A new report from Gov. Pat Quinn's transit task force is recommending a shake-up to the structure of the RTA, Metra, CTA and Pace systems to streamline operations and budget woes. The blue-ribbon transit study commission is also recommending ethics reforms. Carol Marin gets the details of the report from the co-chairs of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force, George Ranney Jr. and Ann Schneider, and the Task Force’s Ethics chairman, Patrick Fitzgerald. Read the full report.
Last August, Gov. Pat Quinn issued an executive order creating the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force to address concerns regarding the current structure of the northeastern Illinois public transit system.
The 15-member task force met 11 times, which was supplemented by individual discussions with leaders of other transit agencies throughout the country, and created a final report outlining their recommendations.
In terms of governance, the task force recommends transit governance should be consolidated into a single agency, replacing the four existing boards of the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace.
The new governing body would feature 21 voting members, which would be composed of appointees by the Mayor of Chicago, Cook County President, Collar Counties, and Governor.
The governing board would be responsible for approving goals, policies, plans, budgets, capital programs, debt, fares, organizational structure, service and performance standards, and following recommendations from the relevant standing committees. Under the task force’s proposal, all board actions would require a majority vote that must include at least two appointees of each of the following: Mayor of Chicago, Cook County President, Collar Counties, and Governor.
The task force also recommended that candidates must undergo a background check, as well as submit a Disclosure of Economic Interest and Affiliation prior to their appointments to the governing board.
While members of the four current boards receive compensation, the task force recommended the elimination of board compensation, other than incidental expenses related to travel and meals.
*According to a CTA media relations representative, Chicago Transit Board members appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel have agreed not to receive monetary compensation for their positions on the board.
~Alexandra Silets contributed to this report.