Metra names new CEO

A 30-year Metra veteran and former engineer was named executive director of the commuter rail agency Friday.

Don Orseno, 59, was chosen from a field of four candidates interviewed today by the transit agency’s 11-member board.  The vote was unanimous.

He has been Metra’s interim executive director since August.

After thirty years, Orseno knows Metra’s operations inside-out and he’s the first to admit that that institutional knowledge will come in handy.

Former CEO Alex Clifford left amid controversy and with a huge severance package last spring.

More recently, riders we’re left facing delays, some even stranded in the cold earlier this month- by mechanical problems and poor decision-making.

“The last three years have been pretty tough on us. There’s no question about that. We’ve had a couple of things that were huge for this organization.” Orseno said “But one thing I’m very proud of is that even though we’ve had some issues at the top, our employees never faltered a bit.”

Orseno’s already talking about restoring rider confidence– and when we say he’s done it all, thats no exaggeration, he’s been in the railroad industry for 40 years.

He started out punching tickets and running trains.

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2 comments

  • arubatom

    SO how much did they pay the headhunting firm, only to appoint the Metra insider anyway? Once again…use a search firm to make things look on the up and up. Not saying this person isn't qualified, but why go through all the expense if in fact this person was well qualified anyway!

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