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Metra announces security details for NATO summit

SHARE Metra announces security details for NATO summit

Metra riders will have to travel a little lighter starting the weekend of the NATO summit.

On Friday, Metra officials announced tightened security and station closures during the summit. Metra officials say no food or liquids will be allowed on any Metra trains from Saturday, May 19th through Monday, May 21st.

They say passengers will only be allowed to carry one bag—no larger than 15 inches by 15 inches—and will be subject to security screenings.

Passengers will not be able to bring backpacks, bicycles or packages onboard either.

Officials said they will close some stations on Metra’s electric line which runs underneath McCormick Place, the sight of the summit.

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.

“We are extremely aware of the inconvenience that this event creates for riders, and we have planned to disrupt as little service as possible,” Carlton said.

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.

Brian Steele, a spokesperson for the Chicago Transit Authority, said the CTA will add more buses and railcars that weekend to accomodate both the Metra station closures as well as the Crosstown Classic baseball game.

However, Steele said security for the summit would cause minor delays for some riders.

“Twenty-four of our bus lines will have some minor reroutes around that area, but they will continue throughout the rest of their route,” Steele said. “So passengers will still be able to get to their destinations, the buses will just take different routes for part of the trip.”

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