by Tyler Burkett '16
Metra is taking morning commutes to the next level, introducing Metra Select. The new service will allow students to sit in luxury as they commute from MPP to Booth. While not publicly stating so, Metra appears to be marketing these upgrades towards spendthrift Booth students.
In their press release, Metra boasts lie-flat seats, personal assistants, and exclusive lounges at Millennium Station. While the new options won’t be available until the Fall of 2015, they allowed me to take a ride in their prototype last Friday. What follows is my retro diary:
Still exhausted and a bit hung-over from TNDC, I hurried out my door at 7:26 AM with a copy of the Wall Street Journal in hand (my favorite “I’ve got business acumen” prop). After crossing the street and entering the Metra station, a Metra host named Michael welcomed me in. He handed me a Pedialyte and a Spicy Chicken Biscuit from Chick-fil-A, grabbed my bag, and then proceeded to reverse the escalator direction for me. I thought I was in heaven.
I entered the station and Michael redirected me to a new, special Millennium Park Lounge, next to the Mexican place that no one can remember the name of. In the lounge, three people tended to my every need. Jake, the barber, gave me the best shave of my life, while giving me fresh ideas for controversial topics to post onto Facebook. Rebecca recapped the Operations case study for my Friday morning class and optimized my Littlefield Technologies factory. Jerry told me all the gossip I missed from Urban Landscape, the location of TNDC. As I finished sipping my Pedialyte, they handed me a Mimosa with Dom Perignon. It was already 8:01 AM, but they reassured me that it was going to be OK.
They led me down the stairs to a seemingly normal Metra train. But when I looked inside the luxury class car, I was blown away. A hostess lead me to my suite, which had a queen size mattress inside. I jumped onto the mattress, and Netflix’s House of Cards was at the exact point I had stopped watching before going to TNDC last night. It was magic: Hogwarts on a train.
A nurse walked in and hooked me up to an IV, suggesting I still looked a little hungover. As the train started heading south, a waiter offered me a burger from Au Cheval. Now I was convinced that I had died, and by mistake, ended up in heaven.
After devouring the breakfast burger (it had a fried egg on it), I really thought I would need to hustle to class. However, the second I stepped off the train and walked down the steps, there was a brand spanking new Segway, in a beautiful metallic blue, with my name on it. Its custom Bose speakers were blasting my favorite operations pump-up song, Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” I jumped on, leaned forward, and giggled all the way to Harper.
Simply put, it was the best commute of my life.
Metra’s Select will start next fall, priced at $150 a ride or a $1400 for 10 rides (a better value).