After the passage of an Illinois law in 2023 that gives transit agencies the ability to act against riders engaging in certain forms of conduct, Metra has adopted a new passenger code of conduct that brings many common-sense rules into writing.
The code of conduct “identifies prohibited behaviors for anyone using Metra facilities or trains” while allowing for suspension of riding privileges and/or confiscation of fare media used for passengers engaging in the prohibited conduct.
The following acts were listed as examples of prohibited behavior in the new passenger code of conduct:
- Verbally or physically threatening the safety of another person/others.
- Causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person/others.
- Pushing or attempting to push another person/others.
- Hitting, kicking, or attempting to hit or kick another person/others.
- Attacking or threatening to attack another person/others with a weapon.
- Throwing or attempting to throw things at another person/others.
- Spitting on or attempting to spit on another person/others.
- Engaging in acts of public indecency.
If a person is observed in engaging in one of the behaviors, officials said Metra police will be notified, who will then issue a notice to the passenger and schedule a hearing date regarding suspension of riding privileges or confiscation of fare cards (or withdrawal of mobile tickets from the Ventra app).
The hearings would take place at Metra’s headquarters at 547 W. Jackson Blvd., remotely or by telephone, officials said. The hearings must take place before any confiscation of fare cards or suspension of riding privileges.
Riders may also waive their right to a hearing and ask for their suspension or confiscation to be imposed earlier. Passengers who have their riding privileges and/or fare card suspended after a hearing are allowed up to two appeals.
Officials said suspensions may last anywhere from 10 days to one year, though repeat offenses may warrant suspensions longer than one year.