Press Release September 7, 2016
Citizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders
Charles Paidock, Secretary (312) 714-7790 email@example.com
Transit Services Seek to End Public Hearing Process
Transit Group Objects to End of Public Meetings
and Comments by Metra Passengers
Citizens Taking Action, an organization comprised of transit dependent riders, objects to an announcement by Metra to hold public hearings, and seek passenger comments, only if there are “major changes” in services. Metra seeks to change policy, and implement a new definition, to determine the threshold if whether or not a proposed service adjustment is subject to an equity analysis among routes.
A reduction of 25% in schedules or route miles would not to be regarded as a “service change.” The policy also establishes route designation as either full, medium, or limited-service, based on the number of scheduled weekday revenue trains per route. Such criteria would be applied to determine if there is an “adverse effect” as a result of any change.
According to Metra, “The intent is to allow the railroad to make minor service increases without having to perform costly analyses.”
Charles Paidock, Secretary of the organization, stated that: “We have seen this before in the other transit services. Reductions in routes or schedules are termed only a “service adjustment,” and not a change that merits either an announcement, public hearing, or comment period. This has been going on for years in CTA, and it appears that Metra wants to do the same thing. We have raised concerns to the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), and the other three transit services, about their failure to properly schedule hearings prior to making changes, starting projects, or adopting a budget. CTA has used this process for years to gradually trim schedules and shorten routes.”
Metra has scheduled a “hearing,” which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the railroad's office at 547 Jackson Blvd., Chicago. Questions are raised by the group as to precisely what is this process, or who will be attending the hearing representing Metra in order for the hearing to be an “official” meeting.
Members of the public who wish to submit comments can email them to titleVIfeedback@metrarr.com