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Metra proposes more than $1 billion spending plan for 2011


Metra’s board recently approved the release of the agency’s proposed 2011 budget for public hearings and comments. The spending plan includes $634.2 million for operations and a $407.5 million capital program. No fare increase is planned for 2011.

To help address lower-than-projected ridership and sales tax receipts, as well as  higher insurance and maintenance costs, the agency plans to transfer $35 million from its 2010 capital program and $25 million from its 2011 capital program to help complete preventive maintenance work next year.

Metra also proposes to continue a hiring freeze and combine job functions to reduce costs.

The agency’s proposed 2011-2015 capital program includes $585 million in state bond program proceeds to replace 160 Highliner cars on the Metra Electric District. In addition, $175.8 million in state bond proceeds and other capital funding will be allocated to complete a number of station and parking improvements throughout the system.

Metra plans to hold public hearings on Nov. 3 and 4 to review and obtain feedback on the proposed spending plan. The board will vote on a final budget at its Nov. 19 meeting. The spending plan then will be forwarded to the Regional Transportation Authority, which will vote on the region’s transportation budget in December.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/18/2010