Metra

For House Rail Subcommittee, an Earful on Multiple Matters

“Examining the Surface Transportation Board’s Role in Ensuring a Robust Passenger Rail System” was the topic of a virtual Nov. 18 hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Metra leaders report that without additional COVID-related financial assistance, the commuter rail agency “will need to cut expenses by $70 million next year.”

Metra Board Signs Off on 2021 Budget

Chicago’s Metra commuter rail agency is moving its Board-approved $700 million operating budget and $386.8 million capital program for 2021 to the Regional Transportation Authority for final approval. RTA’s Board will review them as part of a consolidated budget for the area’s public transit systems, including Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace Suburban Bus.

Metra, At Odds With UP, Petitions STB

Chicago’s Metra commuter rail agency on July 21 asked the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent Union Pacific from “taking planned steps that would degrade or halt” commuter rail service on the three lines—UP North, UP Northwest and UP West—the Class I railroad operates and maintains equipment under contract. Separately, Metra also asked the STB to rule on whether UP has a legal common-carrier obligation to provide commuter service. “UP maintains that it has no such obligation,” Metra said, adding that it “strongly disagrees” with UP’s position and that “settling that dispute is critical to determining how service will continue to operate on the lines and, more important, what it will cost the public.”

Amtrak: Freedom From Responsibility is Illusory

THE FINANCIAL EDGE, MAY 2019 – In a recent TED talk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suggested that, in an attempt to combat abusive speech and harassment, Twitter would consider moving from threads written by individuals to topic threads. Dorsey suggested these interest networks would be easier to monitor for Twitter code of conduct breeches.

Metra issues RFP for new cars

Metra on March 20 issued a request for proposals (RFP) for at least 200 new locomotive-hauled railcars, and the Chicago-area commuter railroad is allowing manufacturers to propose alternative designs that could reduce delays and suit Metra’s needs better than its bi-level gallery cars, some of which have been in service upwards of 70 years.