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Articles filed under Metra

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  • 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.

     
  • Metra train strikes, kills man in Des Plaines Aug 27, 2014 5:06 AM
    A man in his 40s died after he was hit by an outbound Metra train on the Union Pacific/Northwest Line late Tuesday afternoon in Des Plaines. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:37 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

     
  • Pyke: Are I-355 traffic delays the protesters' fault? Aug 25, 2014 11:36 AM
    Protester-related delays on I-355. Accidents at rail crossings. The mailbag is full and it's time to share what everyone's talking about. "It was a Friday and most of us commuters simply want to get home quickly and safely,” one reader says about the protests on bridges over tollways.

     
  • Metra could get extra RTA money for improvements Aug 20, 2014 8:02 PM
    The RTA's budget proposal for 2015 estimates about 4 percent in sales tax growth. New ideas include a $100 million bond sale to aid Metra, the CTA and Pace. What's uncertain is whether the three agencies will fight over a $200 million fund that's up to the RTA's discretion.

     
  • Pyke: Highway bridge protests exercise free speech, but irk drivers Aug 18, 2014 5:05 AM
    Fuming in gridlock caused by protestors atop a bridge over the tollway? It's perfectly legal, police say. And it's constitutional, says Fred Schneider whose political protest signs have irked more than a few motorists. "If you give a thumbs up, we give one. If you give us a finger, we wave to you," he said.

     
  • Metra service expansion called unlikely in face of shortfall Aug 15, 2014 4:59 PM
    Metra's strategic plan needs to face the fact there's no money right now for more express trains or new stations -- such as in Marengo, Hampshire, Richmond, Sugar Grove and Oswego -- and other commuter dreams, officials said Friday. Meanwhile, the question of whether a fare hike looms in 2015 remains a mystery. (Plus, video of safety poster awards.)

     
  • Editorial: All of us have work to do to make rails safer Aug 12, 2014 9:02 AM
    Everyone, not just safety experts, has work to do to improve rail safety, a Daily Herald editorial says.

     
  • Railroad accidents underscore safety conference's mission Aug 11, 2014 5:07 AM
    How do we make rail crossings safer? A group of international experts gathered at the University of Illinios this week to share ideas and learn from some local experts. “Highway-rail grade crossing and trespassing accidents were up in 2013, and we're seeing a continued uptick in this fiscal year,” Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo said.

     
  • Des Plaines to help pay for Metra station coffee shop Aug 10, 2014 4:17 PM
    Des Plaines aldermen last week approved providing up to $15,000 to help fund construction of a coffee shop inside the city’s downtown Metra station. The money, to be provided through proceeds from the city’s downtown tax increment financing district, is part of the city’s business assistance program.

     
  • Last segment of Washington Street to be widened next year Aug 9, 2014 7:30 AM
    Lake County officials are set to approved measures associated with plans to widen Washington Street and build an underpass at the rail crossing in Grayslake. That project and one immediately west will be done simultaneously as the last remaining sections of Washington for its length trhough central Lake County to be widened. "It's a very important roadway for us," said Al Giertych, assistant county engineer.

     
  • Metra restores full service this morning on BNSF line Aug 8, 2014 5:39 AM
    Metra riders whose rush-hour commute home imploded Thursday afternoon after two people were killed on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Line should only see minor delays this morning, according to the Metra website. Metra had canceled four trains scheduled to arrive at Union Station between 7 a.m. and 8:17 a.m., but announced at 5:30 a.m. that full service had been restored.

     
  • Metra opposed release of report on fake work logs Aug 4, 2014 5:06 AM
    Despite committing to transparency, Metra opposed making public the state inspector general's probe into fake work logs. The state watchdog's report would only confuse the public, the agency argued. Meanwhile, Metra's hiring of one of the attorneys who investigated it is raising some eyebrows.

     
  • Milwaukee District North train kills pedestrian Aug 4, 2014 9:03 PM
    An outbound Metra train on the Milwaukee District North Line struck and killed a pedestrian just before 5 p.m. between the Morton Grove and Golf stations, Metra officials said.

     
  • Driver struck by Metra train in Round Lake Park expected to recover, while police await toxicology results Aug 3, 2014 5:57 PM
    Round Lake Park police said a driver who was critically injured after he drove around crossing gates and in front of a Metra commuter train early Saturday is now in stable condition after surgery and is expected to recover.

     
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