Wednesday, September 04, 2013

RTA Board OKs Chicagoland strategic plan

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Chicagoland's Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board of Directors, has adopted a 2013 Regional Transit Strategic Plan, charting RTA's investment during the next five years.

RTA said Tuesday, Sept. 3, that the plan was created in partnership with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), regional rail operator Metra, and Pace bus operations. RTA also solicited input from the general public, stakeholders, and elected officials from its six-county region over a six-month period.

"The plan lays out recommendations to address the most important issues facing our region's transit system," said RTA Executive Director Joe Costello. "It offers up real-world solutions to the challenges the region faces and consistently makes the riders' safety and satisfaction its number one priority."

The full plan as approved by the RTA Board of Directors on August 21, 2013, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Recent patronage scandals within Metra, resulting in several resignations by Metra Board members and two RTA board members during the summer, appear not to have appreciably slowed down the RTA capital planning process. But RTA Chairman John Gates is urgently seeking to fill vacant Metra board seats.

On Tuesday Illinois Gov. Gov. Pat Quinn said a task force would evaluate the process to convert Chicagoland transit into a “world-class” system, in part by streamlining RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace operations.

Background materials given by Quinn’s office to the Northeaster Illinois Public Transit Task Force reportedly question, among other items, the need for multiple boards, which “can make coordination and accountability difficult,’’ and have resulted in “lack of capital project coordination” as well as “inconsistent auditing” among the four agencies.