Regional Transportation Authority - Chicago

IL: RTA Chairman Calls for Staff Report of Transit System Performance During Region’s 'Polar Vortex'

Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)? Board Chairman John S. Gates, Jr. discussed Jan. 16 at the transit oversight agency’s monthly board meeting the enormous impact of the weather on the region’s transit agencies during the week of Jan. 6, during what’s been dubbed the “polar vortex.” 

He specifically noted the challenges Metra faced and instructed RTA staff to examine the issue and report back to the board in 60 days. 

“While we know that Metra employees worked incredibly hard to keep everything running, there were serious delays and problems last week.” Gates stated Jan. 16 at the RTA’s monthly board meeting.  “I am concerned about Metra’s response to the winter weather and the riders’ corresponding inconvenience.”

Chairman Gates directed RTA staff to examine the following specific issues:

  • Metra’s communications with riders, specifically related to the reports that riders were stranded at stations;
  • Review the operations of BNSF and Union Pacific railroads and their agreements with Metra; and 
  • Examine if the weather occurrences illustrate Metra’s need to invest more in capital improvements.