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Pace831

Metra taking over UP operations?

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There's been an operating change on the UP-N & possibly all UP lines.   When I got on today, passengers weren't allowed to use the last car outbound or the head end car inbound.  The sole conductor rode that car & no one checks for fares. 

10 days ago, passengers were allowed on those cars, but again, no fares collected.  I don't know if this is permanent & I didn't get a chance to ask the conductor what's going on.

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16 minutes ago, strictures said:

There's been an operating change on the UP-N & possibly all UP lines.   When I got on today, passengers weren't allowed to use the last car outbound or the head end car inbound.  The sole conductor rode that car & no one checks for fares. 

10 days ago, passengers were allowed on those cars, but again, no fares collected.  I don't know if this is permanent & I didn't get a chance to ask the conductor what's going on.

While there is no doubt this is related to the dispute with Metra,  UP can argue that it is taking precautions related to the pandemic by keeping its conductors and engineers safe.  There is also a passenger benefit in that injuries would be reduced in the event of a train and vehicle accident.   My question is whether fares are being collected on other Metra services including the BNSF,  ME,MD. and RI?

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50 minutes ago, strictures said:

There's been an operating change on the UP-N & possibly all UP lines.   When I got on today, passengers weren't allowed to use the last car outbound or the head end car inbound.  The sole conductor rode that car & no one checks for fares. 

10 days ago, passengers were allowed on those cars, but again, no fares collected.  I don't know if this is permanent & I didn't get a chance to ask the conductor what's going on.

I’ve never been able to sit on the head inbound car or head outbound car on any UP train I’ve taken this summer

28 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

While there is no doubt this is related to the dispute with Metra,  UP can argue that it is taking precautions related to the pandemic by keeping its conductors and engineers safe.  There is also a passenger benefit in that injuries would be reduced in the event of a train and vehicle accident.   My question is whether fares are being collected on other Metra services including the BNSF,  ME,MD. and RI?

BNSF, ME, MDN are all collecting fares

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26 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

My question is whether fares are being collected on other Metra services including the BNSF,  ME,MD. and RI?

My fare was collected on the RI trains that I rode on July 22. From what others have reported, it sounds like only UP isn’t collecting fares.

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49 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

My fare was collected on the RI trains that I rode on July 22. From what others have reported, it sounds like only UP isn’t collecting fares.

I wonder if Metra shares fares with UP and BNSF.  Of those RR can keep the fares collected, does Metra make adjustments to what they pay the RRs?

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Contract carriers keep the money on the tickets they well, which makes it a little curious that they would eliminate ticket agents,

since I am sure Metra is freezing them out of app sales. Carriers may eliminate positions with (usually) 30 day notice, so 

if they followed the protocol on that, the union has not beef. As for cars open, the cab car closing that Metra required earlier

is no longer in effect (and hasn't been since mid June), although with the current ridership level and the ridiculous length of trains

most use the belly cars and keep the ends closed. As for collecting fares, crews on all Metra owned lines are required to collect

fares and make their presence known.

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On 8/14/2020 at 11:49 AM, trainman8119 said:

Contract carriers keep the money on the tickets they well, which makes it a little curious that they would eliminate ticket agents,

since I am sure Metra is freezing them out of app sales. Carriers may eliminate positions with (usually) 30 day notice, so 

if they followed the protocol on that, the union has not beef. As for cars open, the cab car closing that Metra required earlier

is no longer in effect (and hasn't been since mid June), although with the current ridership level and the ridiculous length of trains

most use the belly cars and keep the ends closed. As for collecting fares, crews on all Metra owned lines are required to collect

fares and make their presence known.

I think you mean fazing them out, I am wondering if UP did this unilaterally and if doing so might have crossed a collective bargaining agreement? Just thinking out loud as I doubt anyone on this forum can say for sure. 

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On 8/14/2020 at 11:49 AM, trainman8119 said:

Contract carriers keep the money on the tickets they well, which makes it a little curious that they would eliminate ticket agents,

since I am sure Metra is freezing them out of app sales. Carriers may eliminate positions with (usually) 30 day notice, so 

if they followed the protocol on that, the union has not beef. As for cars open, the cab car closing that Metra required earlier

is no longer in effect (and hasn't been since mid June), although with the current ridership level and the ridiculous length of trains

most use the belly cars and keep the ends closed. As for collecting fares, crews on all Metra owned lines are required to collect

fares and make their presence known.

I have ridden the UP-N about 8 times in the last three weeks & not once has a conductor or collector even entered a car to collect fares.  Last week when I just made it to the last car, the conductor let me enter it to then pass through to the next car, but never looked at my pass. 

The UP is refusing to collect fares now!

