Commuting and Coronavirus: How Transportation is Adapting in Illinois

On the roads, and on the rails, it's a more solitary experience

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Transit and transportation officials are trying to adapt, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact every aspect of our lives.

The Illinois Tollway Authority says no cash will be accepted at toll plazas. The booths will be closed to prevent person-to-person contact. Simply drive through the I-Pass lanes and you can go online and check your plate number to pay the toll and avoid a fine.

On the rails, the Chicago Transit Authority has not made any changes to its weekday schedule. Conversely, Metra will cut its Monday to Friday schedule by about half. There are still half-a-dozen trains set to run during morning and evening rush hours. The schedule changes are on the Ventra app, and that's how you should buy tickets now that person-to-person contact is discouraged.

For South Shore Line commuters coming into Chicago from Northwest Indiana, a reduced schedule also starts March 23.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has postponed some planned public meetings regarding the next phase of the Jane Byrne Interchange Project. Large gatherings at Pace are all postponed, like board meetings for example. The suburban bus network is also telling its paratransit customers to try to postpone all scheduled rides. These folks are considered high-risk for coronavirus.

The workers that are still on the job, include some Chicago Department of Transportation crews. Many were still out and about in the city, testing bridges over the Chicago River, and working on the Navy Pier Flyover path at Lower Lake Shore Drive and Lower Wacker Drive.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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