CTA, please don't adopt Metra's "reasonable" NATO restrictions

All I can say is: I hope the CTA doesn’t impose the same restrictions on passengers as the Metra will be doing May 19 through 21.

From the Tribune story:

Riders on all Metra lines will be subject to screening and baggage checks, with more extensive screening on Electric District trains, which run under McCormick Place where the summit is being held. Metra Electric riders should arrive at stations at least 15 minutes before departure to allow for the extra screening.

During the three days of the summit, all Metra riders will be allowed to carry only one bag and it cannot exceed 15 inches square and 4 inches deep.

Riders will not be able to carry boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles. And liquid and food will be prohibited on all trains.

Also prohibited will be tools, including pipes and stakes, as well as pocket knives and pepper spray.

All law enforcement personnel must identify themselves and present their credentials and any weapons to Metra. Security guards will not be allowed to carry weapons.

Metra said it believes the measures are reasonable, given the security concerns. “We’ve tried to be sensitive to our customers” Metra CEO Alex Clifford said at a board meeting today.

Reasonable? Maybe in China.


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    I can't drink a cup of coffee, eat a granola bar, carry my water bottle or knapsack on Metra, riding from Evanston to Lake Bluff during NATO? Unreal. I believe in security around McCormick Place, but c'mon, a cup of coffee in Kenosha is gonna endanger national security? Who are we kidding?

  • In reply to TomH:

    Yea, this is rather overboard. I'm sure the Metra conductors will be thrilled on the UPN line telling the reverse commuters that they can't bring their work bags on the train. Fortunately I've already gotten my boss's OK to work from home that Monday so I can avoid the headache.

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    In reply to TomH:

    Not any different than rules for a 3 hour flight in the US. Drink your coffee then go. It'll be over by rush hour Monday.

  • I think that whoever is responsible for this NATO mess should be held accountable.

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    It's for 1 or 2 days-- no big deal guys. Drink your coffee before you commute, travel light, and grab lunch at work. Yeah it's an inconvenience, but none of us are privy to any known threats and it's better to be safer than sorry. Suck it up and be cool.

  • The restrictions are being done according to Federal Government recommendations, all Metra did was let the public know what they are. If CTA, or PACE has restrictions they also will be via Federal Government recommendations. Your off base on your headline on this one.

  • This is not a big deal to me at all. Oh, you don't like these TEMPORARY restrictions? Feel free to drive, bike, cab, or walk to your destination. If those are not an option for you, and you STILL can't bear to be without your coffee on the Metra, then I don't feel sorry for you.

  • The main issues are (a) the ME, SS, and Amtrak go under McCormick Place, (b) the users of the first two will cry racism if the restrictions were only applied there, and (c) there is some belief that terrorists organizations would rather tear apart a big train.*

    One also has to look at that the CTA announcement says that pretty much any bus route is being rerouted away from NATO events, "public gatherings" (euphemism for Occupy?) and the soccer festival in Washington Park.

    So, even if the bus drivers are not going to be patting you down, people on the south side are not going anywhere by public transportation.

    And, as JimWatkins indicates, if the Secret Service tells CTA something, it will jump. However, the only Pace service that would be affected might be 855, except it gets off I55 short of LSD. Other than that, Pace gets nowhere near the central city.

    And I'm sure that the delegation from Greece isn't going to be riding your train to watch people urinate on the delegates' way to get some gyros in Skokie.

    *Not that Metra has much trouble doing it itself around 47th and Wells.

  • In reply to jack:


    Pace provides paratransit service for all six counties in the RTA region, including Chicago. Hopefully no person with a disability is caught up in the traffic jams that will happen with the NATO Summit and 'Rallies' .

  • In reply to AbilityChicago:

    Forgot about that, although technically contractors.

    However, "Hopefully no person with a disability is caught up in the traffic jams that will happen with the NATO Summit and 'Rallies' ." If the streets are closed and CTA buses can't get anywhere near Washington Park, LSD between 31st and Balbo, most of Grant Park, etc., how is a paratransit van going to get through there?

    Better start protesting now.

  • In reply to jack:


    'Better start protesting now.'. - A person with a disability has a medical condition, if because of traffic jams, there could be a medical emergency due to extended time in vehicles. Yes in Chicago 'although technically contractors', they are contracts that put out thru PACE, with complete oversight by Pace. And if someone is in a paratransit vehicle, they live in the NATO perimeter - with identification, they vehicle will get thru to drop of the passenger at there destination.

    What a self serving comment - any other input Jack

  • In reply to AbilityChicago:

    As my mother used to say about traffic jams "this isn't a helicopter."

    The Pace minutes again talk about whether Pace should buy paratransit vehicles or pay the contractors to get them. Nothing about helicopters.

    So, unless you comment was worthless wishful thinking, I don't think that the disabled are exempt from the street closures and traffic jams.

    Talk about being self serving.........

  • In reply to jack:

    Do you even know what you are commenting on; such a negative way on such a regular basis.

  • In reply to AbilityChicago:

    Gentlemen, let's please stop with the sniping back and forth...

  • Maybe in China, indeed. Early on, I thought it was terrific Mayor Emanuel snagged the NATO and G8 confabs for Chicago. But the security has leaped from prudence to being weirdly un-American.

    In some contrast, when heads of state are in New York City for United Nations events, the Secret Service somehow manages to avoid interfering with subway and rail lines, telling people to not travel with suit cases, or frisking passengers for concealed coffee mugs. The Secret Service and Emanuel seem more determined than any demonstrators to turn the NATO convention into the closing scenes of the Blues Brothers.

  • I hope that commuters on all the lines other than the Electric & South Shore do eat & drink on board.
    Can you imagine the mess if the conductors have the trains stopped to have these people arrested?
    Just take it to court, ask for a jury trial & watch it get dismissed faster than Daley can increase his pension!

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