Metra - Commuter Rail

Metra - Commuter Rail, Chicago: Address, Phone Number, Metra - Commuter Rail Reviews: 3.5/5

Metra - Commuter Rail
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91 reviews
Very good

Zach D
2 contributions
Constantly late
Jan 2021 • Solo
Never on time, minimum 7 min late all the time. Also they do not feel the need to warn passengers of delays unless over 15 min. So if you need to rely on it your outta luck.
Written January 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ester Zamora
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Awesome Experience, Thank U So Much.
Jan 2021 • Solo
I Want 2 Say Thank U2day ToThe Train Conductor 4 Giving Me a Chance . 2 Get Over 2 The Right Track. I Was On Wrong Side..I Greatly Appreciate it . Going West Bound. FROM Melrose Pk. Sign Ester Z🤗😇
Written January 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peter A
1 contribution
Riding bullet-speed Metra trains
Aug 2019
Metra trains are perfect for getting from deep in the suburbs to chicago at a top speed of 80 MPH! In the train there are two floors, bathrooms,cofortable seats and air conditioning.And the stations have waiting rooms.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Never on time
Feb 2020 • Business
Either early or late, never on time. Always show up to a stop at leatst 10 mins early because you never know if the train will be early and leave early or late.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Dan N
Chicago, IL8 contributions
Worst metro rail service I've ever experienced
Jan 2020
I ride the Milwaukee West line. Daily irritations:

PA system cranked to full volume. There are three times every trip when there is a head-shattering BING-BONG-BING for no apparent reason.

Conductors are rude or simply incompetent; the answer to nearly any question is, "I have no idea."

The train station downtown is under a building. I suppose this gives protection from rain or snow, but it's dirty, dark, cold (or hot), smelly, noisy, and depressing. They have been renovating for ten months now, with no sign at all of any progress; but it means much of the walkways are blocked.

Conductors wear walkie-talkies on their hips with the volume cranked up as high as it will go. It will erupt into headache-inducing noise as you stand next to you checking tickets.

Frequent irritations:

Trains are late. Mechanical breakdowns and signal trouble are the two most frequent causes. There are times when the lights simply go out and you sit there for a while until they figure out what happened. Two times in the past year the delay has been more than an hour.

Pauses opening the doors. You stand there in wind or rain or freezing cold and you watch the conductor stroll slowly from one car to another, and you wait three, four, five or more minutes before they finally open the doors.

Cars are often sweltering hot (like, 90) or freezing cold (50). There are times when an icy draft blows on you and you cannot escape it.

Bathrooms out of order for days or weeks on end.

The parking lot is full of dangerous black ice after every snow. I have never seen parking lots anywhere else where they let things stay that bad.

Some conductors seem consider themselves to be performers. For example, one of them makes a long sing-song, lounge lizard type of chant before every stop, something like, "Franklin Park is next, next stop is Franklin Park, rear three cars do not open at Franklin Park, Franklin Park rear three doors do not open, once again, Franklin Park, Franklin Park is next, rear three cars do not open, move forward for Franklin Park, next is Franklin Park, Franklin Park is next."

There have been many times when a pre-recorded announcement about the line--i.e., this is the Milwaukee West line from Big Timber to Union Station, making all scheduled stops at Big Timber Road, Elgin, National Street, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Schaumburg, Roselle, Franklin Park, Western Avenue and Union Station--they play this announcement just as the train is about to pull into Union Station. Because that is apparently helpful information to have during the last 45 seconds of your trip.

There is always a briefer announcement telling you this is the Milwaukee West line departing at 6:50 to Union Station (or the reverse in the evening) that they play literally seconds before the train starts moving, or even after it starts moving. Is this just to torture anybody who got onto the wrong train? What possible purpose can there be in playing it?

I asked a conductor a few weeks ago to turn down the PA system. This is their idea of customer service. She gave me a wide, patient smile, like you would give a three-year-old demanding a cookie at bed time, and asked, "But then how will you hear it?" I replied, "I would be able to hear it if I were standing outside." She continued with the wide, patient smile. "But then how will everyone else hear it?" Metra customer service training seems to be, give 'em a big smile, and then say anything you want, who cares.

For one memorable week-plus period, the PA system went completely bonkers. It would frequently blast out long storms of static, buzzing and hissing. Like, once every minute or two. We had to sit through an hour-plus of this each night. On day three I asked a conductor before boarding if it was fixed yet. "I have no idea."

