Last week, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, attended a community meeting that representatives from Metra and the BNSF Railway held to address concerns about service delays.
Lipinski initially called out the companies in November for the service delays, and wrote on his Facebook page “Yes we’re Chicagoans and can handle some cold weather for a bit [though we shouldn’t have to], but we absolutely can’t be 75 minutes late to work.”
The congressman then said that Metra and BNSF needed to hold a public meeting. They did so Dec. 10 at McClure Junior High School in Western Springs, with the CEO of Metra and the vice president of passenger operations for BNSF in attendance.
Lipinski was able to address the crowd.
“We’re here tonight because 2019 needs to be a better year for all Metra BNSF riders,” he said, according to a news release.
He said everyone understands that problems can occur, but the Metra BNSF line failed “all too often” in 2018. He said there have been delays, cancellations, broken air conditioners and other problems.
Lipinski called on the Surface Transportation board, the federal railroad regulator, to increase its oversight on fixing the line’s issues. But he said the board’s power is limited.
“That is something I would like to change,” Lipinski said.
He said he is working on passing a federal infrastructure bill early next year. He also recently was appointed to Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker’s transition team on infrastructure.