Transit task force report: Dump RTA, create new oversight board

A Gov. Quinn task force today called for eliminating the Regional Transportation Authority as well as the boards of the CTA, Metra and Pace. Oversight would be managed by a “single integrated agency with one board and (initially) three operating units.”

The plan would have to be approved by state legislators, which seems like a tall task. CTA President Forrest Claypool has already panned a preliminary release of the task force report. That seems to suggest he has Mayor Emanuel’s support on that. And that means the plan isn’t going anywhere in the General Assembly.

The task force included some familiar, high-profile names. The ethics working group was chaired by former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Former CTA Board Chair Carole Brown headed up the working group on finance. That group “recommended that the current formula for allocating operating funds be scrapped in favor of one based on performance,” according to the Tribune story.

There’s plenty more to be sorted out here. We’ll have to see how this all shakes out over the next few months.
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  • For a supposedly unanimous report, Carole Brown sure panned it in the Tribune video. So it gets down to whether Quinn, by putting her on the panel, and Claypool mouthing off means that Quinn wanted this to fail (and surprisingly it hasn't yet), Emanuel really has the votes to kill it, and Vladimir V. Madigan wants to keep this source of political stain and jobs for his in-laws, instead of providing an efficient transit system.

    As I noted with regard to the 2008 legislation and the Biss proposal, the balance of power is in the suburbs, not the city. Emanuel knows that he is trying to hold onto only his 1/3 of the pie, in return for having press ops and giving his neighbor a job.

    I suggest that if Claypool thinks he is worth $240k/year, he start looking in the private sector. Maybe Dilbert's PHB can use his corporate speak skills. Not surprisingly, Dilbert is on point today.

  • I think the BEST PART is that President Preckwinkle will be able to Appoint 5 Board Members:,0,7940058.graphic

  • Since she's part of the Berrios machine,* I don't see how that's an improvement, nor that she gets any appointments in DuPage. Her appointments got kicked off the Metra and RTA boards.

    *Even though she denies it, like my rep denies to the Tribune that she's part of the Kim Jung Madigan machine.

  • In reply to jack:
  • In reply to jack:

    Also, Tyrone Crider was appointed by her to the RTA board and then forced to resign.

    So, Mike, with this crooked record, why should those of us who live in Cook County want Preckwinkle to make appointments?

  • In reply to jack:

    Because A N Y T H I NG is better than the present ongoing "Screw-the-Public" situation.

    Also, (IMHO) Pres. Preckwinkle seems to utilize a "concensus" form of governance.

    As opposed to the present "Vlad, the Impaler" form of unreachable "City Governace".

  • CTA/City Hall has done some good things, they got the Red Line Rehab dome on time, and I think within Budget.

    But let's look at some of their recent PR Conquests: the #11 Lincoln Ave. bus partially discontinued; the #31 31st bus not being implemented (in spite of INTENSE community support), no Southeast Corridor CTA Rail services, an Ashland BRT nobody (except CTA/City Hall) wants -- and finally the unbeliveable ARROGANCE (like they believe Jedi Mind Tricks actually work).

  • I'll agree with the point on the autocratic stance of da current Mare.

    However, the proposal is not to give Preckwinkle 5 seats, it is to give the Cook County Board President 5 seats. Remember when your former neighbors, the Strogers, were Board Presidents?

    Basically, too, the 2 Strogers are the reason suburban legislators had basically legislated that only suburban county board members be given appointment power, although they decided to throw Stroger a bone in the 2008 legislation, in order to give more seats to collar county Board Presidents. If the current recommendation is left like this, that basically abdicates an effective Cook County suburban voice in the agency, even though Preckwinkle's appointments were supposed to be from outside the city. It turned out Rakestraw really didn't live in Flossmoor, but he was a contributor to Preckwinkle's campaign.

    However, the real reason this is dead on arrival is that all the news reports about the report is that Lisa's stepdaddy is up to his forehead deep in the patronage muck at Metra, and of course we know who controls the legislature. Instead of being embarrassed, he sent out Steve Brown to pick at nits.

    Also, the last reform (in response to the Pagano mess) was to legislate an inspector general, and all reports are that he has still buried the case exposed by the Clifford firing.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Strogers were an embarrassment to this arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, never mind to Black people..........

    They should NEVER have been in office in the first place, but such is the devisive B/S that Illinois Politics creates!

  • True, but nothing in the law says that Todd or his ilk can't run again, and, as I mentioned, the proposal won't say Toni Preckwinkle.

  • In reply to jack:

    You are correct, it says "Cook County President" (which Toni is right now - but not necessarily in the future). But it is still better than having all that power concentrated in City Hall.

  • In election years, tilting at windmills can result in a 4 point bump in the polls.

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    The question is whether Protoplasm Quinn has any backbone to tilt at this one, given that he is already in the hole over the tax increase. The other question is if Rauner wants to do anything to offend his friend Emanuel, if you believe Kelly Truth [sic] Squad.

    But I'm sure that the tax increase vs. the minimum wage is going to overshadow this as a campaign issue.

  • They should have done this when the RTA was created.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    The issues is that there were two RTAs created. The first was created 1974 basically only to purchase services from existing carriers (CTA, suburban bus companies and districts, and long haul railroads), but with bankruptcies got stuck operating some of them. Maybe in 1983, the decision should have been made to have the RTA operate everything, but the political decision was made to create this kind of structure. The heat wasn't even on in 2007, when the legislature sort of bought the line that "more funding," i.e. more taxes would cure things with the illusion of reform. However, like the pension mess, things in transit have become such a corrupt and inefficient mess that it can't now be ignored.

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