Metra's marketing slogan should fit their customer service model, something like, "Then drive if you don't like it, because we don't care."
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ramon R
Chicago, IL69 contributions
Bigotry, profiling and harassment on the Milwaukee District North line
Dec 2019
I am a 23+ year rider of Metra, mostly by necessity. Here is my most recent experience with Metra, whose trainmen refer to groups of Black children as "monkeys," sexually harass passengers, and provoke fights with regular riders who find themselves short on fare (and then have those riders incarcerated):

Usually, when I arrive at the Glenview station, I just narrowly make the arriving train due to the significant distance between my client site and the train station. When I arrive, I often walk from the first car where I can board to the car where I prefer to sit. When a trainman arrives to check tickets, he asks me where I'm disembarking. I tell him, and pay the difference from my ten ride if he indicates a fee for riding outside of the zone the ten ride covers. (I generally get a B to D ticket now because I board at Mayfair in Zone B on the way to work, but have to get off at Union Station on the way back from work due to the fact that the return train does not stop at Mayfair; note that my rush hour train departing from Glenview, which is in Zone D, entirely bypasses zones B and C such that anyone boarding in Glenview would necessarily have to disembark in Zone A - and pay the $1 difference on their ten ride.)

Aboard train 2142 this past Friday, when the trainman asked me to show him my ticket, I did. He immediately accused me of "scamming the system" by buying a B to D ten ride and sitting in a car other than the one in which I boarded - which of course demonstrates some unwise assumptions on his part about why a passenger might need or prefer to sit in a car other than the one in which s/he boarded, and why he might board the train at one station in the morning and disembark at another in the evening. He then threatened me with arrest if I didn't either pay him $4 (in addition to forfeiting the electronic ticket that I had already "used" for the ride) or leave the train at the Western station, and called another trainmen to say to him front of other passengers, regarding me: "Memorize this face. This is the face of a scam artist."

His interpretation of the situation is completely irrational for several reasons: 1) Not once have I ever been dishonest about the station at which I boarded and the station where I intend to disembark, or refused to pay the price difference for riding to zone A - which again is necessary for those who board the rush hour train at Glenview, as that train unfortunately does not stop in zones B or C 2) Since I always board in Zone D, the trainman's claim that I was being dishonest about where I'd boarded is irrelevant and misguided - my ticket is for Zone D to B, and at the time he checked it, the last possible stop for boarding was still in Zone D 3) There are many reasons why someone would walk through several train cars before committing to a seat, including that certain cars are too crowded, too eerily quiet and empty, too hot, too cold, too far from where one would need to be in order to exit closest to the closest desired destination at Union Station, etc. The strange and antisocial trainman's assumption that I did not sit in the same car as the one where he was standing SIMPLY BECAUSE HE WAS STANDING THERE speaks to his narcissism and his Napoleon Complex.

What is Metra doing to help their personnel understand that wearing a blue uniform isn't a good excuse to profile and openly denigrate passengers?

I have filed a formal complaint against the Milwaukee District North trainmen, and further action on my behalf is underway. I would vehemently discourage anyone from contributing funds to this organization in support of its personnel or its unearned positive reputation.
Written December 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Adrian W
1 contribution
This is unbelievable!!!
Dec 2019 • Family
In my years of using public transportation, I’ve never seen this happen. A train that saw me waving as I was on the “apparent” wrong side of the tracks leave me and my party behind. The instructor saw me running and waving but seemed pre-occupied by something else (cell-phone maybe his girlfriend was leaving him or his wife idk but that doesn’t matter duty for your piblic cows first.) I’m confused instead of worrying about the safety and life or death of its riders is obscured he/she rather be preoccupied by their cell phones. **i mean I get it. Life happens. But you have the whole day on the train to respond.... I guess this day an age personal life overcomes then daily routine life styles.
Written December 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joseph N
Ashton2 contributions
Be ready for rude conductors
Nov 2019 • Couples
We were treated so rudely! We were sober, kind and were treated like crap by their ticket conductors.
Written November 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Vernon Hills, IL519 contributions
Metra trains are uncomfortable and feel old. Ride on NCS from Union station broke down
Nov 2019
I was on the NCS line from Union Station to Antioch this evening. Made it as far as the Prospect Heights station then broke down and it was packed with rush hour passengers. Conductor was honest in that he did not know if it could be repaired...if the following train will push this one or whether we would all need to move to next train. I had no interest in trusting this confusion and got off and took an UBER. Paid my $7.75 for my Metra ticket and it cost me another $28 to get home. GREAT REASON to never trust METRA again. I am done with this train. Even if this did not happen...does not compare to any trains found in Europe or Japan or Korea. Very disappointing. .
Written November 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Evening commute on the Heritage Corridor Line
Nov 2019
I ride this train in the evening 4:50pm three times a week. In my many years riding this train it has not once been on time. The train leaves the station at a snails pace and get stopped in the yard, then we continue at a snails pace and get stopped at Western Ave.
The delays are usually 10 minutes to 20 minutes and there is no recourse for Metra to reimburse its patrons for being delayed. The conductors tell us its waiting for signal, the automated message is switching problems or freight train interference. There is no other train line that leaves the station at a snails pace. Metra claims it has an exceptional on-time experience, i just wished it was on the Heritage Corridor line.
Written November 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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