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Metra's board yesterday elected Romayne Brown as chair, effective Nov. 1.
Brown, who represents Cook County, Illinois, on the board, will succeed Norman Carlson. Carlson will remain on the board as vice chair.
Brown is the first African-American woman to chair Metra's board, agency officials said in a press release. She was named to Metra's board in 2013, and has served as vice chair since October 2016. She has more than 31 years of operational and customer service experience at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), finishing her career with the agency in 2010 as the vice president of rail operations.
“I am honored that my fellow directors have chosen me to lead them during the most difficult time in Metra’s history,” Brown said in a press release. “We have many challenges ahead due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I look forward to working with the board and Metra staff to meet those challenges and work toward creating a better Metra.”
Brown said her priorities will be maintaining Metra’s service and on-time performance; working to restore Metra’s ridership and finances in the wake of the pandemic; overseeing one of the largest infusions of capital dollars since Metra’s creation; and implementing a pilot project with Cook County to provide lower fares in south Cook County. She will also continue her "strong support" for Metra's efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion in its workforce and fair and equitable contracting, Metra officials said in a press release.