I caught the wrong Metra Train…

Bo the Pug "I'm waiting..."

I never do that! I am a Virgo, and I never get on the wrong anything. Well, I have gotten onto the wrong guy, but I never get on the wrong train.

I will split the blame between Metra and myself. I admit it, I am stuck in my regular train routine. I am used to hopping onto the train on the right track when I am leaving Millennium station. Also, I am used to leaving on track four!!! I had a massage client the last night, which means that I had to catch a different train on a different track. It was announced that my train was on track five, and track five and six are opposite each other. And wouldn’t you know it, I hopped onto the train that was to the right–track six!! Ach!

In February of 2012, Metra increased their fares 27 percent. Yes, you heard/read that right, 27 percent. My monthly train ticket went from $116 to $150. Do you realize what this increase can do to a student, let alone the average worker. I am still angry about this. And Metra’s reason for raising fares boiled down to “we need to build capital.” Too bad they haven’t put any capital into their announcement system!!!

Which points me to the part where I blame Metra for my train snafu. When one gets onto a train, before you pull off from the station, there is a speaker system that announces what train you are on. Well, lately, this system has been working about 65 percent of the time–if that. Further, the Blue Island train goes in the same direction as my regular train. So every time I looked out of the window it seemed as if I was going in the right direction. But all of a sudden I looked up…well you know the rest of the story. I got on the wrong damn train!

I had a plan! I was supposed to get onto a certain train in order to get home so that the pug wouldn’t get lonely. But I ended up in freakin’ Blue Island! I have never been to Blue Island. But as soon as we pulled into the station, I saw a name highlighted in blue, “Metro South.” I’ve heard this name many times because my mother has friends that work at this hospital.

My mother worked at Michael Reese Hospital for 37 years before Daley decided to have it shut down for the Olympics. Yes, my mother’s job evaporated into thin air because Daley was desperate to have the Olympics come to Chicago, and we all know how that panned out.

There have been many friends, as well as foes, of Daley Sr. and Jr. I am a foe of Daley Jr. My family was personally affected by one of his decisions.

My mother went on to work for a different hospital on the west side of Chicago. This turned out to be a bad experience for her, and she ended up retiring. My mother wanted to continue to work, but working in her new position proved to be an abusive experience, so she was compelled to retire. And some of her comrades from Michael Reese moved on to positions at Metro South Hospital in Blue Island.

Now, when my mother talks about her friends that work at Metro South, I will know exactly what she is talking about. And from today on, I will try to catch the right train.

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15 thoughts on “I caught the wrong Metra Train…

  1. I commute too, and I’m always super paranoid I’m going to get on the wrong train. Luckily, it’s only happened once and I managed to get off before the train left the station. So sorry this happened to you!

  2. Ugh, getting on the wrong train sucks! And I agree, Metra’s PA system sucks!! Always has.
    Your dog is super cute. 🙂

  3. I always have a mini heart attack when I have to take the train. Even though I have taken it countless times, to this day, I still get nervous about the schedule, the track, getting there in the first place. Perhapes it is because it takes the same time to get to the train station as the train ride itself aka 1 hour! I have to walk to the red line, transfer to blue line than walk to Union or Ogal. Actually, come to think of it, it is more of a hassle getting to the train station than anything. Argh.

  4. I don’t commute but will be next semester (just my luck that they decided to raise the prices this year). A one way ticket used to cost me $6.00 and now it’s $6.75, which definitely adds up. Metra could at least give college students some kind of discount; we have books and tuition to pay too

    • I know! But they refuse to give college students a discount. Even though they raised all of the fares, they still give high school students a lower rate, and they live at home.

  5. I never took the Metra until this past fall semester when I went out to my boyfriend’s. Getting on the wrong train was my biggest fear that I wrote the number and schedule of the train that I had to take everywhere to remind myself.

    • It sounds like a lot of us are paranoid about catching the wrong train, ha! Time is precious, and when there is an hour or two between trains, it can be awful when you mess it up.

  6. I caught the wrong Metra train once as well. The thing is is that it was an express train that didn’t stop at my stop, so I decided to get off at the first stop and was hoping that they wouldn’t ticket me. The conductor came by, though, and I was stalling by telling him I didn’t have a ticket or money, but then he pulled out some book and I had to give him my driver’s license so I can be billed at home and I at last I had to give in and give away one of the rides of my ten-ride pass. It was disappointing and, needless to say, embarrassing.

    • They get pretty serious about tickets. They call the Metra po-po if one doesn’t have a ticket or money, ha! They are so ridiculous. Fortunately, or Unfortunately, I have to get a monthly because I have to be on campus five days a week, so the conductors see my face all the time.
      On occasion I will leave my ticket in another pocket–it is such an expensive day (of course, this is the day that the conductors don’t know me, ha!) !! A day of transit without my ticket, and bus pass is $15!!!

      It hurts when I know that I have my $150 Metra ticket sitting at home, ugh!

  7. I used to take Metra and I was also afraid of getting on the wrong train. There is no discount for college students, which sucks. Metra is always raising their prices.

    • And they still have that horrible seating from the 1970s, and some cars fill up with the smell of exhaust. They say that they are “building capital.” I suppose that is for upgrades, but I doubt it. If they couldn’t budget with what they were getting, they are just going to pocket the capital.

      When they raised fares the CEO was all “there is no other way…” Ugh! It gets frustrating and old after a while. They want to suck regular people dry. And they know they can do it because the only other option is the car.
      It’s the only time I wish I had the super power to fly, ha!

    • It can be all the same, ha! Whether you end up in the wrong part of the city versus the wrong part of the state, ha! However, at least you can count on a CTA train showing up within minutes. It takes an hour for the Metra, and two hours on Sunday–ridiculous!

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