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Metra to let commuters customize alerts, avoid blizzard of emails

Metra CEO Don Orseno speaks Thursday about improvements to the transit agency's customer email service alert system. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times
Metra CEO Don Orseno speaks Thursday about improvements to the transit agency's customer email service alert system. | Stefano Esposito/Sun-Times

When “Chi-beria” swooped into the region this winter and caused commuter chaos, some Metra riders received dozens of email service disruption alerts in a single day.

Responding to customer complaints that the alerts were too cumbersome, Metra recently unveiled a “Customize Your Commute” alert system.

“We want to be responsive to our customers to give them … what they would like to have,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno.

Instead of receiving every alert on a single line throughout the day, riders can now choose to get alerts only during, say, a two-hour time frame for each of the morning and evening commutes.

After logging onto their “My Metra” accounts at www.metrarail.com, riders can then click on a train line, select departure and destination stations, and then choose the start and end times when they want to receive the alerts.

Commuters can also arrange to have their account disabled on weekends, for example, or when they’re on vacation.

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