Metra Commuters Face NATO Security Headaches

At the 51st Street station, several people were turned away for not following rules

Those riding the rails Monday toward Chicago were advised to pack their patience and leave their coffee and large bags at home.

On the last day of the NATO Summit, police were seen riding Metra trains to enforce commuter security parameters, including no food, no drinks and no backpacks.

Multiple stops were closed on the Electric Line, which runs under McCormick Place. Stops are closed from Blue Island to State Street, from 111th to 103rd, from 91st to 75th, 27th to Museum Campus, 63rd, 47th, Bryn Mawr, Windsor Park, 79th and 87th.

The Blue Island branch also is closed, and security is tight throughout the transit agency. Only one small bag will be allowed on trains, and boxes, baggage and bicycles are banned.

At the 51st Street station in Hyde Park, several people were turned away Monday morning because they didn't follow the strict security rules in place for the NATO Summit.

Bruce Williams was turned away because his bag was too big. "I'm sure they had it posted on the website," Williams said. "I did check the website, that's why I left for work early because I figured I would run into a mess of something, so I'll still get to work on time." 

Beverly Thymes knew the rules and brought a small purse. "I didn't bring my backpack like I usually do," Thymes said.

"It's inconvenient," said Tiffany Gholar, a regular Metra rider from Hyde Park. "I was going to bring my lunch to save some money, but you can't bring food."

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