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Metra wants to hear from you about shaking up traditional train schedules

A Metra train waits to depart at the Joliet Gateway Center train station on Wednesday, Jan. 3rd, 2024 in Joliet.

For decades, Metra has been labeled as a suburbs-to-city-and-back operation.

But there’s more the railroad could do, and officials are seeking rider input on what’s next with a survey open for public comment through June 19.

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered the traditional 9-to-5 weekday commuting model, but there’s always been a demand for additional off-peak trips.

Metra’s most recent strategic plan envisions providing a regional rail service that offers more trains throughout the day.

Planners currently are studying changes such as adjusting schedules and building new infrastructure that could achieve that goal.

“As part of this study, Metra wants to hear from its riders to understand more about how they use Metra now and how that may change in the future so it can better respond to changing travel patterns and preferences,” officials said.

To participate, go to surveymonkey.com/r/metra2024. The survey takes about 10 minutes.

Questions include: What is the purpose of your trip, how often do you ride and why do you take Metra? It also lists potential destinations around the region for participants to select.

From 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 30, Metra will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss its new System Network Plan. To participate, register at metra.com.

Planners will hold additional outreach sessions on revised service concepts in 2025.