This Is The Last Weekend To Take Part In Metra's BNSF, Weekend Surveys

Bernie Tafoya
March 14, 2019 - 11:54 am

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- There's just a few more days for Metra riders to weigh in on possible schedule changes later this year. 

Riders have until Sunday to take part in two Metra surveys--one for BNSF riders, the other for all riders regarding weekend service. Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said around 4,000 riders have already taken part in the BNSF survey.

Last June, after the Positive Train Control safety system was installed on the BNSF line, Metra's schedule changed and riders were furious with the results.

Compounding the matter was the fact that so many Metra cars had air conditioning problems.

Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said air conditioning was fixed and more rail cars were added to some trains alleviating some of the problems. Gillis still acknowledges that "there are still some crowded trains," but not as many as there were last summer.

When the survey period ends this weekend, Gillis said, "we won’t be able to accommodate every request or every comment but we would consider all of them and we would try to come up with the best schedule possible."  He said they would include "minor modifications."

Gillis said it'll be a few months before any new schedule is announced. 

The BNSF survey asks about riding habits, which stations riders originate and what their destinations are.  In addition it asks, "their preferred arrival times in the morning and evening and it asks them to identify what would be the most important scheduling feature that we could address to improve their experience."

Meanwhile, a second survey asks about weekend service, specifically why more people are not choosing to ride Metra on Saturdays and Sundays. Gillis said ridership is down 9 percent on Saturdays, 7.5 percent on Sundays. The second survey is designed to find out what can be done to boost weekend ridership.

Here's where to take part in Metra's BNSF survey and here's where to take part in Metra's weekend survey.