Two longtime CTA top managers picked for Metra board seats

Cook County commissioners and its president think highly enough of two longtime CTA employees to appoint them to Metra's board of directors.

John Plante, who last served the CTA as a senior manager for system safety emergency preparedness, this week was the unanimous choice of commissioners from the north and west suburban Cook County townships to fill a vacant slot on the Metra board.

And on Monday, Romayne Brown, former vice president for CTA rail operations, was picked by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to fill the Metra seat for Cook County suburbs.

Brown had more than 30 years of work experience at the CTA, starting as a conductor and moving to her last job -- "to make sure the trains ran safely and on time. Her decades of transportation experience will be a great asset to the Metra board, which needs someone who knows what it takes to operate a mass transit rail line,” according to a Preckwinkle statement. Brown is a Dolton resident.

Plante, from Wilmette, retired from his 35-year CTA career after coordinating the CTA’s planning and training for responding to emergencies. I guess he might have been busy this week dealing with the "runaway" train had he still been on duty at the CTA.

"John has the experience and skills to ensure that Metra has what it needs to prevail over its difficulties," Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin said in a statement. "His emergency preparedness work and legal background will help Metra to work through its current problems and foresee any potential future problems. He is an excellent choice."

OK then. We'll see how this works out for them and Metra.
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  • fb_avatar

    I received the following email today:

    This email confirms that you have successfully reset your Ventra Transit Account Access Code. You may use this code by dialing 877-NOW-VENTRA.

    New Account Access Code: xxxx

    If you did not initiate this change or you need additional information, please visit the Ventra website at or contact the Ventra Customer Call Center and provide the reference number listed above.

    Thank you for using Ventra.

    Ventra Customer Call Center

    877-NOW-VENTRA (877-669-8368)

    I haven't received either the email instructions in order to create an access code to activate it or the Ventra card. I won't be using this information because I had nothing to do with the creation of any access code. What if I used this account access code and it gave entree into my bank account? I called Ventra, I was told my waiting time would be 36 minutes, I hung up.

  • In reply to MarieR:

    Maria, I don't think you need to worry about the access code giving entree into your bank account.

  • In reply to MarieR:

    I just got the same e-mail this morning. Like you, I still haven't even got my Ventra card, despite being told 2 months ago that it would be arriving in the mail. I called the number on the e-mail (like it instructed me to do, if I hadn't initiated the change), then transferred to another number, put on hold and then got disconnected.

    My main concern is that credit card info from the old Chicago Card Plus and, if someone got a hold of my Ventra card and is using it, it will start reloading automatically.

  • On the post, I'm not sure if these two worked when CTA management was still competent, or this is an attempt to pollute Metra with CTA political influence.

  • Why so negative jack? I look at it as possibilities!

    I will be addressing CTA's Board on Oct. 9th -- and Metra's Board on Oct. 18th, doing my "Tilting-at-Windmills" thing again.

    Please come (if you can), watch, and be entertained.....

  • As I said before, your time might not be valuable, mine is.

    Anyway, if you look at the so called CTA minutes, the secretary doesn't even record the public comment, and it is clear from things like the Lincoln hearings that Terry Peterson lies about listening.

    And the dates coincide with the end of any incentive CTA might have had to cooperate with Metra--the Red Line is reopening in a couple of days.

    It also appears that you have not kept up with Emanuel's delegates to the RTA forcing the RTA to miss its statutory deadline for setting funding marks, because CTA wants every cent of discretionary money. Do you really think it will then turn around and send some of that money to Metra on a purchase of service contract?

    You might have a bit of better luck trying to get an audience before the Fitzgerald panel, but my conclusion there is that Quinn set up the composition of the panel (including the Queen of "CTA needs funding" Carole Brown.

  • In reply to jack:

    I left out the operative 2 last words "to fail."

  • In reply to jack:

    "your time might not be valuable, mine is" -- great jack, that is exactly why we have the F'ed up transit mess we have now.

    Nobody wants to take the time to challenge them, so They can go Hog Wild -- And we can get EXACTLY what we DESERVE -- B / S !

    Do you know who Hyman Rickover was jack, and his Windmill?

  • Apparently, you missed Brizard's characterization of how Emanuel works, including that he only allows functionaries who do as he says, as well as Claypool's subsequent statement of "Nothing wrong at the CTA, the Mayor is in charge," proving Brizard correct.

