The head of the Regional Transportation Authority on Wednesday said the idea to combine the CTA, Metra and Pace systems into one "superagency" is pretty much a non-starter with little to no support, according to the Sun-Times.
Gov. Pat Quinn's Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force is recommending that the RTA be eliminated and one agency be created with three operating arms - CTA, Pace, Metra. From another Sun-Times story:
An outside consultant recommended the New York model, saying it encourages more regionwide planning. Many variations of it are possible, noted Ashish Sen, the working group’s chair. One lawmaker has proposed dividing up the single regional agency into offices overseeing buses, commuter rail, rapid transit and paratransit for the six-county region.
A second model would place oversight of the CTA, Metra and Pace in the hands of a new office within the Illinois Department of Transportation and eliminate the RTA board.
The new office would have the power to withhold funds to force agreement between what has sometimes been bickering agencies, to coordinate regional plans and to implement major capital projects. Funding would be allocated according to a formula that would include performance to eliminate the “endless battle” over RTA discretionary funds that occurs every year between the CTA, Metra and Pace, said Sen, who also sits on the CTA board as a gubernatorial appointee.
Power at the three transit agencies is now so consolidated and mixed up in city and suburban politics that I certainly don't see this happening.
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