciation Day, and Metra CEO Jim Derwinski was at Union Station to talk to commuters. He even handed out a few snacks as a way of saying thanks.

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Metra hit 68,000 passenger trips last Thursday; a single-day record high since the COVID shutdown started last spring, but that’s still only 24% of pre-pandemic numbers.

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“Which isn’t earth-shattering, but compared where we were in April 2020, at 3%, this is a big big increase,” Derwinski said.

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Starting Monday, Metra is adding more rush hour trips to seven of their train lines, thanks to increased ridership. And they’ll be trying some pilot schedules to get passengers back on track.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff