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Metra to offer free rides as part of 40th anniversary celebration – NBC Chicago

Metra will celebrate its 40th anniversaryth anniversary later this year, and the agency announced a series of initiatives to mark the occasion, including a weekend of free rides on its trains in the Chicago area.

Metra, which serves Chicago and its suburbs, began in June 1984 and will hold anniversary week celebrations between June 3 and 9.

“Whether you’ve been driving Metra for 40 years or took your first ride today, we want to thank you,” Metra Executive Director Jim Derwinski said in a statement. “And as we look to the past and celebrate four decades of serving the Chicago region’s transportation needs, we also look to the future and plan to maintain this service for many decades to come.”

According to the agency, June 8 is its official birthday, as it was its first board meeting in 1984. The board adopted the nickname “Metra” in 1985.

On June 4, Metra will distribute gifts to riders at downtown stations as part of the celebrations. The agency will also be looking for passengers’ favorite memories, photos of trains through the years, and celebrating a “Throwback Thursday” promotion on June 6, featuring ’80s-themed quizzes.

The celebrations will end on June 8 and 9, as runners will be able to travel for free throughout the weekend. Travelers will be able to use the power line to visit Millennium Park for the annual Chicago Blues Fest, among other fun events throughout the agency system.

The agency also says it has created a rolling museum inside a train car, which will travel to different downtown stations during the summer months.

Metra was founded in the 1980s as part of the Regional Transportation Authority, with nearly 500 miles of track and 11 different lines serving Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. Additional service is expected to come online in the coming years to connect Chicago and Rockford via commuter rail, officials say.

More information will be released later.

NBC Chicago

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