Metra

Flickr user Luke Jones / "Railroad Tracks" (CC V 2.0)

Metra’s suicide prevention staff training initiative already has been proven successful, according to its chief safety and information officer.

More than one-thousand Metra employees within the last year have taken a four-hour training course to help identify emotional distress and suicidal tendencies in passengers and co-workers.

"Metra" By Flickr User Chris Phan / (CC BY 2.0)

The Metra Railroad says it will miss its 2018 deadline to install safety technology on all of its Chicago-area routes.

Metra says the cost of its upgrade – which could reach $400 million – is one factor in the delay.

Congress’ technology mandate included almost no funding nationwide for these kinds of projects.

The technology known as Positive Train Control can monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger.

Metra outlined a plan to satisfy certain criteria for the government if an extension is granted through 2020.

Metra

Metra officials unveiled new snow-fighting equipment and procedures to deal with the cold.

The commuter rail service installed switch heaters. It also unveiled a machine that clears snow and ice from the rails with blasts of air more than 500 mph.

Metra is also improving communication with email alerts.

Metra

Starting next year, passengers on Chicago area trains and buses will be able to use smartphones to pay.

Transit officials announced Wednesday that a free mobile app will be available in the first half of 2015 from Ventra, the company that produces fare cards. Passengers will be able to use it system wide — on C-T-A trains and buses, suburban Pace buses and the Metra commuter rail service.

Metra

The costs from Metra's settlement with its former CEO cost taxpayers $1.3 million.

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