Metra is the commuter rail system serving the Greater Chicago metropolitan area in Illinois and Wisconsin, servicing Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in northeastern Illinois and the city of Kenosha in southern Wisconsin. It is one of three of the Regional Transportation Authority's service boards. With an average weekday ridership of 292,000, Metra is the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States, only behind New York City-area systems. As of 2015 , the system has a total of 241 stations spread out on 11 rail lines.
Seven of the system's eleven lines are owned or operated by the Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corporation (NIRC), Metra's operating subsidiary. Operation of the BNSF Railway Line and the Union Pacific / North Line, Union Pacific / Northwest Line, and the Union Pacific / West Line are handled through purchase of service agreements (PSAs) between Metra, the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad. Under these agreements, the railroad companies provide the service using their own employees and either own or control the rights-of-way in addition to the majority of other facilities necessary, while Metra provides the rolling stock. Additionally, Metra funds the portion of South Shore Line within Illinois and operates the Hegewisch station.
The development of Chicago's commuter rail network resulted in a spoke-hub distribution paradigm and Metra's services radiate out from the Chicago Loop from four terminals: Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station, LaSalle Street Station, and Millennium Station. However, all are within a short radius of each other and are all easily accessible from one another, either by walking, biking, driving, or the use of public transport.
As of August 2015STAR line and SouthEast Service line, had been in the process of planning. The STAR line would have connected Joliet Union Station to O'Hare International Airport, as well as many other communities around Illinois. It would have also linked the North Central Service, Union Pacific West, BNSF, and Milwaukee District West lines to each other. Another project, the SouthEast Service (SES) line, would have connect a variety of points in Cook and Will counties and would serve more than twenty communities over approximately 35 to 40 stations. However, talks for both projects have died out.
, there are no actively planned extensions of the Metra system. Two new lines, the
||Indicates Metra's official name for the station. If the station is handicapped accessible in some way, a wheelchair symbol appears next to the station name.
||Indicates the line(s) that stop at the station.
||Indicates any rail connections that can be made at the Metra station.
||Identifies the municipality (or for Chicago, the neighborhood) in which the station is located.
||Identifies which of the nine fare zones the station is in. The zones are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, and M; with Zone A is closest to Chicago Union Station, LaSalle Street Station, Millennium Station, and Ogilvie Transportation Center, while Zone M is the farthest.
||A link to the station's information on http://metrarail.com.
||Indicates a terminal station.
- ^ a b "Ridership Reports – System Facts". Metra. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter and End-of-Year 2014" (pdf). American Public Transportation Association. March 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
- ^ "Where do Metra trains run". Metra. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- ^ a b c d "Metra History". Metra. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Metra. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- ^ a b c "Proposed New Starts: STAR Line". Metra Connects. Metra. Retrieved March 8, 2015..
- ^ a b "Proposed New Starts: SES Line". Metra Connects. Metra. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- ^ "Pace unveils plan for ambitious 2.3 billion Rapid Transit Network". Chicago Tribune. January 21, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- ^ "Commuter Rail Fares & Passes". Metra. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
- ^ "Metra Fare Schedule" (PDF). Metra. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- ^ Van Hattem, Matt (5 July 2006). "Metra: Chicago's commuter railroad". Trains Magazine. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
- ^ "Metra to shut down BNSF's Clyde station". CS Trains. May 17, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- ^ a b "Cragin Station". Chicago Rail Junctions. Retrieved March 8, 2015.