This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Terms of Service apply.
Metra will begin operation of a new reverse-commute service on the Milwaukee District North Line on March 4.
The two-year pilot project is a public-private partnership between Metra and Lake County businesses and governments that asked Metra in 2018 to begin a reverse-commute service. The businesses sought the service in order to recruit and retain employees living in Chicago, and reduce pollution and roadway congestion.
“We are excited to launch this test of new reverse-commute service between Chicago and Lake County,” said Metra Chief Executive Officer Jim Derwinski in a press release. “We are hopeful that this initiative will build our ridership, help local businesses to recruit top talent and have a positive impact on economic activity in Lake County. This partnership also is an innovative way to test the demand for service to Lake County and potentially improve our infrastructure.”
AbbVie, Horizon Pharma, Trustmark Insurance, Tenneco, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Lake County government, the city of Lake Forest and the village of Deerfield are participating in the agreement.
The groups will evenly split the $1.4 million cost of operating one new reverse-commute train in each rush period as part of the two-year project. They also will work on a definitive agreement to divide the $4.75 million cost of installing universal crossovers near Lake Forest, with the partners contributing $2.75 million, Metra contributing $1 million and local governments contributing $1 million.
Under the new schedule, Metra will provide morning outbound express service, create an express service from Lake County and add a new train with later afternoon arrivals. Pending an agreement with Canadian Pacific — which Metra anticipates to receive soon — the morning outbound express service will be moved to an even earlier time slot.
For a full downloadable schedule of this line, visit the Metra website here.
If the pilot project shows that the reverse-commute service is self-sustaining, the partners will fund the construction of new universal crossovers near the Lake Forest Station, Metra officials said. Constructing crossovers at Lake Forest would allow Metra to turn trains around at that location, which would create an opportunity for better service in the morning and evening rush periods if demand supported it.