    The my time argument was only to the extent that seeing you make a public statement at a CTA board meeting has very little entertainment value to me, and certainly not worth 2 hours of my time.

    You were complaining earlier that the city sent a consultant to kill your project; have you convinced Emanuel of anything different?

    Transit is a fouled up mess, but with efforts like Quinn's appointments to the Fitzgerald panel to paper over the real problems, I am certainly not going to fix it. And Terry Peterson has definitely turned off his hearing aid to another Gray Line presentation, which will be reflected in the minutes only as "Appearing before the Board: Mike Payne [and probably also Gardner and Heather Armstrong]. At least the Pace recording secretary transcribes the substance of the Armstrongs' (and others') statements to the board.

    Einstein's definition of insanity came up with respect to the U.S. House, but maybe you should think about it before again bringing up Rickover and Don Quixote.

  • In reply to jack:

    What did Rickover accomplish jack? (after being laughed at for years).

  • I've said before I'm done with this.

    Until you answer the question "What did CTA Gray Line Project accomplish," other than getting some meaningless award from CATS and some publicity about 13 years ago?

    That's all the counts here.

  • In reply to jack: Then I'll answer it for you jack, he is known as "The Father of the Nuclear Submarine".

    He got LAUGHED AT for Years for advocating a Silly "Genie-in-a-Bottle" type power for Navy ships -- I guess his efforts didn't/don't count either, right jack?

    btw: He is a big Role Model for me, it just goes to show what ONE determined man can accomplish.....

  • You still haven't explained what you accomplished, other than the 2 things I mentioned. How did that racial discrimination claim go, as far as establishing any CTA service on the ME? Or anything else you have done?

    And you certainly haven't explained the "be entertained" part of "Please come (if you can), watch, and be entertained....."

  • "Be entertained" -- You could come and watch me make a complete utter unmistakable simpering fool of myself, and ROTFLYMFAO; from the things you say I'm sure that's how it would work.

    Even better ( More Windmills ), here is a c&p from another Forum:

    Just got my Ticket to this event -- This is going to be a TRULY interesting Adventure, and I will be bringing the MED EMU Prototype, and Gray Line literature to distrbute:

    Any suggestions as to how to handle the Game?

  • Now Metra will devolve into an agency as incompetent as the CTA by adding these two fools!
    It's just amazing that no one wants to add an actual Metra rider to the board, so they would know what a mess Metra is.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The real issue is that neither the CTA nor former Metra boards exercised any oversight, as directors properly should. The you know what hit the fan with Metra, not CTA, except with regard to Zuccarelli.

    These two appointees were with operations. Thus, they may know how to run a railroad, including exercising some oversight over contracts and staff, but as I said above, the question is whether they are competent, or got their CTA jobs under Kruesi and later.

  • Check out this new Tribune Series (and my comments) -- Everybody on here (with SO MUCH to say) should participate:,0,6715609.story

  • Mike:

    "Entertained.." I don't have to leave my living room to see Krusty the Clown.

    You will get maybe 3 minutes and will be ushered out.

    And as far as your toy train, you seem to have forgotten that about 50 of the projected 160 Highliners from Rochelle have already been delivered to Metra. Maybe you should have seen that simpering fool, Pat Quinn, before he announced that contract about 3 years ago.

    Finally, your reading comprehension is bad if you couldn't figure out that your only chance (and maybe a 3% one at that) is before the Fitzgerald panel.

    Go back to the Einstein link.

  • In reply to jack:


    Like the Tribune Series above, I don't see you (or pretty much anybody else) participating -- for whatever reason. (why jack?)

    But I am NOT going to let the fact that nobody else does anything, stop me -- you don't have ANY ideas of your own for improving the city jack? There is the Forum with an invitation.

    And I may get more than 3 minutes at CTA as others are coming also (if they can).

    And on the VERY SLIM chance that I can create 1,000's of jobs -- I will be Krusty the Clown and that Fool. People have given their lives for a lot less.

    And I am doing more than you're doing jack -- besides sitting behind a keyboard criticizing other people; I am meeting the Mayor for conversation in about 2 weeks, have you ever tried to get an appointment through the Mayor's Office jack? (you don't).

    That's never happened before, and who knows what may come of it.

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