Metra to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Free Rides in June

In 1984, the RTA Commuter Rail Division board met for the first time; RTA adopted the Metra brand a year later. Photo by Marshall W. Beecher

Metra to Celebrate 40th Anniversary with Free Rides in June

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

Metra will celebrate its 40th anniversary in June with a week of celebrations, including a weekend of free train rides. 

In June 1984, the Regional Transit Authority Commuter Rail Division board met for the first time. The Commuter Rail Division was created by the Illinois legislature a year earlier as the state began to take over suburban passenger operations from freight railroads in the area. A year after that first board meeting, RTA’s commuter rail operations adopted the Metra brand. 

“Whether you have been riding Metra for 40 years or took your first ride today, we want to thank you,” said Metra Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “And as we look to the past and celebrate four decades of serving the Chicago area’s transportation needs, we are also looking to the future and making plans to continue that service for many more decades.”

Metra plans on holding events throughout the week beginning on June 3. The agency will also have a rolling museum rail car that will travel the system throughout the summer. Additional details about that will be announced at a later date. 

Activities in celebration of that 40th birthday include:

  • Monday, June 3: Metra will ask its riders to share their favorite memories about riding Metra on social media.
  • Tuesday, June 4: Customer Appreciation Day – Metra will hand out a gift, including coupons from local businesses, to riders at downtown stations while supplies last.
  • Wednesday, June 5: Metra will ask travel buddies to share photos of themselves on social media.
  • Thursday, June 6: Metra’s “Throwback Thursday” will include 80s trivia on social media.
  • Friday, June 7: Metra will ask riders to share their favorite travel destinations on social media.
  • Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9: Travel on Metra will be completely free for all riders.

This article was posted on: May 29, 2024