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Articles filed under Metra

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  • Metra employees get raises averaging 15% as agency eyes fare hikes Nov 11, 2014 5:31 AM
    Metra riders are teetering on the brink of a huge fare increase in a year noncontract employees' salaries rose 15 percent on average compared to 2013. "We have to invest in our employees that are unique to the railroad. Underinvesting in our workforce costs us money.” Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno said. But some riders are steamed.

  • What’s Rauner’s take on transit, tollway? Nov 10, 2014 5:00 AM
    What's Bruce Rauner's stand on the things that really matter to commuters -- like tolls and Metra delays? We'll time travel back to the primary where the guarded governor-elect shed some light on his transportation goals, and ask experts to predict the future. Plus new Pace service to Blackhawks games.

  • Metra riders not onboard with fare hike Nov 7, 2014 5:11 AM
    Some commuters spoke their minds about a proprosed 14 percent hike to Metra monthly passes and other fare increases at a Thursday hearing. Metra leaders are expected to vote Nov. 14 on whether to approve the 2015 budget, which includes an average hike of 10.8 percent.

  • Tell Metra what you think about fare increase plan Nov 4, 2014 4:27 PM
    You can’t vote on Metra’s proposed fare hike, but riders can give agency leaders their opinions during a series of hearings this week. The Metra board is expected to vote on the 2015 budget and higher fares Nov. 15. The agency is contemplating an average 10.8 percent increase in 2015 and a series of spikes to follow through 2024 that would total 68 percent compounded over 10 years.

  • RTA, Metra host public session: Nov 3, 2014 4:56 PM
    The Regional Transportation Authority and Metra will hold a joint hearing from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Mundelein village hall, 300 Plaza Circle, to gather public input on their proposed 2015 budgets.

  • Pyke: Could extra transit funding prevent Metra hike? Oct 27, 2014 5:30 AM
    Why should Metra riders care about the state and federal elections? For one reason, you're on the hook for $68 million of a pricey federally mandated automatic braking system. Other commuter rail agencies in other states have the same problem, but state and federal aid has spared passengers the steep fare hikes Metra commuters face.

  • Work continues at Lombard Metra station Oct 25, 2014 7:45 AM
    Workers had mild weather on their side this week as they kept moving steadily along with construction at the Lombard Metra station. An extensive makeover is ongoing at the station, which will include the addition of canopies on platforms, new retaining walls and a pedestrian underpass. Work is scheduled to be complete next spring.

  • South Side bridge should help region’s freight bottleneck Oct 23, 2014 5:25 PM
    A bridge on the south side of Chicago should help reduce freight train congestion throughout the region. Railroad executives and lawmakers celebrated the opening of the Englewood flyover Thursday.

  • Pyke: Is 10-year plan for Metra hikes justified? Oct 20, 2014 5:30 AM
    That Metra fare hike for capital construction is a pain, but at least I'd get more express trains, right? Nope. How about Wi-Fi? Working on it. Weekend service on the North Central? Nope. What you would get are new locomotives and cars. We'll explain why Metra puts those first.

  • Metra smartphone app should be ready for riders in May Oct 18, 2014 7:31 AM
    Metra inked a contract with Cubicy, the CTA and Pace's Ventra fare system developer, to create a smartphone app. It would allow passengers to buy and display tickets on their phones and could let Metra recoup some lost dollars from unpunched tickets. “We want to be sure we roll it out right,” senior planner Lynnette Ciavarella said.

  • Feds find Metra ‘generally compliant’ but cite safety issues Oct 16, 2014 6:25 PM
    Metra could do better when it comes to safety, a federal report finds. Although generally compliant with regulations, the feds concluded that conductors were torn between safety-related tasks and collecting fares, that more warnings are needed for engineers when crossing tracks and a confidential phone line for "close calls" would help.

  • Transit app to debut in February for Metra, CTA and Pace riders Oct 15, 2014 1:28 PM
    In February, Metra expects to start testing a smartphone app that lets riders purchase tickets on trains and display them to conductors. The feature could also be used to add value to Ventra cards for CTA and Pace commuters.

  • RTA picks suburban planner as new chief Oct 15, 2014 5:15 PM
    RTA leaders appointed acting chief Leanne Redden as the agency's executive director Wednesday. That leaves leadership of the agency stable after major transitions earlier this year. 6"

  • Editorial: Metra still has much selling to do on fare-hike plan Oct 12, 2014 5:13 PM
    A Daily Herald editorial says the idea of updating Metra's rolling stock has merit, but the idea of huge fare increases to support it require a lot of specifics and a lot of study and new board members must take their oversight roles seriously.

  • Lawmakers aren’t embracing Metra fare increases Oct 10, 2014 6:34 PM
    State lawmakers' reaction to 10 years of Metra fare hikes averaging a total of 68 percent ranged from dubious to cautious support. “Before there is a decision to raise fares, the first thing is to let us know where you are willing to cut, and they have not articulated that,” said state Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat who has been critical of Metra in the past.

  • Metra asks for 68 percent fare hike over 10 years Oct 10, 2014 10:33 AM
    Although a final vote isn’t until November, a majority of Metra leaders committed to a proposal to raise fares an average of 10.8 percent in 2015 followed by increases averaging 4.8 percent in each of the next nine years in exchange for the promise of better, more reliable service. The fare hike is “not a done deal,” Chairman Martin Oberman said. “We’re going on record saying, ‘This is what we need.’”

  • Editorial: Metra report shows the politics still gripping Illinois Sep 24, 2014 1:01 AM
    A report finally released details the iinfluence a powerful politician can have behind the scenes in Illinois government, a Daily Herald editorial says.

  • Secret Metra report reveals internal views of patronage allegations Sep 23, 2014 10:12 AM
    A report the former Metra chairman promised would clear his name after ex-CEO Alex Clifford accused agency leaders of condoning political pressure raises more questions than it answers. The document the Daily Herald received after a FOIA battle reveals some details about a Mike Madigan ally's push to get a raise and more of the poisonous atmosphere at Metra in 2013.

  • Are other fare options on Metra’s horizons? Sep 19, 2014 5:28 PM
    A Metra one-year pass? It's a possibility, officials said Friday, adding they want to explore different fare structures. Meanwhile, despite a state mandate for a universal fare card Jan. 1, don't expect your Ventra card to subsitute for a 10-ride pass anytime soon.

  • Metra spent $1.3 million to oust former chief Alex Clifford Sep 4, 2014 6:37 PM
    The hot-button separation agreement with Metra's ex-CEO Alex Clifford comes to about $1.3 million, the agency revealed today. About half is salary and benfits but another half went to lawyers and consultants. Clifford exited in 2013 amid a patronage scandal that brought down two former board chairman.

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