Metra

"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.

Report Questions Hiring Influences At Metra

Apr 1, 2014
housedem.state.il.us

A special task force raises new questions about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his influence on hiring at Metra. The panel, which issued its report Monday, was created after a scandal involving political patronage at the commuter rail agency.

Metra's former CEO answered questions Wednesday about political patronage and his controversial severance package.

Alex Clifford addressed the Regional Transportation Authority. It oversees Metra. Clifford says Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan made it known that he wanted Clifford to hire one person and give another Metra employee a raise. When asked if the powerful House speaker did anything illegal, Clifford said no.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

A host of public officials and hundreds of invited guests came to Rochelle Thursday to mark the grand opening of Japanese company Nippon Sharyo’s new rail car manufacturing facility there.