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Metra service could expand to DeKalb
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Study is being considered right now. Can only help Dekalb/NIU growth. Fingers crossed, would definitely help sell the "Chicago-area University" vibe if we were connected directly by rail again.

https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/metra-...-to-dekalb

...if you watch the video it states that the Dekalb board voted unanimously to green-light the study. Glad there is strong support.


Maybe a game-day free shuttle from the train station to the stadium (free Mimosas handed out by Victor E.?)?
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2023 08:01 AM by NIUfilmmaker.)
01-10-2023 07:53 AM
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Big Red Online
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Post: #2
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 07:53 AM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  Study is being considered right now. Can only help Dekalb/NIU growth. Fingers crossed, would definitely help sell the "Chicago-area University" vibe if we were connected directly by rail again.

https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/metra-...-to-dekalb

...if you watch the video it states that the Dekalb board voted unanimously to green-light the study. Glad there is strong support.


Maybe a game-day free shuttle from the train station to the stadium (free Mimosas handed out by Victor E.?)?

This probably helps more with people who work (either in DeKalb and coming from the east or the other direction) and with students (but might also be an easier way out of town on Fridays...)

As for gamedays, I don't see how this helps. Metra is nice but the biggest drawback is it's schedule (but also maybe its strength as well). I've come to avoid using Metra because it's schedule dictates my schedule.

Trains, especially on the weekend, run on 2 hour intervals so if the game ends at some odd time and you aren't able to get to the station (which I'm sure is no where close to Huskie Stadium or the Convo), then you have to wait two hours for the next train. And if it's late at night, you might have missed the last train.

Metra, to me, is a work commuter train or for people heading into Chicago on the weekend with a flexible schedule. Trying to use it to get to Huskie Stadium, for me, would be at best a one time deal and then I'd decide real quick its too much of a hassle.

But for the school and local business and/or commuters. It's a great development. It also puts DeKalb in the zone as a realistic place to live if you commute to Chicago for work. So, again, thats great.

I just don't see how it helps for any kind of sporting event at NIU.
01-10-2023 08:12 AM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 08:12 AM)Big Red Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 07:53 AM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  Study is being considered right now. Can only help Dekalb/NIU growth. Fingers crossed, would definitely help sell the "Chicago-area University" vibe if we were connected directly by rail again.

https://www.fox32chicago.com/news/metra-...-to-dekalb

...if you watch the video it states that the Dekalb board voted unanimously to green-light the study. Glad there is strong support.


Maybe a game-day free shuttle from the train station to the stadium (free Mimosas handed out by Victor E.?)?

This probably helps more with people who work (either in DeKalb and coming from the east or the other direction) and with students (but might also be an easier way out of town on Fridays...)

As for gamedays, I don't see how this helps. Metra is nice but the biggest drawback is it's schedule (but also maybe its strength as well). I've come to avoid using Metra because it's schedule dictates my schedule.

Trains, especially on the weekend, run on 2 hour intervals so if the game ends at some odd time and you aren't able to get to the station (which I'm sure is no where close to Huskie Stadium or the Convo), then you have to wait two hours for the next train. And if it's late at night, you might have missed the last train.

Metra, to me, is a work commuter train or for people heading into Chicago on the weekend with a flexible schedule. Trying to use it to get to Huskie Stadium, for me, would be at best a one time deal and then I'd decide real quick its too much of a hassle.

But for the school and local business and/or commuters. It's a great development. It also puts DeKalb in the zone as a realistic place to live if you commute to Chicago for work. So, again, thats great.

I just don't see how it helps for any kind of sporting event at NIU.

I doubt it will fill the stadium, but add it to the it-can't hurt list for NIU sports. If the train (if it happens) simply adds some extra professionals and families to Dekalb that work in the west suburbs or Chicago, thats good enough for me.

I could see some students telling friends/family, take the train on game day, I'll pick you up at the station?

