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Metra taking over UP operations?

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On 10/2/2020 at 5:05 PM, artthouwill said:

Just read that UP will resume fare collection starting Monday, October 5, but only at Oglivie.   Inbound passengers will have to show tickets after exiting trains and outbound passengers have to show tickets before boarding trains.  I guess aagents in protective booths will check all tickets at Oglivie.  Conductiors will not check or sell tickets on the train.

I didn't know 2 UP ticket agent died as a result of COVID-19.

Article was in the Trains magazine 

Thanks for the heads up.

It doesn't say how passengers getting off the train without a ticket will be expected to pay their fare.  There are no ticket windows or vending machines at most suburban UP stations and those that have them are only open in the morning.   Will they set up vending machines before disembarking passengers get to the check booths?  Or will having a working smart phone with the Ventra app be a requirement for riding UP Metra trains to downtown now?  The UP press release seems to imply that passengers without tickets will be fined or arrested.

 

Union Pacific plan to collect fares met with concerns by Metra

 

New Fare Collection Procedures on UP Metra Lines Focus on Health and Safety

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4 minutes ago, Smolensk said:

Thanks for the heads up.

It doesn't say how passengers getting off the train without a ticket will be expected to pay their fare.  There are no ticket windows or vending machines at most suburban UP stations and those that have them are only open in the morning.   Will they set up vending machines before disembarking passengers get to the check booths?  Or will having a working smart phone with the Ventra app be a requirement for riding UP Metra trains to downtown now?  The UP press release seems to imply that passengers without tickets will be fined or arrested.

 

Union Pacific plan to collect fares met with concerns by Metra

 

New Fare Collection Procedures on UP Metra Lines Focus on Health and Safety

I think the article said collection will only be at Oglivie for both directions.   I suppose Metra would encourage riders to use the Ventra App on their phones for payment.  Yo be honest,  I've never seen a vending machine outside of a downtown station except on the MED.

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28 minutes ago, artthouwill said:

I think the article said collection will only be at Oglivie for both directions.   I suppose Metra would encourage riders to use the Ventra App on their phones for payment.  Yo be honest,  I've never seen a vending machine outside of a downtown station except on the MED.

Yes, but passengers getting off the train will presumably have to pass through check points before they will be allowed to enter the station.  How do they get past the check point if they couldn't buy a ticket at their point of origin or on the train?  Is possession of a functional smart phone now going to be a requirement for riding UP Metra trains to downtown?

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42 minutes ago, Smolensk said:

Yes, but passengers getting off the train will presumably have to pass through check points before they will be allowed to enter the station.  How do they get past the check point if they couldn't buy a ticket at their point of origin or on the train?  Is possession of a functional smart phone now going to be a requirement for riding UP Metra trains to downtown?

O don't know.   This is specific to UP.   I assume that the agenda at Oglivie are UP agents.  Perhaps customers can pay cash at the station.  I don't know if vending machines will be made available before the checkpoint on either side.   I guess we will find out Monday.

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On 10/3/2020 at 6:50 PM, Smolensk said:

Yes, but passengers getting off the train will presumably have to pass through check points before they will be allowed to enter the station.  How do they get past the check point if they couldn't buy a ticket at their point of origin or on the train?  Is possession of a functional smart phone now going to be a requirement for riding UP Metra trains to downtown?

According to the UP notice

"Ticket sales at OTC and outlying stations resumed Sept. 28"

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On 10/3/2020 at 6:17 PM, artthouwill said:

I think the article said collection will only be at Oglivie for both directions.   I suppose Metra would encourage riders to use the Ventra App on their phones for payment.  Yo be honest,  I've never seen a vending machine outside of a downtown station except on the MED.

There's a single vending machine at Ogilvie past the bumping post at Track 15. There might be one at track 2, but I haven't been at that end for over a year.  But then, are they going to have collectors at every stairway leading down to the North Concourse? 

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If

10 hours ago, busfan2847 said:

According to the UP notice

"Ticket sales at OTC and outlying stations resumed Sept. 28"

 

5 hours ago, strictures said:

There's a single vending machine at Ogilvie past the bumping post at Track 15. There might be one at track 2, but I haven't been at that end for over a year.  But then, are they going to have collectors at every stairway leading down to the North Concourse? 

if ticket sales have resumed, then my question would be are the agent booths on those concourses open?  Are these agents reinstated UP agents or are they Metra agents?  Are yhe UP agents part of the negotiations along with UP conductors, engineers, and mechanics? If o can, I will try to visit Oglivie this week.

