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Metra names veteran state commander as police chief

Transit agencies get bump in federal funding

Chicago-area transit agencies will get millions more in federal money this year than first budgeted after the Regional Transportation Authority Board on Wednesday approved federal cash transfers at an unusually quiet board meeting.

Together, local transit systems will receive $9.7 million more than anticipated in the 2014 budget. The Chicago Transit Authority's funding will enjoy an increase of $5.6 million. Metra’s increase will be $3.3 million, while Pace Suburban Bus Service’s will grow by $800,000.

House votes to make secret government severance deals public

Metra chair: Keep public log of politicians, others pushing hires

Metra management will get pay raises

Non-union Metra employees, including managers, directors, and other senior staff members, will enjoy raises this year, Metra CEO Don Orseno announced Thursday at a City Club of Chicago speech.

About 450 employees will split $2.4 million, which comes to an average 8 percent pay hike per employee. Orseno said that the raises, which total 0.3 percent of Metra’s annual operating budget, are needed to keep high-quality staff in positions that often have much larger paychecks in the private sector.


Transit Task Force co-chair: RTA is out of chances

The Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force issued its final recommendations Monday, including a plan to scotch the Regional Transportation Authority and consolidate the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace Suburban Bus Service into one “superagency.”

The recommendations will now go for consideration to Gov. Pat Quinn, who convened the panel, and the General Assembly. Task force members said that they were optimistic that the state Legislature, which created the RTA in the early 1970s, would adopt at least some of their recommendations.

Ethics, consolidation not only issues on Transit Task Force’s agenda

The Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force will release its final recommendations Monday for the Chicago-area transit system. The report is expected to address concerns beyond charges of Metra patronage hiring, which spurred Gov. Pat Quinn to convene the panel last summer, and look at issues like contracting for which the transit agencies often fail to coordinate their efforts.

Metra employees to receive terrorist-recognition training

“Excessive yawning,” “repetitive touching of face,” “rubbing or wringing of hands” could be the normal responses of a tired commuter – or in rare instances, the behavior of a potential terrorist.


It's time to merge metro Chicago's transit agencies

RTA chairman: Transit Task Force not ‘interested in facts’

Regional Transportation Authority Board Chairman John Gates responded Wednesday to recommendations made by Gov. Pat Quinn’s Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force to eliminate the agency, as well as the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and PACE, and then consolidate their functions under a single entity.

Under the current model of governance, each of the four agencies has its own board and executive staff. The task force called for the creation of one consolidated agency, where the CTA, Metra and Pace would be “operating divisions” without autonomous leadership.