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Metra hearing to be held Feb. 10 in Naperville

Commuters wait for an early morning train into Chicago at the Metra station in Naperville Wednesday, Jan. 21,  2014. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Commuters wait for an early morning train into Chicago at the Metra station in Naperville Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2014. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

In response to public concerns following the severe weather-related delays and near total shutdown of the Metra system in early January, state Reps. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) are hosting a public hearing for local residents and commuters to ask questions and get information on Metra readiness and response policies during severe weather events.

The hearing, to be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, at the Naperville Municipal Center’s City Council Chambers, will include a presentation by Metra officials in addition to a question and answer session with the public.

“As a legislator representing Metra’s busiest commuter rail line, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) with two of the most high-traffic commuter stations at Route 59 and Naperville within my district, I share the concern of local residents on Metra’s readiness for severe weather events and their ability to provide real-time access to updated train delay and cancellation information to commuters” Senger said. “Our hearing will give commuters a chance to ask questions directly of Metra and help identify areas where communication can be improved.”

“I’m pleased to be able to help with the facilitation of this public forum where people can hear directly from Metra officials and have their questions answered,” Sandack said. “The poor performance of Metra during this cold and snowy weather created unacceptable health risks for Illinoisans and I’m looking forward to hearing how Metra plans to prevent future breakdowns in service delivery for the thousands of Illinoisans who rely on Metra rails each day.”

Metra’s Interim Executive Director Don Orseno will be present to answer constituent questions and make a presentation on the commuter rail service’s response to weather-related events.

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