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New Policy Would Likely Close Commuter Rail Stations on the South Side of Chicago

A new station evaluation policy, expected for adoption by the Metra Board of Directors in May, would make it easier to shut down "underperforming" stations.
April 19, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Chicago Commuter Rail
Breann Steady

"Metra’s Board of Directors is preparing to approve a policy for adding new stations and closing down existing stations that could potentially slash the number of South Side stations," reports Igor Studenkov.

"The preliminary draft of the station evaluation policy was released for public comment following the railroad’s March 2019 board meeting. The board expects to approve the policy during its May 15 meeting, when 2018 ridership numbers will be released," according to Studenkov.

According to Studenkov's analysis of the evaluation policy, the South Side is likely to bear the brunt of any station reductions. "The Metra Electric Line’s Blue Island branch could lose all of its Chicago stations, effectively removing all rail service from the West Pullman and Roseland communities," for instance. Studenkov also explains how the new policy will speed up the process for closing stations.

On the other side of the equation, adding stations, Studenkov notes that the process requires a paid sponsor to fund the study required to plan and build a new station.

In 2017, Metra made news for cutting service to the South Side, contributing to a narrative implied here that Metra is in the process of abandoning much of its service on the South Side of Chicago.

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Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 in Streetsblog Chicago
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