I agree its another way for students to bail on the weekends, but also another way to have students bring visitors and family into town.
01-10-2023 08:36 AM
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epasnoopy Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.
01-10-2023 09:20 AM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

I would hope they would use the old train station downtown, it's a classic if fixed up properly.
01-10-2023 10:06 AM
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NIU1981 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
That is a cool station, I hope they can salvage it. It looks to be in pretty bad shape from the outside.
01-10-2023 10:28 AM
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

When was the last time you were in DeKalb? The Greyhound bus pickup / drop-off is at the Holmes Student Center and the tracks in downtown DeKalb are in constant use by freight trains.
01-10-2023 10:30 AM
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epasnoopy Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 10:30 AM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

When was the last time you were in DeKalb? The Greyhound bus pickup / drop-off is at the Holmes Student Center and the tracks in downtown DeKalb are in constant use by freight trains.

I've been to downtown DeKalb maybe twice in last 15 years. Never saw/heard a freight train on those occasions. I left Illinois many years ago.

So then they moved the Greyhound stop. It stopped where I mentioned earlier. I remember because I actually took it once before. I can't remember the restaurant that was on that northwest corner before in early 2000s.

I only ever took the Metra from Elburn into Chicago once in my entire time at NIU.
01-10-2023 11:06 AM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 11:06 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 10:30 AM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.

When was the last time you were in DeKalb? The Greyhound bus pickup / drop-off is at the Holmes Student Center and the tracks in downtown DeKalb are in constant use by freight trains.

I've been to downtown DeKalb maybe twice in last 15 years. Never saw/heard a freight train on those occasions. I left Illinois many years ago.

So then they moved the Greyhound stop. It stopped where I mentioned earlier. I remember because I actually took it once before. I can't remember the restaurant that was on that northwest corner before in early 2000s.

I only ever took the Metra from Elburn into Chicago once in my entire time at NIU.

Used to be at Lukulos. Where's it at now?

I tried the Greyhound once, on a trip from DeKalb to Columbus Ohio. And let me tell ya, NEVER EVER AGAIN.
01-10-2023 11:52 AM
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uiniu57 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 11:52 AM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 11:06 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 10:30 AM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.
I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.
Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.
When was the last time you were in DeKalb? The Greyhound bus pickup / drop-off is at the Holmes Student Center and the tracks in downtown DeKalb are in constant use by freight trains.
I've been to downtown DeKalb maybe twice in last 15 years. Never saw/heard a freight train on those occasions. I left Illinois many years ago.
So then they moved the Greyhound stop. It stopped where I mentioned earlier. I remember because I actually took it once before. I can't remember the restaurant that was on that northwest corner before in early 2000s.
I only ever took the Metra from Elburn into Chicago once in my entire time at NIU.
Used to be at Lukulos. Where's it at now?
I tried the Greyhound once, on a trip from DeKalb to Columbus Ohio. And let me tell ya, NEVER EVER AGAIN.

As stated above, Greyhound stop is now at the Holmes Student Center. What was the Lukulos (building) on the corner of Lincoln and Glidden now houses a Jersey Mikes and a Dunkin Donuts. Lukulos moved to 890 Pappas Drive which was south of what was once Starbusters, however Lukulos ceased to exist about a year ago. And as is too often the case in DeKalb, what was Starbusters was most recently Jerk Fusion, but it too is now closed. Rest assured the freight trains are often enough that it was cited among several reasons for the DeKalb Police Station moving from First Street to Lincoln Highway.
01-10-2023 12:46 PM
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HawaiiToNIU Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 12:46 PM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 11:52 AM)HawaiiToNIU Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 11:06 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 10:30 AM)uiniu57 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 09:20 AM)epasnoopy Wrote:  All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.
I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.
Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.
When was the last time you were in DeKalb? The Greyhound bus pickup / drop-off is at the Holmes Student Center and the tracks in downtown DeKalb are in constant use by freight trains.
I've been to downtown DeKalb maybe twice in last 15 years. Never saw/heard a freight train on those occasions. I left Illinois many years ago.
So then they moved the Greyhound stop. It stopped where I mentioned earlier. I remember because I actually took it once before. I can't remember the restaurant that was on that northwest corner before in early 2000s.
I only ever took the Metra from Elburn into Chicago once in my entire time at NIU.
Used to be at Lukulos. Where's it at now?
I tried the Greyhound once, on a trip from DeKalb to Columbus Ohio. And let me tell ya, NEVER EVER AGAIN.

