On Friday, the Milwaukee District West Line’s last “bar car” will celebrate happy hour for last time. Crowded and noisy, the bar is a hometown favorite with most of its passengers. Unfortunately, the number of commuters traveling by rail is growing at a rapid rate, and Metra has decided they need the saloon space to accommodate the overflow. In the Chicago Tribune, Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet explained, “We know at times the bars can be very crowded. If we eliminate them, we can allow people to get through [to less crowded cars] more easily. Some people avoid going into the bar car.” Missing the larger issue entirely, Metra was apparently absent the day Human Resources covered, “How To Cope With A Thankless Job And/Or Sexless Marriage.”
Officially referred to by Chicago’s public transit line Metra as “refreshment cars,” there are about still about 10 of the “rolling taverns” currently operating within the Metra system. There used to be several more, but Metra began slowing killing them off years ago, simply failing to renew vendor contracts when they came due. Although the American Public Transportation System had expressed concerns in the past over the potentially potent mixture of alcohol and a grueling day at work, Metra insists their motivation for shutting down the bar cars is based purely in practicality. According to Metra, the bar cars only generate around $100,000 a year annually which is downright paltry compared to what they could make off ticket sales if they replaced the mobile bars with commuter cars.
[Source: Chicago Tribune]