Today’s Headlines for Thursday, March 22

  • Chicago Area Loses Population for the 3rd Straight Year (Tribune)
  • Emanuel Op-ed: Why We Need the $8.5B O’Hare Expansion Project (Crain’s)
  • Metra Considers 25-Cent Fare Hike, Approves $29.4M to Rehab Repair Facility (Tribune)
  • Pedestrian Fatally Struck on Dan Ryan Near 33rd Street (Tribune)
  • Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Woman on Cicero Blue Line Platform (Sun-Times)
  • Unarmed Volunteers, Not Armed Guards, Will Patrol Wicker Park Streets (Tribune)
  • Active Trans Honors Nonprofits, Businesses and Billionaire Ken Griffin at Annual Gala
  • How to Host a Bike Rodeo, a Great Way to Build Support for Cycling Projects (Active Trans)
  • An Update on South Bend’s Dockless Bike-Share Fleet (SBT)
  • Cyclist Barely Escapes Sliding Into the Lake After Falling on Icy Oak St. Curve (Chainlink)

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  • F. Hayek 69

    Before metra passes another steep fare hike for the sixth year in a row, they should cut labor costs to the bone. They don’t need ticket punchers who make $100k+ annually or cushy no show jobs for Democrat Mike Madigans friends and family. Unions will blead metra dry, ridership will plummet, and the snowball will roll down the hill.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Most Metra board members are appointed by Republican-controlled suburban county boards. https://metrarail.com/about-metra/leadership/board-directors

  • F. Hayek 69

    Not sure how that’s relevant. Either way, by my count 60% of the board is appointed through Cook county or Chicago.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Metra is disproportionately raising fares on the city and inner suburban riders compared to exurban riders. City riders are seeing a 6% raise each year, compared to 2% for Exurban riders.

  • Deni

    One by Periwinkle, one by Rahm. The rest of the Cook County appointees are by specific suburban area members only. Metra board is 80% suburban appointees. So the Madigan dig is pretty far off base.

  • F. Hayek 69

    You are intentionally derailing because you’re unable to address my original comment. Mike Madigan is a democrat and has been caught giving away fat cat jobs to his politically cronies, both are 100% true.

  • Deni

    Nobody is derailing. Madigan has nothing to do with Metra and it is run by suburban Republicans. Yes, Madigan is a political machine scumbag, but that is not relevant to Metra.

  • CIAC

    It’s a matter of record that one of the previous Metra CEOs was forced out after resisting pressure from Madigan: https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=O2q0WvymN-vLjwSctJIo&q=%22Alex+Clifford%22+%22Madigan%22&oq=%22Alex+Clifford%22+%22Madigan%22&gs_l=psy-ab.3…2249.9724.0.9967.28.26.1.0.0.0.148.2418.19j6.25.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..2.24.2258.0..0j35i39k1j0i131k1j0i3k1j0i20i263k1j0i22i30k1j33i160k1j33i21k1.0.ZwYv7U9jiKo That was a major scandal that was in the news for quite a while and eventually forced the Chairman of the board at Metra to leave. It may or may not be true that Madigan isn’t involved now. But certainly I think people have reason to believe otherwise.

  • CIAC

    From all indications, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are correct that conductors make more than $100,000 a year. I heard one specifically say that, after five years, they make that amount. I think part of the issue is that the pay is largely based on freight railroads, which understandably is high because these trains travel long distances and require unusual hours. Four Metra lines are directly operated by freight companies and Metra reimburses them (and of course, the pay for these lines is looked to as a “model” for the lines that Metra operates directly). This is problematic, in my opinion, because working at a commuter railroad is a very different environment and really shouldn’t model their pay structure off of that of freight.

  • planetshwoop

    What should they make? Note that most do not work a 40 hour work week due to train schedules?

  • CIAC

    They should make whatever is needed to attract qualified and motivated enough employees and to have as low a level of turnover as possible.