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On 10/5/2020 at 9:54 AM, busfan2847 said:

According to the UP notice

"Ticket sales at OTC and outlying stations resumed Sept. 28"

Oak Park Metra station ticket booth is still closed.  No agent at 830 this morning. 

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1 hour ago, artthouwill said:

Oak Park Metra station ticket booth is still closed.  No agent at 830 this morning. 

The waiting area still closed too? I guess they're assuming people are going to have the Ventra app

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1 hour ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

The waiting area still closed too? I guess they're assuming people are going to have the Ventra app

Oak Park is different because it doubles as the Green Line Harlem station..  

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3 hours ago, artthouwill said:

Oak Park is different because it doubles as the Green Line Harlem station..  

Which company provided the ticket agent?

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3 hours ago, NewFlyerMCI said:

Which company provided the ticket agent?

Metra's ticket agent is located at the north end of the station next to the Oak Park Police substation.  UP agents man the ticket booth.  Both are on the west side of the station house with the ramps to the Metra trains directly across from the ticket agent and substation.  The Green Line turnstiles are on the south end of the station house and across from a convenience store located in the station.  

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So let me get this straight the engineer works for Metra, the train is owned by Metra. Yet the conductors work for UP.  That really makes no sense. Why aren't Metra hired conductors working the trains? I thought the trains just use the tracks of UP. What's in it  for UP to work the trains? That seems to be the problem. 

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39 minutes ago, BusHunter said:

So let me get this straight the engineer works for Metra, the train is owned by Metra. Yet the conductors work for UP.  That really makes no sense. Why aren't Metra hired conductors working the trains? I thought the trains just use the tracks of UP. What's in it  for UP to work the trains? That seems to be the problem. 

The engineers also work for UP

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10 hours ago, BusHunter said:

So let me get this straight the engineer works for Metra, the train is owned by Metra. Yet the conductors work for UP.  That really makes no sense. Why aren't Metra hired conductors working the trains? I thought the trains just use the tracks of UP. What's in it  for UP to work the trains? That seems to be the problem. 

UP crews work the trains because they bought C&NW which historically ran them, so there is an agreement between them and Metra to operate those trains. The same applies to BNSF because of Burlington Northern, although BNSF is following Metra COVID procedures and collecting fares despite not wanting to run passenger trains either. From my understanding both UP and BNSF also schedule and dispatch the Metra trains on their lines along with their freights.

My concern is that this feud will end up disrupting passenger service because of dispatching. Both BNSF and UP aren’t interested in operating the passenger trains, and since the tracks will still be owned by them, they can still dispatch the trains on them. If the contracts are changed as a result, they will probably schedule with freight as a priority. We already see this with the North Central Service and the Heritage Corridor, which are run on tracks owned by Canadian National. Metra has stated that that they want to add more trains on the NCS, but aren’t allowed to do so because of CN. If UP starts dismantling the schedule for its three lines for more freight service, then the results won’t be pretty for passengers, not taking COVID into account.

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On 10/15/2020 at 10:35 AM, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

UP crews work the trains because they bought C&NW which historically ran them, so there is an agreement between them and Metra to operate those trains. The same applies to BNSF because of Burlington Northern, although BNSF is following Metra COVID procedures and collecting fares despite not wanting to run passenger trains either. From my understanding both UP and BNSF also schedule and dispatch the Metra trains on their lines along with their freights.

My concern is that this feud will end up disrupting passenger service because of dispatching. Both BNSF and UP aren’t interested in operating the passenger trains, and since the tracks will still be owned by them, they can still dispatch the trains on them. If the contracts are changed as a result, they will probably schedule with freight as a priority. We already see this with the North Central Service and the Heritage Corridor, which are run on tracks owned by Canadian National. Metra has stated that that they want to add more trains on the NCS, but aren’t allowed to do so because of CN. If UP starts dismantling the schedule for its three lines for more freight service, then the results won’t be pretty for passengers, not taking COVID into account.

In hindsight the federal government failed to build a railroad infrastructure for passenger trains alongside with the highway system.  The railroads have historically claimed passenger services were losing them money.  Railroad after Railroad eitger abandoned passenger services, went broke, or merged with another railroad.  Its the reason Amtrak exists today, though it is a big money loser.  I do think high speed rail service on exclusive r.o.w. like Acela would be profitable.   This country is prehistoric compared to other countries.

If the railroads  could, they wouldn't allow Amtrak service Either.. 

