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  • Daily Herald File Photo There are bumps along the road as riders get adjusted to Pace and the CTA’s new fare system, Ventra.

    Venting about Ventra, intersection mayhem and the fighting Illiana Oct 21, 2013 12:00 AM
    You asked about intersections, Ventra and reduced fares. You opined about the Illiana. We've got your answers and a chance for everyone to rant and rave. Readers let it all out in this week's In Transit column.

  • Pat Quinn

    Illiana Expressway plan looks like it will pass Oct 14, 2013 12:00 AM
    It's a tangled political web when it comes to forecasting how a powerful committee will vote on including the Illiana Expressway in a list of significant projects eligible for federal funding. But the odds are in the expressway's favor.

  • Daily Herald File Photo Gov. Pat Quinn and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels kicked off the Illiana Expressway with a memorandum of understanding in 2010.

    Why you should care about the battle of the Illiana ExpresswayOct 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    It's Gov. Pat Quinn against the CMAP wonks in this smackdown over the future of the Illiana Expressway. Some think the proposed highway linking I-55 with I-65 in Indiana is a boondoggle, others say it's a job panacea.

  • Jordan Matyas

    RTA spending more than $670,000 on spin control Sep 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    Four PR firms are costing the Regional Transportation Authority big bucks. But is writing speeches, making videos, spinning reporters and redoing the RTA Fact Book worth more than $670,000 to riders? Plus — is there an issue if PR firms have connections to the politically powerful Madigans given that a family member is the RTA's No. 2?

  • O’Hare International Airport’s new runway opens Oct. 17. Officials say it will reduce delays and improve safety, but it could also mean more jet noise for some suburbs.

    O’Hare’s newest runway will mean big changes Sep 23, 2013 12:00 AM
    Sure, the official name is “runway 10 Center/28 Center,” but perhaps it's best known as the former site of the St. Johannes Cemetery. After years of fighting over the graves there as well as O'Hare expansion, the runway is set for commissioning Oct. 17. Officials say it will increase O’Hare’s capacity to handle flights and reduce delays while improving safety.

  • Construction continues on Route 53 between Army Trail Road and the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway.

    How a Roselle family got a $10,000 bill from tollwaySep 9, 2013 12:00 AM
    Lori Luxenberg Challinor of Roselle and her husband are reeling from an unexpected bill from the tollway for violations of about $10,000 on their Dodge Caravan. Problem is, the couple no longer own the Caravan — they sold it several years ago to an acquaintance who turned around and resold it to some unsavory characters. They, in turn, took the van on the adventure of a lifetime that included running red lights and skipping tolls.

  • Daily Herald File Photo Former Metra CEO Alex Clifford, right, testified at an RTA hearing in July with his attorney Michael Shakman, left. Sitting a row behind is former Chairman Brad O’Halloran, far left.

    How insurance option slipped by Metra boardAug 26, 2013 12:00 AM
    Were Metra board members deceived about the potential of letting their insurance company handle corruption allegations and a possible lawsuit by ex-CEO Alex Clifford? Several of them say so. Director Arlene Mulder, former Arlington Heights mayor, said no one laid out the insurance options for directors. “We were given two options — fight Shakman and the deal we ultimately approved. I’m anxious to find out why we didn’t know,” she said.

  • Daily Herald File Photo Stopping for a school bus seems elementary, but numerous drivers ignore the lowered sign and warning lights, a survey shows.

    Survey shows drivers ignore stopped school buses Aug 19, 2013 12:00 AM
    More than 85,000 drivers blew past stopped school buses in just one day, a national survey shows. With kids headed back to class, don't forget this elementary traffic rule, safety experts say. “I'll hear bus drivers honking and still people will whiz right through all seven buses there,” said Bill Farley, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 assistant superintendent for business operations.

  •  Your Metra fare paid for a trainload of consultants to offer a hand with the up-to $718,000 compensation package for former CEO Alex Clifford.

    Consultant spending worries remaining Metra leadersAug 12, 2013 12:00 AM
    Damage control over Metra’s latest scandal has cost $18,000 so far, and it’s only a small piece of the consulting pie that’s surpassing $300,000 as the agency deals with fallout from the exit of CEO Alex Clifford and allegations of corruption. And what troubles some remaining members of Metra’s greatly diminished board is they had no idea money was flying out the door.

  • Daily Herald File Photo Metra riders can expect the unexpected in the coming weeks with calls for board resignations and ongoing investigations.

    Can Metra board function under duress?Aug 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    Reports of the Metra board's death are greatly exaggerated, says Jack Partelow, who assumed the unenviable role of acting Metra chairman Thursday when his embattled predecessor, Brad O'Halloran, resigned. “The idea of the entire board stepping down is ridiculous,” Partelow said.

