Metra offering free weekend rides, visit to museum railcar for 40th birthday

Free rides on all 11 Metra lines will be offered on both days this upcoming weekend

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In celebration of the Chicago-area transit agency's 40th birthday on June 8, free weekend rides will be offered by Metra, with riders having the opportunity to check out a brand new museum car as well.

In addition to free rides being offered on all 11 Metra lines both Saturday and Sunday, those heading to downtown Chicago can immerse themselves in a specially equipped railcar that details the history of Metra and its predecessors at the LaSalle Street station.

The railcar will debut from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at LaSalle Street station on June 8, though those that miss it this weekend will have more opportunities.

The museum car will open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ogilvie Transportation Center on June 22, before appearing at Chicago Union Station on July 6 and Millennium Station on July 20.

Metra was founded in 1984 to help consolidate passenger rail service in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs as private companies sought to shed their operations in that field. The debut of the LaSalle Street museum car follows a weeklong celebration that included giveaways and trivia contests.

“Whether you have been riding Metra for 40 years or took your first ride today, we want to thank you,” Metra Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “And as we look to the past and celebrate four decades of serving the Chicago area’s transportation needs, we are also looking to the future and making plans to continue that service for many more decades.”

According to the agency’s website, June 8, 1984 was the first meeting of the board of what ultimately came to be known as Metra. That service has since grown to cover 11 different train lines, encompassing more than 500 miles of track across the city and suburbs.

More information can be found on the agency’s website.

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