Rail

Chicago's Metra adding charging stations

Posted on August 18, 2015

Chicago’s Metra is installing charging stations at Millennium Station, Van Buren Street Station, LaSalle Street Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center to provide its customers with a convenient and free place to recharge electronic mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Charging stations at Millennium Station were installed last week and all four stations are expected to be complete by September. Metra also anticipates installing charging stations in the coming months in its ticketing area at Chicago Union Station.

"We’ve heard from our customers that charging stations would be a useful amenity for people waiting for trains and we stepped up to the plate and got it done,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “Our goal is to convince more drivers that Metra offers a safe, efficient travel option that enables commuters to access the technology they want and deserve.”

A recent study by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University indicated more than three times as many Metra riders are performing electronic tasks such as texting and reading emails on phones today compared to five years ago. Fewer than 14% of passengers were performing such tasks in 2010, compared to 44% this year.

The study also indicated that commuter dependence on electronic devices may be boosting Metra ridership, which has grown despite fare increases that have boosted the cost of travel. This suggests that other factors — including the value passengers place on using electronic devices while traveling — may be offsetting some of the effects of rising fares.

“Making the right capital investments so that riders have access to technology is a good business decision for Metra,” said Orseno. “It helps us attract and retain the riders we need to keep ticket revenues up and fare increases down.”

Metra has taken other notable steps to cater to passengers who use technology by installing power outlets in railcars and pursuing the mobile ticketing app, expected to launch this fall.

The charging stations were fabricated using manpower and resources available at Metra’s rail yard shops at an estimated cost of between $6,000 to $7,000 for all four station installations. The agency is also working to explore ways to provide free Wi-Fi service in waiting areas at its downtown stations.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Sound Transit orders 122 new Siemens light railcars

The $554 million order will nearly triple the fleet from its current 62 cars, adding needed capacity as rail begins to extend north, south and east as part of the Sound Transit 2 package.

Calif. SMART policy proposes cellphone ban onboard trains

The proposed ban highlights debate over the use of cellphones in public spaces for work or leisure purposes, and the annoyance many feel at being roped into someone else’s conversation.

Metra police focus on crossing violators during rail safety week

Metra police issued more than 200 citations to motorists and pedestrians who failed to obey railroad gates and signals or trespassed on railroad property. 

FTA awards $1B federal grant for San Diego trolley extension

The extension will improve access to employment hubs and numerous educational and medical facilities north of downtown, making it easier for people to travel throughout the city.

Brookville delivers first of six Detroit M-1 RAIL streetcars

The streetcar’s early arrival marks the second early delivery by Brookville this year. Two option vehicles were delivered to Dallas Area Rapid Transit six months ahead of contractual delivery this summer.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close