  • Daily Herald File Photo The Metra board of directors is experiencing déjà vu after a second scandal involving allegations of corruption.

    Should Metra’s chair go? Appointing officials weigh inJul 29, 2013 12:00 AM
    There's a collective circling of the wagons at Metra despite attempts by lawmakers to penetrate the defenses. And that goes for most of the appointing authorities who are responsible for picking the nonelected board. “We need to be in full command of the facts and there’s been a lot of political theater,” Lake County Chairman Aaron Lawler said.

  • Mike McCoy

    Resigning Metra board director details 'gotcha game' Jul 22, 2013 12:00 AM
    For Mike McCoy of Aurora, the back-and-forth this spring over whether to renew former Metra CEO Alex Clifford's contract had turned into a “gotcha game” of accusations and legal threats. Then, in recent weeks, that “game” spiraled out of control, and McCoy — a Metra board director and former Kane County chairman — decided he'd had enough. On Friday, he resigned, saying he no longer had the time or desire to serve.

  • Buffalo Grove Village Planner Bob Pfeil starts out on his 50-minute ride home to Libertyville from village hall as part of the Bike Commuter Challenge last week.

    Suburban bikers find a groove but want safer streetsJun 17, 2013 12:00 AM
    Pot holes. Oblivious drivers. Busy streets. There are plenty of hazards for suburban commuters who want to use two wheels, not four, Monday through Friday. But the pleasures outweigh the pitfalls, say participants in last week's Bike Commuter Challenge, held as part of Bike to Work Week.

  • Cars wait for a freight train to pass at the former EJ&E tracks across Route 14 in Barrington. The smaller EJ&E was purchased by CN, which has resulted in more trains for some communities, less for others.

    Are you better off after CN/EJ&E merger? Jun 10, 2013 12:00 AM
    Five years ago, the protests were just warming up against the EJ&E merger with the Canadian National Railway. So who won or lost in the final analysis? Plus a former CN executive shares some behind-the-scenes takeaways.

  • Traffic backups on Route 120 near Hainesville won’t go away unless the state can obtain federal funding.

    Answers to your questions on bridges, merging and more Jun 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Why oh why is traffic so backed up on Route 120? Is the tollway trying to confuse drivers with its merging signs? And, what's the protocol at railway crossings with turns? We'll answer those and other reader questions in this week's column.

  •  Would allocating road funds based on criteria like gridlock end “arbitrary” transportation funding decisions in Illinois? CMAP thinks so.

    Is Illinois road funding split fair — or ‘arbitrary’? May 27, 2013 12:00 AM
    For eons, downstate Illinois has received 55 percent of the transportation pie and Chicago and the suburbs have got 45 percent. Now regional planners want to eliminate the formula and base it on criteria like congestion relief and crash stats. Already there's pushback from downstate.

  • Tyra Harris of Denver boards the Amtrak’s California Zephyr in Naperville. She was heading home after a visit with relatives in Lombard.

    Amtrak chugging away at expansion, high-speed railMay 20, 2013 12:00 AM
    One minute you're in Naperville, the next, you're whistling "California Here I Come," aboard the California Zephyr. Most folks think of O'Hare when it comes to escaping but some of Amtrak's most famous trains stop in the suburbs. Can we get more? Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman talks about expanding service in the Midwest and more.

  •  A gallon of regular unleaded was $4.25 at this Mobil station in Buffalo Grove Thursday, far above national averages.

    Why is Illinois enduring a gas smackdown? May 13, 2013 12:00 AM
    It's hard to tell what's more painful these days, a poke in the eye or filling up your gas tank. We talk to experts who explain why northeast Illinois is in the gas-price doghouse and predict if we'll ever get out.

  • Metra CEO Alex Clifford addresses board members during a discussion on fare increases in 2011. Some are questioning Metra's use of a public relations firm Clifford said was hired to help handle “crisis situations.”

    Do Metra photo ops require PR consultants? Apr 15, 2013 12:00 AM
    Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive or a negative newspaper article, Metra's hired PR guns can spin a story in a positive direction that makes the agency look good. But is it worth thousands of dollars? When did the focus switch from running trains on time to image?

  • Commuters head to Pace buses after getting off the Blue Line train at the Rosemont station. Suburban commuters who use PACE and CTA patrons soon will have access to the transit agencies universal fare card, known as Ventra.

    CTA, Pace face learning curve on joint fare cards Apr 8, 2013 12:00 AM
    What will Pace and the CTA's new Ventra card mean for suburban commuters? The move's drawn fire from some Chicago commuters but officials say it should ease travel for riders switching between the systems. The jury's still out on what it means for Metra riders who transfer to CTA from Union or Ogilvie stations.

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