Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: metraRI, JamesT4

  by delvyrails
Looking west from the point of view of SEPTAland where all the transportation modes are lumped together into one big transit agency, how do Northeast Illinois readers consider the decades-ago division of RTA into separate Metra, Pace and CTA authorities to have worked out? Good, bad, a little of both, or what?
  by CHTT1
Seeing that Chicago has perhaps the best commuter rail system in the U.S, and Philadelphia probably the worst, I think it was a good decision. It was a political move (this is Illinois, after all), but under a unified system the CTA would have sopped up all the funding, leaving the suburban areas with poor or non-existent public transportation. At one time, the RTA did control all three agencies and jacked up the commuter rail fares by 60 percent while leaving the CTA fares alone. It was the beginning of the end of the unified RTA.
  by Tadman
Doesn't RTA still have some form of ownership or supervision over the three agencies? Or are they all completely separate?
  by doepack
It's more supervision than ownership. Specifically, the RTA is responsible for reviewing the operating and capital plans of the three "service boards" (aka CTA/Metra/Pace), while also drafting the budgets, and doling out the state and federal appropriations for each agency. While the RTA has the final say on approving fare increases, decisions regarding service levels, staffing, and equipment allocation is left to the discretion of the particular agency, the RTA was released from these "hands on" duties in its 1983 reorganization...