Metra Electric's new safety system leading to change in schedule, commutes

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CHICAGO — Heads up, south suburban Metra riders: your train schedule may be changing soon.

Metra is required to install new safety systems on trains, and because of that update many of the seven million riders that take Metra Electric trains each year could see a change in their commute.

The commuter rail system is in the process of installing Positive Train Control or PTC on its trains.

"Essentially it will override the engineer if the engineer is speeding or if he’s ignoring signals or work zone restrictions, it’ll basically just stop the train," Metra spokesman Michael Gillis said.

Adding the safety system will also add time to the beginning of trips, and riders will likely need to plan for extra stops as well.

"So people may see slightly longer commutes, they might have a few more stops than they’re used to. In certain cases, they might have a better commute, for instance if you’re going to South Chicago there will be a new express train going to South Chicago in the evening," Gillis said.

A new proposed schedule is posted online, but Metra is asking people to check it out and provide feedback. The new schedule is expected to take effect next month.

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