Passenger Code of Conduct Policy
Metra provides regional rail services within its service area. Metra strives to provide on-time train service while ensuring the safety and comfort of its passengers and employees. Metra established this Passenger Code of Conduct to promote safety, facilitate the proper use of transit facilities, and ensure the payment of fares. Metra’s ability to achieve these goals requires the cooperation of its passengers and requires Metra employees and its passengers to behave in a mutually respectful and courteous manner.
This policy identifies prohibited behaviors for anyone using Metra facilities and/or riding Metra trains. It authorizes Metra to seize any violator’s fare media, expel a violator from Metra facilities, and/or suspend a violator from using Metra facilities for a certain period.
This policy applies to Metra passengers and visitors at Metra facilities.
A. Audio devices – Includes radios, cassette players, CD players, iPods, MP3 devices, mobile phones, and other sound-producing devices.
B. Authorized personnel – Metra police officers, conductors, engineers, and management personnel.
C. Fare media – Includes any full or reduced fare tickets sold or issued by Metra for use on its system, including, but not limited to, single/one way, day pass, multiple day passes, monthly passes, and special or temporary pilot transit program tickets.
D. Metra facilities – Includes stations, stops, railcars, rolling stock, and administrative, operational, and maintenance facilities.
E. Passenger – a Metra rider, customer, patron, and/or any member of the public riding on or using Metra facilities.
F. Public indecency – Includes, but is not limited to, engaging in sexual conduct or sexual penetration, or lewd exposure of one’s body. This does not apply to breast feeding.
G. Service animal – Any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items, as defined in the Department of Transportation’s Americans with Disabilities Act regulations.
H. Unauthorized commercial activity – Includes displaying, offering for sale, or selling goods or services and distributing commercial handbills/flyers to passengers or Metra employees.
I. Weapon – Includes, but is not limited to, guns, clubs, knives, stun guns, tasers, and explosive devices. This does not apply to pepper spray or mace.
IV. Transit Violations and Prohibited Conduct
Individuals may not engage in prohibited conduct on or at Metra facilities. Prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to these examples:
A. Alcohol and Drugs:
- Smoking any kind of tobacco or marijuana or using electronic cigarettes or vaporizers on trains, in stations, or within 15 feet of station and enclosed area entrances.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages while on Metra facilities when alcohol consumption is not permitted.
- Possession or consumption of illegal narcotic substances.
- Public intoxication.
B. Bringing animals to Metra facilities, with the exception of:
- Service animals, provided that such service animals are accompanied by persons with disabilities or persons who are responsible for training the service animals. Metra reserves the right to exclude a service animal if the animal is out of control and the animal's owner does not take effective action to control it or the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
- Small pets pursuant to Metra’s Pets on Trains Policy, posted here. Metra reserves the right to remove passengers with pets that are noisy or disturb other passengers. Owners are responsible for the behavior and cleanup of their pets. Train crews have the right to refuse pets in the event of overcrowding.
C. Unauthorized Commercial Activity:
- The unauthorized and/or unapproved solicitation, sale, offer for sale and delivery, barter, or exchange of any goods, services, or merchandise on Metra Property.
- The unauthorized and/or unapproved solicitation of money or anything of value.
- Public urination or defecation.
- Traveling with commercial or large-size carts or dollies unless collapsed. Small, personal-use-size strollers or small carts are permitted but they must be securely held and must not block passageways.
- Traveling with luggage or personal items or large carts or dollies of a size or quantity that passengers cannot manage on their own. Skis, non-folding carriages or other large items cannot be carried on Metra trains due to their size and limited space on Metra trains.
- Traveling with items that due to their size block entry and exit of passengers and/or movement through aisles and/or access to any passengers, including priority seating for seniors and passengers with disabilities.
- Roller-skating, rollerblading, skateboarding, using hoverboards, or using other recreational transportation devices on railcars or in transit stations.
- Public indecency.
- Stealing or willfully damaging Metra property.
- Disorderly conduct, which prevents passengers and employees from comfortably using Metra facilities for their intended purpose.
- Fighting or arguing.
- Harassing or threatening other Metra passengers or employees. This includes following or stalking.
E. Fare Payment
- Refusing to pay a fare or show specific fare media to a Metra conductor or employee when requested.
- Misusing fare media.
- Distributing, displaying, or selling counterfeit or stolen fare media.
- Using personal audio devices inappropriately. Sound generated from audio devices must not be audible to other passengers.
- Engaging in unreasonably loud or disturbing conduct. Ordinary conversation at reasonable volumes is permissible except during the designated times on ‘quiet’ railcars.
