Metra Announces Changes to BNSF Schedule

When it comes to Metra's train service this summer, the only constant is change.

Two major shifts will soon impact what commuters pay, as well as their daily routine, the agency announced Wednesday.

First, Metra officials are considering creative new fare ideas to fund Positive Train Control - a federally-mandated automatic braking system designed to make rail lines safer and continues to cost millions of dollars to implement.

To that end, Metra will offer new fare ideas like a one-day unlimited pass and consolidation of dense zone fares in July, with a goal to increase revenues to pay for PTC.

The other major change will be a new schedule for nearly all weekday trains on the BNSF line. PTC is behind this shift as well, as crews must initialize the system on every run, and enter information about the size and weight of every train in real time. That process takes a full six minutes, thus impacting turn times.

The new schedule, on which some train times are shifted as much as 7 to 10 minutes, can be found here and takes effect June 11.

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