As stated above, Greyhound stop is now at the Holmes Student Center. What was the Lukulos (building) on the corner of Lincoln and Glidden now houses a Jersey Mikes and a Dunkin Donuts. Lukulos moved to 890 Pappas Drive which was south of what was once Starbusters, however Lukulos ceased to exist about a year ago. And as is too often the case in DeKalb, what was Starbusters was most recently Jerk Fusion, but it too is now closed. Rest assured the freight trains are often enough that it was cited among several reasons for the DeKalb Police Station moving from First Street to Lincoln Highway.

My bad. I only read the last few lines out of laziness.

Man, there were only a handful of bars for kids to party at before. Starbusters was the most wreckless of all to be at.
01-10-2023 12:53 PM
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Big_Man Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
A train ride from DeKalb wouldn’t be much different than a Crystal Lake/Woodstock ride when you go on the northwest line. The northwest line ends in Harvard which is damn near 2 hours. The biggest hurdle was always that DeKalb county was outside of Metra’s area of control (technically not a collar county of Chicago).
01-10-2023 01:03 PM
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GeorgeBorkFan Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
The logistical hurdles on this are significant.

There would have to be a project to build a third set of rails from DeKalb to Elburn. UP is currently adding capacity east of Geneva to get Metra off the two existing lines. The cost to build that third rail to DeKalb is large.

Operationally, it is unpleasant because Metra parks in Elburn. Any train that has its first stop in DeKalb has to get out there to just to start.

Also, DeKalb County would have to buy into the county wide RTA sales tax, like the collar counties have. The municipality also pays for the station and parking.
(construction plus up keep).

I don't know if this is accurate, but I've heard the UP is looking to tear down the old station. For a long time, it housed UP computer servers, but apparently not any more.

Do you put the station east of downtown to avoid tying up Route 38? Or do you put it by NIU and have more trains stopping traffic? I don't know what is more important there.

Nothing is impossible, but this is probably very unlikely. I'd be surprised if the cost/benefit numbers work out.
01-10-2023 01:58 PM
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HuskiePride12 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 01:58 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  The logistical hurdles on this are significant.

There would have to be a project to build a third set of rails from DeKalb to Elburn. UP is currently adding capacity east of Geneva to get Metra off the two existing lines. The cost to build that third rail to DeKalb is large.

Operationally, it is unpleasant because Metra parks in Elburn. Any train that has its first stop in DeKalb has to get out there to just to start.

Also, DeKalb County would have to buy into the county wide RTA sales tax, like the collar counties have. The municipality also pays for the station and parking.
(construction plus up keep).

I don't know if this is accurate, but I've heard the UP is looking to tear down the old station. For a long time, it housed UP computer servers, but apparently not any more.

Do you put the station east of downtown to avoid tying up Route 38? Or do you put it by NIU and have more trains stopping traffic? I don't know what is more important there.

Nothing is impossible, but this is probably very unlikely. I'd be surprised if the cost/benefit numbers work out.

Would the track run parallel to the existing freight tracks?

I do think this could be a positive for NIU if the stop is within walking distance of the campus.
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2023 02:02 PM by HuskiePride12.)
01-10-2023 02:01 PM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 02:01 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 01:58 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  The logistical hurdles on this are significant.

There would have to be a project to build a third set of rails from DeKalb to Elburn. UP is currently adding capacity east of Geneva to get Metra off the two existing lines. The cost to build that third rail to DeKalb is large.

Operationally, it is unpleasant because Metra parks in Elburn. Any train that has its first stop in DeKalb has to get out there to just to start.

Also, DeKalb County would have to buy into the county wide RTA sales tax, like the collar counties have. The municipality also pays for the station and parking.
(construction plus up keep).

I don't know if this is accurate, but I've heard the UP is looking to tear down the old station. For a long time, it housed UP computer servers, but apparently not any more.

