Sunday, May 6, 2007

RTA Reform Workgroup Developments

The RTA Reform Workgroup put together by Representative Julie Hamos has another meeting scheduled. The meetings appear to be open to all interested parties:

The RTA Reform Workgroup meeting has been re-scheduled for the following Wednesday, May 16th, from 8-10 am, in Room 413 of the Stratton Office Building. By the end of next week you should receive, via email, a draft bill based on the issues we discussed at the last meeting. This draft legislation will lead our discussion for the May 16th Workgroup meeting. Please RSVP to

Representative Hamos has not published minutes of the first two RTA Reform Workgroup meeting on her website. However, the following is an account of the first meeting, courtesy of the folks at the Transit Future initiative. It would be great if we could get an account of the May 2 meeting, which dealt with RTA funding and governance:

Recap of House Mass Transit Workgroup on RTA Reform Meeting 4/25

Members of the transit community met Wednesday morning in Springfield to discuss changes to the 1983 RTA Act. The session focused on the RTA’s role in securing federal funds for existing and future New Starts Project and setting performance measures for each of the service boards. State Representatives Bassi, Colvin, Mathias, Fortner, Ryg, Arroyo, and Hamos were joined by representative from RTA, CTA and Pace, along with transit advocates from the entire six-county region. Overall, those present were in agreement on increasing RTA’s role in evaluating and prioritizing New Start Projects among Metra, Pace and CTA. Increasing RTA’s role in the expansion and enhancement of transit in Northeastern Illinois would allow for improved regional planning and more effective allocation of state and federal funds.

The discussion of House Bills 520 and 1841 centered on the RTA’s ability to set performance measures for all three service boards. While there was general agreement on the need for performance measures, there was no consensus on whether they would be set by statute or by a stronger RTA. Regardless of the means by which performance measures are set, there must be a means by which all three service boards’ efficiency and effectiveness are evaluated and compared.

With recent progress among the service boards towards creating universal fare media, those present discussed RTA’s ability to set a universal fare structure across all three service boards to promote greater intersystem transfers. Once again, while there was consensus around the concept whether it would be accomplished by a stronger RTA or law was unclear. The experiences of other mass transit agencies have shown that ridership increases when reduced transfers between transit systems are implemented. In order for this to take place, RTA must have the authority to mediate between service boards.


Anonymous said...

The transit expertise constant: Over time, the number of assertions from transit experts is inversely proportional to the number of transit riders for the same period.

...the experiences of [what] transit agencies have shown...?

Anonymous said...

RTA reform is the reddest redd herring yet--thanks to the Friends of Julie Hamos. Doing so without dealing with the organic issues of the CTA is like redecorating the living room over a flooded basement. Shame on the knowing and pity the followers.

Anonymous said...

Yup--Kruesi the Maestro is gone, but his production company endures and Julie Hamos hasn't made the pop charts with covers of the golden oldies. Time to disband the whole theatre troupe over at the Regional Transit Association...for openers.

Anonymous said...

The commenter makes a good point on the necessity of dealing with the organic issue of the CTA. I take this to mean CTA's statutory underpinning separate from the RTA.

The CTA is an emancipated service board. Established in 1945 pursuant to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act, the CTA has its own separate underpinning independent of the RTA, and has powers equal to or exceeding the RTA - its parent agency.

Moderator said...

Last anonymous--What is your proposal for reconciling the RTA Act with the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act? Tuck the CTA into the RTA Act along with Metra and Pace?