Metra to mark 40th birthday with free weekend, variety of other activities for riders

Publication Date
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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Metra’s celebration of its 40th anniversary will start Monday, June 3, with a week of activities including a free weekend for riders on Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9.

“Whether you have been riding Metra for 40 years or took your first ride today, we want to thank you,” said Metra Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “And as we look to the past and celebrate four decades of serving the Chicago area’s transportation needs, we are also looking to the future and making plans to continue that service for many more decades.”

Metra marks its birthday on June 8, 1984. That was the date of the first meeting of the board of the newly formed Commuter Rail Division, created by Springfield a year earlier as part of a reform of the Regional Transportation Authority. That board adopted “Metra” in 1985 as a unifying name for all the disparate parts that made and still make up the commuter rail system in the region.

Activities in celebration of that 40th birthday include:

  • Monday, June 3: Metra will ask its riders to share their favorite memories about riding Metra on social media.
  • Tuesday, June 4: Customer Appreciation Day - Metra will hand out a gift, including coupons from local businesses, to riders at downtown stations while supplies last.
  • Wednesday, June 5: Metra will ask travel buddies to share photos of themselves on social media.
  • Thursday, June 6: Metra’s “Throwback Thursday” will include 80s trivia on social media.
  • Friday, June 7: Metra will ask riders to share their favorite travel destinations on social media.
  • Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9: Travel on Metra will be completely free for all riders.

In addition to those activities, Metra has created a museum in a railcar that will travel to downtown stations this summer. That schedule will be announced later. Stay tuned for other 40th anniversary events and activities later this year.