- Accessing or remaining aboard railcars when prohibited. Passengers must exit railcars after their train completes its route, when authorized personnel instruct them to exit, or when trains enter rail yards or other areas not open to the public. Passengers must not enter railcars if authorized personnel prohibit boarding.
- Entering, exiting, or passing through any emergency openings of any railcars, except in emergencies.
- Entering the operators’ cabs of any railcars.
- Boarding any railcars through the unauthorized use of emergency openings, unless authorized by operators or other authorized personnel.
- Willfully blocking the free movement or access of other persons.
- Standing in front of the yellow standee lines at the front of stations and/or platforms.
- Assaulting or threatening to assault passengers or employees.
- Hindering or disturbing the operation, operators, or passengers of a railcar, including interference with Metra personnel.
- Avoiding or interfering with the functioning of Metra Police Department personnel and/or security measures, such as a metal detector or K-9 operation.
- Interfering with Metra services by tampering with any equipment, including but not limited to, safety and emergency equipment, emergency alarms and control switches at Metra facilities, or impeding the progress of a train.
H. Weapons and Explosives
- Using matches, lighters, torches, or other fire-starting devices.
- Bringing explosives, acids, other dangerous articles, destructive devices, or hoax devices onboard railcars or to a Metra facility.
- Bringing dangerous items inside stations and onboard railcars including flammable liquids; dangerous, toxic, or poisonous substances; vessels containing caustic materials, chemicals, acids or alkalis; fishing rods which are not broken down or have unsecured or exposed hooks or lures; and/or sheet glass and sharp objects.
- Bringing a weapon to a Metra facility.
V. Metra’s Response to Transit Violations and Prohibited Conduct
Metra handles violations of this Policy in accordance with Metra’s Passenger Code of Conduct Procedure.
Violations may result in immediate expulsion, confiscation of fare media, suspension of riding privileges, and/or criminal charges (if warranted).
Metra may confiscate a person’s fare media and/or suspend a person’s riding privileges if: (1) the person’s conduct causes another person/others to reasonably believe there is a threat to safety, including assault and battery; (2) the person’s conduct causes another person/others to reasonably believe there is a threat of criminal sexual assault; or (3) the person engages in an act of public indecency.
The following is a non-exclusive list of examples of conduct for which Metra may confiscate fare media and/or suspend riding privileges:
- 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. This includes, but is not limited to, waving weapons or pointing a gun at another person/others (regardless of whether the gun is loaded).
- Throwing or attempting to throw things at another person/others.
- Spitting on or attempting to spit on another person/others.
- Harassing another person or persons (verbally or sexually).
- Sexually assaulting or attempting to sexually assault another person or persons.
- Engaging in acts of public indecency.
B. Confiscation/Suspension Lengths
Metra will conduct hearings before confiscating fare media/suspending riding privileges, unless a passenger waives the right to a hearing and accepts the confiscation/suspension. If Metra determines confiscation/suspension is warranted after a hearing, the passenger will have the right to up to two appeals.
Confiscation/suspension lengths will depend on the severity of the offense and the number of prior offenses. Generally, a first offense will result in a 10-day suspension, a second offense will result in a 30-day suspension, a third offense will result in a 6-month suspension, and a fourth offense will result in a one-year suspension from Metra facilities. However, Metra reserves the right to skip tiers when assessing suspension lengths for serious offenses. Additionally, repeated suspensions may result in a suspension of multiple years.
Confiscation/suspension time will be served after a hearing upon Metra’s determination that confiscation/suspension is warranted.
C. Quarterly Reporting of Confiscations/Suspensions
Metra collects, reports, and makes publicly available on a quarterly basis, the following information:
- The number of individuals subject to confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges;
- Demographic information of the individuals subject to confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges, including age, race, ethnicity, gender, and housing status (as defined under Section 10 of the Illinois Bill of Rights for the Homeless Act);
- The conduct leading to the confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges;
- The locations and description of locations where the conduct occurred (for example, identifying the transit station or transit line, date, and time of day);
- Citations to the statutory authority for which the accused persons were arrested and/or charged;
- The dollar amount, if any, remaining on the fare media; and
- Confiscation/Suspension lengths.
Passenger Code of Conduct Procedure
This procedure establishes the process for managing potential violations of Metra’s Passenger Code of Conduct Policy.
Metra Police Officers may expel anyone who violates Metra’s Passenger Code of Conduct from Metra facilities by verbally ordering the person or issuing a written order to immediately exit the facilities.
