Local News

Flossmoor names new member to area’s mass transit district

Flossmoor has appointed the newest board member for the South Suburban Mass Transit District, a local governmental agency that owns parking lots along Metra’s Electric Line.

Richard Bumstead was unanimously appointed at the Sept. 18 village board meeting. Bumstead, a Flossmoor resident, is currently chair of the village’s Public Art Commission, which maintains the community’s sculpture garden.

Mayor Paul Braun said Bumstead has no experience in transportation but has been an Electric Line commuter for a number of years.

Ronald Haney, Flossmoor’s previous representative on the district’s board, passed away in January.

James McCabe, the mass transit district’s executive director, told the H-F Chronicle that “about 98 percent” of the agency’s functions have to do with the operation and maintenance of commuter parking lots in Homewood, Olympia Fields and University Park.

Homewood’s parking lots are located along Harwood Avenue and Park Avenue, on the east and west side of the rail line.

The Olympia Fields parking lot is located at 211th Street, McCabe said.

The mass transit district receives no tax revenues but can receive grant money. McCabe said the district expects to receive a grant that will allow it to open another Homewood lot along Park north of the Amtrak station, a rail heritage area where an Illinois Central train engine and caboose are located. If that happens, the engine and caboose will have to be moved, he said.

The current Park Avenue lot is located south of the Amtrak station.

The South Suburban Mass Transit District was established in 1967 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Before the creation of Metra as a Chicago-area commuter line, the district received grant money that was used to purchase rail cars for the Electric Line. McCabe said the district was also instrumental in the extension of the Electric Line from Sauk Trail in Richton Park to Stuenkel Road in University Park.

The mass transit district board is made up of representatives from 14 south suburban communities.

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