WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.Metra officials prepared for any confusion that the first day of free senior rides could bring.
Metra conductors were given the run down on how to handle any confusion that people might have about the free rides. But conductor Darius Robinson says the seniors on his train knew what to do when he came around to check tickets. He says there were more elderly riders than usual.
ROBINSON: I think they’re all coming out of the woodworks now. They’re just getting on the train. So maybe they’re just enjoying the ride. Or maybe they want to see how that feels to just get on the train and not pay for it.
Bill Meeks was one of those seniors riding this morning. He says today is the first time he rode the Metra in about 20 years.
MEEKS: I’m just trying it out. Seeing if I want to ride downtown or drive downtown. I normally drive, but it’s so expensive driving downtown.
Officials say seniors make up about three percent of Metra’s ridership. They expect to give more free rides during off peak hours and weekends.