IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19 Related Transit Service Modifications

Coordinated Response by the RTA and Service Boards

(updated March 25, 2020)

The Regional Transportation Authority (“RTA”) and the CTA, Metra and Pace (“the Service Boards”) have kept in continuous communication about the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, during which each Service Board has continued operating on regular service schedules to serve the six county region.  

Over the past week, however, ridership has dropped significantly due to closures or limitations on schools, restaurants, bars, and other places of business, with everyone united to battle the spread of this virus.

Therefore, Metra and Pace are announcing service modifications to better align with the recent changes in ridership.  NOTE: As of now, the CTA is not modifying any train or bus services, all of which will continue to operate on normal daily schedules.  

Metra Service Reductions

Metra will move to alternate schedules beginning Monday, March 23. The modifications reflect the same alternate schedules that Metra has implemented in the past when regular operations were disrupted due to weather or other events. Metra trains will still run during largely the same hours of regular operations, but with some reduced frequency. Despite reductions during the morning and evening commutes, service should be ample in light of current low ridership numbers.

Pace Service Reductions

Pace continues to operate regular service on most routes. Routes with temporary service changes include all routes with boosted school year service; all express service to popular destinations; all commuter and Shuttle Bug routes that serve Metra and South Shore lines; Routes 410, 411, and 412; Route 754; and the Rosemont Circulator. Detailed schedule information is available on the passenger notices page at PaceBus.com. Pace is working to provide individual trips on ADA Paratransit and encourages the use of the Taxi Access Program (TAP). Pace has suspended City of Chicago TAP fare collection. Pace fixed route bus and On Demand service fares are waived for all medical personnel, including doctors, nurses, EMTs, and paramedics, for the duration of the State’s “stay at home” order. To ride free, medical personnel must present a work ID showing that they are employed at a hospital, doctor’s office, medical facility or local fire department.  

RTA Customer Services During COVID-19

The RTA’s top priority is the health and safety of agency employees, customers, contractors, and vendors.  In continuing to monitor the changing Coronavirus/ COVID-19 situation, RTA staff are working remotely and will not be reporting to the agency offices at 175 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago starting Monday, March 16, 2020, and until further notice.  Regarding a variety of RTA customer services, please click here for details about office closures and how to get help by phone. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time, and we remind everyone to follow the advice of the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Please visit CTA, Metra and Pace websites for specific information about those transit agencies' services.

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