2-20-2014-2-07-13-PM-7436120

Lipinski wants Metra problems to be addressed

Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) has sent a letter of congratulations

to Don Orseno, the new executive director and CEO for Metra, and asked him to address problems with delays on the BNSF line and the need for increased service on the Heritage Corridor.

ÒWithout question, the impact of the system-wide delays this winter cannot be overstated, especially on the BNSF line,” wrote Lipinski.

ÒUnfortunately, Metra’s service on the BNSF lagged throughout parts of last year as well. Many of my constituents believe Metra’s

service along the line is slipping. One of my highest priorities

is to ensure reliable, high quality public transportation in northeastern Illinois. For this reason, I urge you to take measurable steps to improve the reliability of this service.”{{more}}

Metra’s BNSF route accommodates 47 round-trip trains per day from Aurora to downtown Chicago through Lipinski’s congressional district. The line is by far the most utilized route in Metra’s system, with a monthly ridership of approximately 1.3 million.

Since 1999, Metra has operated three round-trip trains per day on the Heritage Corridor. During this period of time, the population served by the line has significantly increased.

In Will County between 2000 and 2010, the populations of Romeoville, Joliet, and Lockport grew by 88 percent, 39 percent and 12 percent, respectively. South-percent, 39 percent and 12 percent,

respectively. Southwest Cook County has also grown over the past 10 years with the populations of Lemont, Willow Springs, and Summit increasing by 22 percent, 10 percent, and 4 percent, respectively.

As a result, ridership on the Heritage Corridor has expanded by approximately 25 percent over the past 10 years with the potential for much greater ridership if additional service is added, said Lipinski.

ÒFor these reasons, I urge you to provide additional service on the

(Heritage Corridor) line and work with me on behalf of the residents of northeast Will County and southwest Cook County to make it a reality,” said Lipinski. ÒGiven your career railroad experience, I am hopeful that you will move Metra forward in a

positive direction and that we can work together to ensure reliable and adequate Metra service for all the residents of the region.”

Lipinski, the most senior member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and cochair of the Congressional Public

Transportation Caucus, said he appreciates the feedback he has gotten from his constituents and encourages them to continue to speak out regarding these issues.

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