RULES OF THUMB
Rain snow or shine the Metra for the most part is running. I said running not on time! If there is one thing I know about the Metra, it’s the good ole’ Metra delays.
One of the WORST delays I’ve had to deal with so far was a little over an hour. So basically doubling my commute time. It was winter..of coarse. By far the worst season according to commuters. It’s cold, wet, dirty, and LATE. Trains brake down, switches don’t switch, and you’re always waiting for a train to pass. Well believe it or not I hit the trifecta. The train in front of me broke down, we had to connect to it (that was a joke), and push it the rest of the way. Oh no it did not stop there. Than the switches began failing so we found ourselves going backwards at times just to get going in the right direction. A total mess is what it is. What are you going to do. Well I’ll tell you. Especially if there is a storm, plan on catching an earlier train. The train before your usual should suffice. But do not start off your day in a bind because of a Metra delay.
Winter in my opinion is the worst season for the Metra, but there is no winning really. In the summer the heat puts a beating on the cars too. Brakes malfunctioning, late trains, you know the deal. Expect delays. End of story.
Due to the fact of my frequent Metra rides it is also in the riders best intrust to get to know the conductors! And yes, I am talking first name basis! It’s nice to know that there will always be one friendly face. It also comes in handy. There have been times where I’ve forgotten my train pass, and had no cash on me. Luckily the conductor knew I had a monthly pass for that month and I was able to ride the train. Talk about coming in handy right? Another thing..I’ll get goodies. I’ve been handed chocolate covered goodies, because the conductor is also close friends with an editable arrangements worker, who happens to hop on the line after work! SCORE! Plus it’s always nice to have someone to talk to once in a while! Trust me..It helps.
Figure out how often you are going to be commuting, and decide which deal is the best for you. When it comes to ticket pricing, commuting can get very pricey. The fact that the “student” discount is only offered to high school students doesn’t help either. I mean seriously. How many high school students are going to be commuting back and forth to Chicago, especially everyday?! EXACTLY. Anyways I commute almost every day, so my bang for my buck is a monthly pass. Another good option is a 10-ride. Do the math, weigh out your options before you go spending all your money on your train fair. Also keep in mind, if you buy your ticket at Union Station it’s cheaper! DON’T FORGET!