Metra celebrated riders with treats in downtown Chicago train stations Monday, celebrating commuters and welcoming many back as employees return to in-person working.
Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski and other Metra officials greeted riders and gave out goodies at Chicago's Union Station, Ogilvie Transportation Center, Millennium Station and LaSalle Street Station from 6:30 to 9 a.m. to show appreciation for customers.
“For those riders who stayed with us during the pandemic, and for those riders who are now returning, we want to be My Metra for all of you,” Derwinski said in a statement announcing the promotion. “We want to show our appreciation to all our riders for giving us a chance and letting us show how we provide a safe and clean ride. We’re excited to be there for our riders, and we look forward to meeting them in person.”
“Rider Appreciation Day” was the start of what Metra says is enhanced service on all lines, including things like new pilot schedules on four lines that offer off-peak options and more memorable timetables and service patterns. Those pilot schedules began Monday on the UP North, BNSF and Metra Electric lines and start July 19 on the Rock Island Line, Metra said.
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For the Heritage Corridor, Milwaukee District North and West, SouthWest Service, North Central Service, and Union Pacific Northwest and West lines, Metra will be expanding rush-hour service to meet growing ridership.
Also corresponding with "Rider Appreciation Day” is the installation of decals on all Metra cars containing a QR code that connects riders to a new onboard survey. The survey will be used to measure and track month-to-month customer satisfaction and solicit feedback, Metra said.
“My Metra is about listening to the needs of riders and the new schedules and new survey are intended to help riders’ transition back to a regular work commute and facilitate direct feedback,” Derwinski said.
As Chicago continues to return, so do commuters. According to Metra, ridership surpassed nearly 25 percent of pre-pandemic levels on Thursday, hitting another post-pandemic high this week.