Chicago's Metra has completed installation of charging stations at four of its downtown stations.
Charging stations are now available in the waiting areas at Millennium Station, Van Buren Street Station, LaSalle Street Station and the Ogilvie Transportation Center, and in the lower suburban concourse at Ogilvie near the Metra Market, providing Metra customers with a convenient and free place to recharge electronic mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops. Metra also anticipates installing a charging station in the coming months in its ticketing area at Chicago Union.
“Making the right capital investments so that riders have access to technology is a good business decision for Metra. Our riders have told us that access to their electronic devices is important and we were able to respond to their needs by adding this amenity to our downtown stations,” Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno said. “Listening to our customers and responding whenever feasible helps us attract and retain the riders we need to keep ticket revenues up and fare increases down.”
The charging stations were fabricated using manpower and resources from Metra’s rail yard shops at an estimated cost of $6,000 to $7,000 for all station installations.
To further enhance the agency’s customer connectivity options, Metra will also be installing free Wi-Fi in the waiting areas of downtown stations within 45 days, and it recently announced plans to test Wi-Fi on 11 cars systemwide before January 2016.