RTA Proposes Merging CTA, Metra, Pace Planners

Merge could save the agency money, according to report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Metra's board was given 30 days to review its policies Wednesday by the Regional Transportation Authority after an audit determined that the severance given to outgoing Metra CEO Alex Clifford was not financially prudent. (Published Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013)

    The Regional Transit Authority wants to combine the planning departments of Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace to potentially save the agencies a lot of money. 

    The reported proposal comes as Gov. Pat Quinn meets for the first time Tuesday with the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, a panel that includes former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and aims at reforming the area's transit system management amid recent scandal.

    Metra Switching Tower, Technology Dates Back to Early Parts of 1900s

    [CHI] Metra Switching Tower, Technology Dates Back to Early Parts of 1900s
    Amid almost daily stories about political intrigue, and comings and goings from the agency’s board, Metra's train people will tell you that what the public really should be talking about is money and the infrastructure which needs updating if Metra is to fulfill its mission. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Friday, Aug 30, 2013)

    Metra has been embroiled in legal problems since ousted CEO Alex Clifford left in June with a $718,000 separation agreement. Clifford said he was forced out of the agency for resisting pressure from House Speaker Michael Madigan and others over jobs and construction contracts.

    Metra's board has since lost several other members this year, including Larry Huggins, Chairman Brad O’Halloran, Paul Darley, Mike McCoy, and Stanley Rakestraw, who resigned over a residency issue just hours after Fitzgerald's appointment.

    RTA Report Blasts Metra

    [CHI] RTA Report Blasts Metra
    RTA said Metra should have used the proceeds of an insurance policy instead of negotiating a package with Clifford which is expected to top over $700,000. Rob Elgas reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013)

    CTA board member Frank Zuccarelli resigned from his position in August after he was accused of double-dipping because he received $128,000 a year as supervisor of Thornton Township along with $25,000 from the CTA.

    The Chicago Sun-Times reports a merge of all transit agencies could save big money. Though it's not known just how much could be saved, the 100 planners currently cost the agencies about $20 million.

    “It’s clear that the mass transit system in northeastern Illinois is not working for taxpayers,” Quinn said last month. “This task force is a step forward to make our transit system worthy of the public’s trust. Their recommendations will be valuable as we work in both the veto and spring sessions to reform mass transit in northeastern Illinois.”