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Coronavirus

Chicago Metra Rail Lines Conductor Vatistas Still Working During COVID-19

April 26, 2020

One of the nation’s busiest rail lines, the Chicago area’s Metra has seen a 97 percent drop in ridership during Illinois’ lockdown to fight the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus but conductor Demetrios Vatistas still comes to work.

He’s very, very careful though, wrote the Daily Herald in a report about his new work habits: he stands six feet away from the engineer, dons a mask to interact with riders, and meticulously changes work clothes, then showers, before hugging his kids.

Despite precautions he said he still has tinges of anxiety boarding a train and mingling with passengers who are allowed to travel to essential jobs but that it’s his job that’s essential too.

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He’s on the morning line between Fox Lake and Chicago’s Union Station on the Milwaukee North Line but walks through cars that are eerily empty.

“I’ve been doing this for 24 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Vatistas said.

“It’s very slow, and a little bit depressing to see what we’re going through as a country,” Vatistas said. “But the very few passengers we do have are very appreciative of the train service.”

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