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6 hours ago, strictures said:

I have ridden the UP-N about 8 times in the last three weeks & not once has a conductor or collector even entered a car to collect fares.  Last week when I just made it to the last car, the conductor let me enter it to then pass through to the next car, but never looked at my pass. 

The UP is refusing to collect fares now!

Haven’t been collected since early July and probably way before that. I’ve been unabashedly using the UP trains to get to various parts of the city & suburbs 😶

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6 hours ago, MRChiCity said:

The key difference between the U.S. and other countries is the latter has been responsible for building up its passenger rail networks.  The governments built the infrastructure and thus own the rails.  In the U S., private interests built and operates the infrastructure and rails.   When the RRs first started to abandon passenger services,  the U S. Government failed to build a passenger rail network,  but chose to build an interstate highway system.  That was fine, bur a passenger rail system could have been built alongside most if the highways.  Thus either the RR could continue passenger services on those tracks, or when Amtrak was created in 1971, it would have a set of tracks to operate on.

The reason RR didn't want passenger services on its tracks is because it slowed down and interfered with its lucrative freight business.  Its freight interference that causes delays on AMTRAK and Metra.  Except for the northeast corridor where Amtrak owns and operates the Acela Express, Amteak doesn't own any tracks and has to pay fees to the RRs for the right to use their tracks.

I've heard that Metra owns most of the IPN track age.  I don't know who owns the UPNW track age, but clearly UP owns the UPW trackage and I think it's the main impetus of this battle.  Imagine freight trains sitting for 4 hrs while Metra trains operate rush hour service.   Not only is freight not moving, UP trauns are now backed up to the point where crew changes are necessary  even though a crew may have sat more than they ran.  UP cant get rid of Metra trains,  but if they don't have to operate the service,  it's a cost savings to them.

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5 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I've heard that Metra owns most of the UPN track age.  I don't know who owns the UPNW track age, but clearly UP owns the UPW trackage and I think it's the main impetus of this battle.  Imagine freight trains sitting for 4 hrs while Metra trains operate rush hour service.   Not only is freight not moving, UP trains are now backed up to the point where crew changes are necessary  even though a crew may have sat more than they ran.  UP cant get rid of Metra trains,  but if they don't have to operate the service,  it's a cost savings to them.

I did write a week or two ago, the the actual rails on the UP-N are marked "Metra Bethlehem Steelton 115 LB 1995 /////" [I don't know what the ///// means] which can be easily read at Rogers Park in the morning when the sun illuminates just right.

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1 hour ago, strictures said:

I did write a week or two ago, the the actual rails on the UP-N are marked "Metra Bethlehem Steelton 115 LB 1995 /////" [I don't know what the ///// means] which can be easily read at Rogers Park in the morning when the sun illuminates just right.

You did which I said Metra owns most of the rails.  Er really don't know beyond Waukegan.   But even if Metra owned both N and NW trackage , there's still the labor issue of transferring those UP crews to Metra (obviously that includes W also),

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36 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

You did which I said Metra owns most of the rails.  Er really don't know beyond Waukegan.   But even if Metra owned both N and NW trackage , there's still the labor issue of transferring those UP crews to Metra (obviously that includes W also),

What I don't understand, is that all the emblems on the conductors uniforms on the UP lines, are for Metra.  The only UP items they have are the company schedules & rules, although I occasionally see some employees wearing UP baseball caps & reflective vests.

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1 hour ago, strictures said:

What I don't understand, is that all the emblems on the conductors uniforms on the UP lines, are for Metra.  The only UP items they have are the company schedules & rules, although I occasionally see some employees wearing UP baseball caps & reflective vests.

Perhaps the uniforms are required by and paid for by Metra.   It shouldn't be a problem since all of the assigned conductors seemingly only work on the commuter lines.  

The regional airlines seemingly have one uniform with either a scarf or some other small item to identify which major carrier they sre flying for at any given time.  For example. A Skywest flight attendant could fly United Express one day and Delta Connection the next day.  That attendant would merely switch scarves. 

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Are fares being collect on UP-NW because earlier this morning I was heading to Des Plaines and the first person in the front of the car fare was about to be collected then I guess something clicked in his mind and he didn't check anyone's fare? Sorry if this question was already answered.

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2 minutes ago, strictures said:

The Tribune has an article on this. 

Metra says they are losing $1 million a month.  UP claims it's unsafe for the conductors.  This just another lie from the UP in their dispute over who will actually run the trains, Metra or UP!

UP refusing to collect fares for Metra

I suppose most riders use the app or purchase tickets downtown or by mail (if they still do that).  So the fares that UP conductors actually collect in cash is minimal unless it's an all day or weekend pass.   A lot of riders have monthly or ten rides so the conductors really have minimal contact with passengers.     The question is whether Metra can see for the estimated loss due to non collection. 

