Sunday, May 13, 2012

NATO-related restrictions on Metra - bikes and more

FYI - If you regularly ride Metra or if you were planning to next weekend, you may want to check out this page on the Metra web site.  I've included a portion of the info below.

Metra has implemented a wide range of safety measures during the NATO Summit.  Passengers may see an increased law enforcement presence and K-9 units.

In addition, the following safety measures apply to riders of all Metra lines during the three days (May 19, 20 and 21) of the summit:
  • Riders may be subject to search and/or screening before boarding or while en route.
  • Riders may carry only one bag not exceeding 15 inches square and 4 inches deep. Boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles will not be allowed on trains. Banned items cannot be stored at Metra stations. They must be removed or they will be disposed of.
  • Riders may not carry any food or liquids on the trains. This includes coffee and other beverages.
  • Riders may not carry any type of tools, pipes, stakes, wood or weapons, including pocket knives and pepper spray, on the trains.
  • Law enforcement personnel must identify themselves and present their credentials and any weapons. 
  • Security guards will not be allowed to carry any weapons onboard.

As far as the passenger experience is concerned, it sounds like "most lines will operate normally" is an oxymoron in the context of NATO.  With security checks, I'd be very surprised if trains run on time.  Allow some extra time for your Metra trip, and check the Metra web site again later in the week in case of further updates.

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