Metra offers free rides for children during the holidays

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CHICAGO — Thinking about heading downtown with the family for the hlidays? Well Metra is making it easier by offering free rides for children during the last two weeks of December.

Three children aged 11 and under can ride for free with each adult from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2.

In addition, Metra is extending its Weekend Pass to cover each of the three-day holiday weekends during the season. For just $8, you’ll be able to take unlimited rides on Metra on Dec. 24-26 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2.

Here are Metra’s tips for families traveling with children:

  • Purchase your ticket in advance: Download the Ventra App and purchase your ticket with your smartphone from home. Tickets can also be purchased at the station (cash or credit) or on the train (cash only) if an agent is not on duty.
  • Plan ahead: Check Metra’s website or the Ventra App to research schedules and to plan your trip. Remember to allow yourself a few extra minutes before your train departs if you need to find and pay for parking.
  • Pick the best family travel times: Travel in the off-peak hours, outside the traditional morning and evening rush periods. This is when more seating is available, making it easier to find multiple seats together for your family and your belongings.
  • Stow your stroller: Metra’s ADA-accessible cars, the ones that display the wheelchair logo next to the boarding doors, provide the most room if you need to stow a stroller.
  • Learn where the best bathroom is: The ADA accessible cars also have roomy bathrooms that will allow you to assist your young adventurer should it be necessary.
  • Skip the Quiet Car: If you do find yourself traveling during rush hours, Metra recommends that you avoid sitting in the designated Quiet Cars. Talking and cell phone use are discouraged on Quiet Cars so it’s probably not the best place to enjoy a train trip with your children. Quiet Cars are clearly marked as such on the exterior and interior so they should be easy to spot.
  • If you need help, call us: Call our customer service number 312-322-6777 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with any questions about train schedules and service. Evening and weekends, you may call the RTA Travel Information Center at 312-836-7000.
  • Don’t forget your stuff: Before leaving the train, don’t forget to take a look around to see if you’ve left anything behind. It happens every day to even our most veteran customers. Each downtown station has a Lost and Found office or you can call to inquire if something was lost. Don’t fret – you’ll be surprised how many lost items are returned to their owners.

Check out the holiday Metra schedule here.