Today’s Headlines

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  • Cameron Puetz

    Metra’s pay doesn’t seem that out of line. From the article it sounds like salaries for Metra engineers and conductors are on par with their freight railroad peers. They have a difficult, complicated job, and the ones making 100k+ are putting in long hours. People can complain that they don’t get that kind of pay and benefits, but I doubt that most of those people can drive a train. If Metra doesn’t pay engineers and conductors those kinds of salaries they’ll loose staff to the freight railroads and other heavy machinery operating jobs that do pay that much.

  • BlueFairlane

    I guess the opposing question would be just how much less compensation we think is appropriate for somebody with hundreds of lives in his/her hand every day.

  • Fred

    All government salary statistics are also inflated by stating total compensation rather than just the flat salary portion. If someone asks me how much I make, I would say just my salary portion (partially because I have no idea what my total cost to my employer is), not say $X salary, plus 20 vacation/holidays, plus 3% 401k match, plus health insurance subsidy, etc. My total cost to the company is likely 50% higher than my salary. Reporting my salary as X vs reporting my total compensation as 1.5X greatly skews things. And that is the comparison the general public makes. When someone with a $75k salary complains about a government worker making more money than them ($100k total compensation), the $75k salary worker actually probably makes more than $100k in total compensation.

    If you look at the pie chart in the article, base salary was only $53k. If I were a Metra employee and someone asked me how much I made, I would say $53k, not my total compensation of $111k.

  • Big Buck Hunter

    Punching a few tickets is not worthy of $100k. Cashiers get paid often 1/4 of that. These ticket punchers make more than most government lawyers and engineers. Mike Madigan knows how to take care of his unions, thats for sure. You notice how nearly every conductor is a man, and most are white. There is a racket going on here.

  • Big Buck Hunter

    These glorified cashiers make more than public defenders and most states attorneys. And the worst part was, they were terribly incompetent at their job for a while, with most fare collection rates at 50%!!

  • Fred

    Sources, please.

  • Wewilliewinkleman

    Regarding CTA crackdown on Ventra card abuse, has anyone said how the CTA will make certain pre-boarding payments proposed for BRT will be monitored or how buses proposed to have all door boarding will be monitored? Especially at rush hour?

  • Cameron Puetz

    Fare collection is a small part of their job. Coordinating with dispatch and verifying signal and switch alignment is a much bigger and more important part of their job.

    If conductor salaries really could be cut, the freight railroads, who are publicly traded companies or owned by investment conglomerates (Berkshire Hathaway owns several), would have cut salaries. Metra conductors are out earned by their peers at for profit railroads, so there doesn’t appear to be much room to cut costs there.

  • Unknown right now, but the pre-boarding payment on the Central Loop BRT will only be at one station initially.

  • Read the article to see that conductors are more than ticket takers.

  • And expected to do so flawlessly in the middle of a polar vortex.

  • forensicgarlic

    I don’t think Metra service can be correctly described as “flawless”.