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Local News

Metra to offer free travel this weekend to boost ridership

A Metra train pulls into the new Heritage Corridor platform Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.
A Metra train pulls into the new Heritage Corridor platform Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

Metra will offer free rides this weekend, for the first time in its history, in an effort to boost weekend ridership and give its riders and area residents a “pat on the back” for coping with the recent extreme cold.

Metra has had to modify its schedule for the extreme weather.

“We survived the polar vortex – now let’s have some fun,” Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a news release. “There is a lot to do in Chicago and the suburbs, and Metra can take you there. We’re hoping this weekend will convince people who have never ridden Metra or who hadn’t ridden Metra in a while to become paid customers in the future.”

Metra is offering new express service from Blue Island to McCormick Place this year. Rock Island Line riders can transfer to waiting trains on the Blue Island Branch of the Metra Electric Line that will take them directly to the Chicago Auto Show, which is wrapping up this weekend. For information on the connection, visit metrarail.com.

Metra also will offer its popular Family Fares on Monday, when many schools will be closed and children off for Presidents Day. Family Fares allow up to three children age 11 and under to ride free with every adult. Metra will operate its regular weekday schedule.

The commuter rail suggested enjoying a number of events in Chicago including the Field Museum, which is free for Illinois residents during February and the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium, both of which are free for Illinois residents Monday.

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