B. Confiscation of Fare Media/Suspension of Riding Privileges
- Metra Police Officers may confiscate persons’ fare media and/or suspend riding privileges under the following circumstances:
- a. The person’s conduct causes another person/others to reasonably believe there is a threat to safety, including assault and battery;
- b. The person’s conduct causes another person/others to reasonably believe there is a threat of criminal sexual assault; or
- c. The person engages in an act of public indecency.
- In the event Metra wishes to confiscate a person’s fare media or suspend riding privileges, a Metra Police Officer will provide a written notice at the time of the alleged violation, identifying:
- a. The reasons for the confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges;
- b. The person’s rights to contest or appeal the confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges;
- c. The procedure for determining whether the confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges was necessary (including the time and location of a hearing); and
- d. The procedure for reapplying for reinstatement of riding privileges.
If it is not practicable to issue a written notice at the time of the alleged violation, an authorized Metra employee will issue notice by personal service or mail the notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, and first-class mail to the person’s current address.
If the person is detained in jail, Metra will follow the appropriate procedures under the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure to issue this notice to the person.
C. Timeline to Determine Whether Confiscation of Fare Media/Suspension of Riding Privileges is Necessary
Metra will conclude its investigation into whether suspension of riding privileges/confiscation of fare media is warranted within 30 calendar days of the notice of suspension/confiscation of fare media.
D. Administration of the Confiscation of Fare Media/Suspension of Riding Privileges Hearing Process
Metra’s Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director (CEO/ED) is designated to oversee the administrative process and make a recommendation on whether a confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges is warranted. The CEO/ED may delegate that responsibility to another Metra employee (“hearing official”). The hearing official will contact any alleged victims and/or relevant witnesses to request their participation in advance of the hearing. The hearing official will also determine the length of the confiscation/suspension, if the hearing official determines confiscation/suspension is warranted. The individual whose fare media was revoked or riding privileges were suspended may bring legal counsel to the hearing. Metra counsel may participate in the hearing as necessary. A court reporter will transcribe each hearing.
The individual whose fare media was revoked, and any victims/witnesses, may attend the hearing in person, by telephone, or virtually.
The hearing will proceed as follows:
- Metra will present its evidence supporting the need for confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges.
- The individual whose fare media was revoked or riding privileges were suspended or the individual’s legal counsel will then have the opportunity to respond to Metra’s evidence by making a presentation (oral or written) and/or offering documents to refute Metra’s evidence. These documents can include affidavits.
- The alleged victims of the violation and witnesses/related parties may also make a presentation (oral or written) and/or offer documents in response to Metra’s evidence.
- Metra’s hearing official will then make a finding regarding the confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges.
- If Metra’s hearing official determines that confiscation/suspension is necessary, the official will provide the individual with a written notice of the findings. This notice will outline the steps necessary to appeal the confiscation/suspension.
- If the hearing official determines that confiscation/suspension is warranted, Metra will reimburse the individual for the value of remaining credits or unexpired passes as of the date of the confiscation/suspension.
E. Appeals Process
Appeals will proceed as follows:
- A suspended rider must contract Metra to request an appeal. The appeal request can be made via telephone by calling (312) 542-8383, which is a monitored voicemail account, and leaving their callback information. Alternately, the appeal request can be made by emailing email@example.com. A Metra representative will respond to the requesting individual to confirm logistics, including the hearing date and time, and hearing format (web conference, teleconference, or in-person).
- Metra will designate an official to oversee the appeal process (“appeal official”). The appeal official will be a different person than the hearing official.
- The appeal official will review the evidence and hearing transcripts to determine whether the confiscation/suspension should be upheld.
Suspended riders have the right to two appeals after Metra’s finding. If the length of the suspension is longer than one year, a suspended rider may petition Metra to reinstate ridership privileges one calendar year after Metra’s suspension finding.
F. Quarterly Reporting of Confiscations/Suspensions
Metra’s Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director will delegate the responsibility to oversee the process of quarterly reporting information regarding confiscations/suspensions as outlined in Metra’s Passenger Code of Conduct Policy to another Metra employee. This information includes the number of individuals subject to confiscation of fare media/suspension of riding privileges, the individuals’ demographic information, the conduct leading to the confiscations/suspensions, the locations and/or descriptions of the locations where the conduct occurred, the citations to the statutory authority for which the persons were arrested/charged (if applicable), the dollar amount remaining on the fair media (if any), and the confiscation/suspension lengths.
Contacting Metra About a Hearing, Confiscation or Suspension
- Call (312) 542-8383
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org