Do you put the station east of downtown to avoid tying up Route 38? Or do you put it by NIU and have more trains stopping traffic? I don't know what is more important there.

Nothing is impossible, but this is probably very unlikely. I'd be surprised if the cost/benefit numbers work out.

Would the track run parallel to the existing freight tracks?

I do think this could be a positive for NIU if the stop is within walking distance of the campus.

I would guess the station, old or new, would be downtown. Can't see Dekalb + NIU transit not making it easy to access for departure times though.
01-10-2023 02:14 PM
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NIUfilmmaker Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Glad NIU is being considered... From the Northern Star:

"“This is exciting,” DeKalb city manager Bill Nicklas said. “The word is out. We’re becoming an interest for worldwide private corporations.”

Sam Schwartz Consulting, LLC says they aim to use their analysis to bolster NIU’s growth, as the company credits their work on transportation consulting as constructive for university partners.

“We understand the role that transportation planning plays in a university’s strategic planning,” the company said in their project outline. Sam Schwartz Consulting, LLC has worked with institutions like University of Chicago and Rutgers University to improve public transit on their campuses, according to their website."
01-10-2023 02:35 PM
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DeKalb57 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
(01-10-2023 02:14 PM)NIUfilmmaker Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 02:01 PM)HuskiePride12 Wrote:  
(01-10-2023 01:58 PM)GeorgeBorkFan Wrote:  The logistical hurdles on this are significant.

There would have to be a project to build a third set of rails from DeKalb to Elburn. UP is currently adding capacity east of Geneva to get Metra off the two existing lines. The cost to build that third rail to DeKalb is large.

Operationally, it is unpleasant because Metra parks in Elburn. Any train that has its first stop in DeKalb has to get out there to just to start.

Also, DeKalb County would have to buy into the county wide RTA sales tax, like the collar counties have. The municipality also pays for the station and parking.
(construction plus up keep).

I don't know if this is accurate, but I've heard the UP is looking to tear down the old station. For a long time, it housed UP computer servers, but apparently not any more.

Do you put the station east of downtown to avoid tying up Route 38? Or do you put it by NIU and have more trains stopping traffic? I don't know what is more important there.

Nothing is impossible, but this is probably very unlikely. I'd be surprised if the cost/benefit numbers work out.

Would the track run parallel to the existing freight tracks?

I do think this could be a positive for NIU if the stop is within walking distance of the campus.

I would guess the station, old or new, would be downtown. Can't see Dekalb + NIU transit not making it easy to access for departure times though.
As for Location, I like along the tracks, between Pearl and 1st St's, just west of the downtown.
01-10-2023 02:42 PM
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epasnoopy Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
How did podunk towns like Elburn and La Fox get metra stops but not a city with a major university?

Look at Google images of Elburn stop and there's hardly any cars parked in their giant parking lot.
01-10-2023 02:48 PM
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klake87 Offline
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Metra probably looking to expand services as I bet ridership is down since pandemic. I am sure they are hemorrhaging money. For the 10 riders to DeKalb can't be financially feasible.
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2023 04:43 PM by klake87.)
01-10-2023 03:23 PM
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RE: Metra service could expand to DeKalb
Greyhound stops twice a day in each direction at HSC AND HAS FOR SEVERAL YEARS


quote='epasnoopy' pid='18714829' dateline='1673360405']
All good points, especially about the Metra schedule being infrequent. Think it could only benefit DeKalb to have a public transportation option.

I think the Greyhound bus that used to pickup/dropoff at the northwest corner of Annie Glidden and Lincoln Hwy (where the Jersey Mike's is now) was discontinued over a decade ago. That would be one very long metra ride to Chicago though. Chicago to Elburn is already 1 hr and 25 mins. Probably add another 15 mins for it to get to DeKalb.

Where would the DeKalb stop be? I thought those tracks in dowtown DeKalb are no longer in use. Assume it would use the same tracks that the Elburn stop uses. I doubt the Elburn and La Fox stops get much ridership since they're such small towns.
[/quote]
01-10-2023 03:26 PM
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