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13 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I suppose most riders use the app or purchase tickets downtown or by mail (if they still do that).  So the fares that UP conductors actually collect in cash is minimal unless it's an all day or weekend pass.   A lot of riders have monthly or ten rides so the conductors really have minimal contact with passengers.     The question is whether Metra can see for the estimated loss due to non collection. 

As a daily rider, no one has been collecting fares for so long, that most riders on the UPN line have not been purchasing any passes. So they are seeing little revenue from the UPN line, even though ridership is not as bad as it sounds.  

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20 hours ago, artthouwill said:

I suppose most riders use the app or purchase tickets downtown or by mail (if they still do that).  So the fares that UP conductors actually collect in cash is minimal unless it's an all day or weekend pass.   A lot of riders have monthly or ten rides so the conductors really have minimal contact with passengers.     The question is whether Metra can see for the estimated loss due to non collection. 

 

6 hours ago, rl12383 said:

As a daily rider, no one has been collecting fares for so long, that most riders on the UPN line have not been purchasing any passes. So they are seeing little revenue from the UPN line, even though ridership is not as bad as it sounds.  

The only money Metra has gotten from the UP since April I believe, is the people who purchase tickets by mistake, which are usually the "once every so often" riders. UP doesn't televise that they aren't collecting fares (for instance, the ticket windows simply tell you to visit the kiosks in front of tracks 4 & 12) but I'm sure it didn't take long for the info to spread via word of mouth. I took the UPN on what was one of my last riders before leaving Chicago to head back to college and someone was about to buy a ticket from the kiosk before another passenger stopped them and said they weren't going to collect it. All of this makes me wonder if the UP lines got a very slight ridership boost from people who know the UP lines are effectively free right now, causing them to take the UP when they wouldn't otherwise (for instance, CTA riders at Oak Park, Jeff Park, Evanston, etc)

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On 8/25/2020 at 3:41 PM, Nova's at 103rd said:

Are fares being collect on UP-NW because earlier this morning I was heading to Des Plaines and the first person in the front of the car fare was about to be collected then I guess something clicked in his mind and he didn't check anyone's fare? Sorry if this question was already answered.

I'm actually wondering about that as well. It's been a while since I've last used the UP line's. 

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I take the Metra UPNW line Monday to Friday every week for the last 2 years. When the pandemic struck around March and the state announced closure of restaurants and bars for 2 weeks, ridership on Metra dropped dramatically. Were at times I had a whole train car to myself for a few stops when I would board the train at 7am from Crystal Lake towards Chicago. I work in healthcare so I never stopped taking the train. They were still collecting fares. Then a few weeks pasts and they started offering free rides for first responders and healthcare workers. They also modified the schedule with less train times, no more express for example. I would just show my work badge to the conductors for my free ride. Then a few weeks passed and I didn’t see anymore conductors walk by collecting fares. They closed off the front car. I could say I haven’t seen any fare collection since around May. And I ride everyday, Monday to Friday. 

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21 minutes ago, Rider said:

I take the Metra UPNW line Monday to Friday every week for the last 2 years. When the pandemic struck around March and the state announced closure of restaurants and bars for 2 weeks, ridership on Metra dropped dramatically. Were at times I had a whole train car to myself for a few stops when I would board the train at 7am from Crystal Lake towards Chicago. I work in healthcare so I never stopped taking the train. They were still collecting fares. Then a few weeks pasts and they started offering free rides for first responders and healthcare workers. They also modified the schedule with less train times, no more express for example. I would just show my work badge to the conductors for my free ride. Then a few weeks passed and I didn’t see anymore conductors walk by collecting fares. They closed off the front car. I could say I haven’t seen any fare collection since around May. And I ride everyday, Monday to Friday. 

Wow.  I do see express trains on the UPW as they whizz past the Oak Park Station running express to Elmhurst.

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22 hours ago, Rider said:

I take the Metra UPNW line Monday to Friday every week for the last 2 years...I work in healthcare so I never stopped taking the train. They were still collecting fares. Then a few weeks pasts and they started offering free rides for first responders and healthcare workers. They also modified the schedule with less train times, no more express for example...Then a few weeks passed...They closed off the front car. I could say I haven’t seen any fare collection since around May...

I didn’t know they closed off the front car now, I’ve only heard of Metrolink trains in Los Angeles doing that after accidents. But it explains the unusual stopping location of the trains now. I’ve been stopped at the IL 120 crossing at the Woodstock Station a few times while waiting for inbound trains to serve the station every now and then. Normally the cab car stops with its door at the platform and the end of the car around the end of the platform to try not to block the crossing (though with the gates down already it doesn’t matter), but lately the front car has been overshooting the front platform and blocking the crossing. I thought that they were doing this to allow another car towards the rear of the train access to the platform and have people who wanted to board the cab car get in on the crossing, but now I see this isn’t the case.

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