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Yeah that's dangerous letting the third parties schedule. If I was them freight is getting priority. The passenger volume out here is horrible. So Metra has no say in what happens. How do they decide budgets then? Why not just dissolve Metra and give full reign to the third party lines? At least one thing freight is hurting too. How many long freights have we seen lately. Not like before that's for sure but bnsf is doing well. They have a track that serves the hodgkins UPS and that always has train after train after train. Incredible but the trucking industry does good too there. Like the red line no kidding. CN maybe not so much. Depends what they haul. New car sales are down but if your someone like Norfolk Southern they haul coal and everyone needs that whether for electricity or heat. 

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2 hours ago, BusHunter said:

Yeah that's dangerous letting the third parties schedule. If I was them freight is getting priority. The passenger volume out here is horrible. So Metra has no say in what happens. How do they decide budgets then? Why not just dissolve Metra and give full reign to the third party lines? At least one thing freight is hurting too. How many long freights have we seen lately. Not like before that's for sure but bnsf is doing well. They have a track that serves the hodgkins UPS and that always has train after train after train. Incredible but the trucking industry does good too there. Like the red line no kidding. CN maybe not so much. Depends what they haul. New car sales are down but if your someone like Norfolk Southern they haul coal and everyone needs that whether for electricity or heat. 

First,  if Metra could give complete responsibility of the UP and/or BNSF to the freight companies,  those commuter lines would completely disappear.  Why?  As I and others have already states, railroads have no desire to operate passenger services.  It's not profitable and it reduces the profits of the freight operations.  The only reason BNSF and UP are operating commuter services is that they were the operators when Metra came into existence    in the case of UP, it had to take the commuter operations along with the freight operation and trackage when it bought the C&NW.  Since these companies were already operating and dispatching the services,  it was easier to do a purchase of service agreement with them.

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Back to the issue of fare collection, I rode UPN from Rogers Park to Chicago Passenger Terminal and return today.  Southbound I saw no trainmen, nobody asked for tickets; there was a (Metra?) cop aboard the train. At CPT there was nobody requesting, inspecting, or punching tickets.  Northbound, there was a trainman at the gate who asked to see my ticket but did not punch it. Upon departure, the conductor announced that, starting October 5, passengers will be required to show a ticket. But nobody aboard the train asked for my ticket. 

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47 minutes ago, taxpayer said:

Back to the issue of fare collection, I rode UPN from Rogers Park to Chicago Passenger Terminal and return today.  Southbound I saw no trainmen, nobody asked for tickets; there was a (Metra?) cop aboard the train. At CPT there was nobody requesting, inspecting, or punching tickets.  Northbound, there was a trainman at the gate who asked to see my ticket but did not punch it. Upon departure, the conductor announced that, starting October 5, passengers will be required to show a ticket. But nobody aboard the train asked for my ticket. 

I suppose you can reuse that ticket for the next 90 days as long as no one punches it.

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21 hours ago, MTRSP1900-CTA3200 said:

UP crews work the trains because they bought C&NW which historically ran them, so there is an agreement between them and Metra to operate those trains. The same applies to BNSF because of Burlington Northern, although BNSF is following Metra COVID procedures and collecting fares despite not wanting to run passenger trains either. From my understanding both UP and BNSF also schedule and dispatch the Metra trains on their lines along with their freights.

My concern is that this feud will end up disrupting passenger service because of dispatching. Both BNSF and UP aren’t interested in operating the passenger trains, and since the tracks will still be owned by them, they can still dispatch the trains on them. If the contracts are changed as a result, they will probably schedule with freight as a priority. We already see this with the North Central Service and the Heritage Corridor, which are run on tracks owned by Canadian National. Metra has stated that that they want to add more trains on the NCS, but aren’t allowed to do so because of CN. If UP starts dismantling the schedule for its three lines for more freight service, then the results won’t be pretty for passengers, not taking COVID into account.

What freight service on the UP-N Line?  There's a few cars a day out of the North Ave. yard & some service to Abbott in North Chicago, but nothing in between anymore.  Both S&C Electric & Tempel Steel no longer have sidings into their properties.  That's it from Clybourn to North Chicago.

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34 minutes ago, strictures said:

What freight service on the UP-N Line?  There's a few cars a day out of the North Ave. yard & some service to Abbott in North Chicago, but nothing in between anymore.  Both S&C Electric & Tempel Steel no longer have sidings into their properties.  That's it from Clybourn to North Chicago.

I’m pretty sure you and I both know I’m not specifically talking about the UP-N Line and only the UP-N Line...

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