Metra (reporting mark METX) is a commuter railroad in the Chicago metropolitan area. Metropolitan Rail Corporation or Metra operates 241 stations on 11 different rail lines. Throughout the 21st century, it has been at least the fourth busiest commuter rail system in the United States by ridership and the busiest outside the New York City metropolitan area. Ridership was up 1.3% in 2014, offering 83.4 million passenger rides. The busiest day for Metra ridership occurred Friday, June 11, 2010, with over 429,000 passengers. This was the day of the Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup victory rally.
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.