Metra Forcing Riders Closer Together During COVID-19 Outbreak
Metra promised to keep all train cars open in an effort to promote social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, evidence shows that this promise is not being kept.
According to a post on Facebook from Metra (click here for archive link if deleted), “Although there has been a sharp drop in ridership due to school closures, work-from-home mandates and other consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, we are not changing the size of trains and crews have been told to operate with all cars open to encourage social distancing.”
Unfortunately, train crews are not keeping the train cars open.
“A lot of people are coughing hard on the train,” said a BNSF rider identifying himself as Matt. “I wish that they kept all of the train cars open so I can stay away from all the sick people, but they closed the front and rear cars. It’s horrible.”
Social distancing is a tactic that is being used to fight COVID-19 in Illinois, and the rest of the world. Its aim is to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people, thus slowing the spread of infection. It can include measures like canceling group activities or closing public spaces. By slowing infection, it allows the health care system to treat more patients, and improve survival odds.