Transit task force meets for first time; RTA overhaul planned
Today, the panel appointed by Gov Quinn to overhaul the RTA met for the first time.
The panel, called the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, plans to reorganize a system that not only suffers from bad public relations, but also from poor ridership. They have a 4 point plan in place and hope it can all get addressed with a very tight deadline.
Quinn also hopes they can get Metra, the CTA and Pace back on track.
Metra has been operating under a cloud of suspicion after its CEO got a buyout worth hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Since then, multiple board members have resigned. Failed leadership at Metra is forcing the agency to review and perhaps reinvent the way it runs transportation on our rails and our roads.
The panel suggests former U.S attorney Patrick Fitzgerald will head the ethics committee.
Others will lead the finance committee, the governance committee and system performance.
While ethics remains the priority, the panel makes it clear performance is also a major problem. Ridership is up just 1% says the board. Other cities like New York are seeing it grow by 50%. Chicago’s growth is stagnant.
October 18 is the deadline for the first report due to the governor.
January 31 deadline is when the final report is due and the panel dissolves.