South Shore Line limits service during NATO summit

May 14, 2012

Quinn Ford

Passengers riding the South Shore Line to Chicago should expect some disruptions in their commute during the NATO summit.

On Monday, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) released a statement announcing 11 trains will be canceled on May 21st.

NICTD General manager Gerald Hanas said secret service has requested special security for all trains traveling under McCormick place during the summit.

"We would ask all passengers to de-train on the inbound trains at Hegewisch [and] go through a screening. The trains would be screened and swept. Then, once that process is completed the passengers will be allowed to get back on and you know, hopefully, if everything goes right, then we'll just be able to move the train right through McCormick Place," Hanas said.

Hanas says their riders face the same restrictions as Metra riders, including a ban on bringing food and liquids onboard. Passengers are also allowed only one bag which can be no bigger than 15 inches by 15 inches

Metra officials announced its security details last Friday.

They said passengers will not be able to bring backpacks, bicycles or packages onboard either.

Metra officials said they will close some stations on Metra's electric line which runs underneath McCormick Place, the summit location.

Five stations along Metra’s electric line will close on Saturday and Sunday of the NATO weekend. Twenty-six stations on the electric line will close on Monday the 21st, including the entire Blue Island branch.

The electric line typically serves 14,000 riders on an average weekday.

Metra Communications Director Robert Carlton said Metra’s website will have details about the changes.

Carlton said Metra will have to close 26 stations on the line in part because it does not have enough staff to provide extra security. He also said there would be alternative public transportation available to riders.