Leprechauns OK on Metra this weekend, but not booze
Metra's adding trains and rules this weekend to accommodate crowds heading to St. Patrick's Day events and discourage bad behavior.
With parades in Chicago, Naperville, Palatine and Lake Villa on Saturday plus the South Side Irish parade on Sunday, officials are advising participants to leave their cars at home and take transit.
But be advised, the agency is increasing efforts to prevent inebriated riders from disturbing others.
"We will have extra personnel at the stations and on the trains monitoring the crowds," spokeswoman Meg Thomas Reile said. "We have banned transporting alcohol on the trains this weekend and advised riders to refrain from bringing water bottles or backpacks with them due to the expected crowds."
It's not against the law to be drunk on Metra trains. But "passengers whose conduct is disorderly or abusive will not be allowed on, or will be asked to leave the train," Thomas Reile added.
With high ridership expected, Metra recommends purchasing tickets in advance, and at downtown terminals, railroad employees will be checking tickets before boarding.
On Saturday, the railroad is scheduling extra trains including some expresses on a majority of lines for riders heading to Chicago's 64th Annual St. Patrick's Day parade. For people traveling to the South Side parade Sunday, the Rock Island Line will provide extra trains to the 103rd Street/Beverly Hills and 11th Street/Morgan Park stations.
Riders are advised that bicycles might not fit on overcrowded trains and some delays might occur because of heavy passenger loads.
Metra offers a $10 Weekend Pass that gives unlimited rides on Saturdays and Sundays, while up to three children can ride free with a paying adult.
For more information, go to metrarail.com.