Metra Reveals Plan to Cut Down Congestion in Union Station | NBC Chicago

Metra Reveals Plan to Cut Down Congestion in Union Station

“It's not the cure-all plan, but it's a plan we believe will help us until we can redo Union Station to make it better for our customer flow,” Metra CEO Don Orseno says

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    Commuters fill the sidewalk as they make their way toward the train station on October 31, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    Metra revealed new plans Tuesday to cut down congestion in Union Station’s south concourse where crowded commuters wait for their trains.

    When a Metra line goes down, the close quarters of Union Station’s south concourse fills up but now the transit agency says their new plan will limit foot traffic by blocking off access to parts of the station when experiencing delays.

    “We are going to cordon certain areas off, and then we can funnel our customers in a way that is going to be safer,” Metra CEO Don Orseno said. “So that when those trains do come they will be able to access those trains.”

    Upon delays, the escalators feeding down into the south concourse will shut off, ushering commuters into a larger staging area just west of the concourse that stretches as far back as the Great Hall.

    “With our re-routing plan, [the staging area] becomes a true first-come, first-serve queuing area,” Metra’s director of station services Dave Rubino told NBC Chicago.

    Metra said they have three different re-routing plans that will be used depending on which rail lines are having problems and whether or not the Great Hall is open.

    Riders can sign up for email alerts to tell them what plan is in effect when their train is delayed.
    Metra police and customer service personnel will be on-site to show riders where they are supposed to go, as well as new yellow directional arrows and text that will point towards the staging area.

    “It's not the cure-all plan,” Orseno said. “[But] it's a plan we believe will help us until we can redo Union Station to make it better for our customer flow.”