Metra (reporting mark METX) is a commuter railroad in the Chicago metropolitan area. The railroad operates 241 stations on 11 different rail lines. It is the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States by ridership and the largest and busiest commuter rail system outside the New York City metropolitan area. There were 83.4 million passenger rides in 2014, up 1.3% from the previous year. The busiest day for Metra ridership occurred on June 11, 2010—the day of the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup victory rally—with over 429,000 passengers.
Using Chicago's rail infrastructure, much of which was created in the 19th century, the Illinois General Assembly established the RTA, and later Metra, to serve commuters by rail. Metra's creation was a result of the anticipated failure of commuter service operated and owned by various private railroad companies in the 1970s. Freight rail companies still operate some routes; however, these operations are guided by contracted service agreements. Metra owns all rolling stock and is responsible for all stations along with the respective municipalities. Since its inception, Metra has directed more than $5 billion into the commuter rail system of the Chicago metropolitan area.