Metra has announced that a conductor assigned to the SouthWest Service Line has tested positive for COVID-19. Metra did state the employee has been home since reporting feeling ill on March 25. Other employees who had direct contact with that conductor have been self-isolating since that date, and all cars currently in use on the line have been cleaned and disinfected.
Metra is following guidance from public health authorities to proactively implement measures that help protect the safety of Metra employees as well as customers. Those measures include:
- Cleaning cars every day, with a special concentration on disinfecting high-touch areas such as handrails, armrests and doors. With fewer cars in use due to a modified weekday schedule, Metra has also been doing more deep cleaning. They are bringing on extra crews on weekends, when most cars are not in use, to do additional cleaning and disinfecting of our cars and locomotives.
- Cleaning Metra-maintained stations multiple times a week. They have stated that they will maintain their schedule and will pay special attention to disinfecting high-touch surfaces. They also brought in extra crews to increase the cleaning and disinfecting of downtown stations. They have also asked the municipalities or other entities that maintain the stations in their communities to do the same.
Metra is advising customers to comply with the state’s shelter-in-place mandate and travel only when necessary. If they must travel, Metra encourages riders to use the Ventra app to purchase all tickets, or use a credit card with agents. Using the app is the best and safest way to minimize contact between riders and onboard personnel. The app can be downloaded for free from the App store or Google Play.