Metra administrators will meet this week with H-F area residents displeased by the transit agency’s plans to cut northbound service to 59th Street in Chicago, and also to eliminate the Flossmoor station’s “first on” status.
A public meeting is scheduled from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. March 5 at Flossmoor Village Hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road. Metra Chief of Staff Janice Thomas will be at the meeting along with Legislative Affairs/Community Relations Administrator Noe Gallardo and members of the transportation staff, Flossmoor Assistant Village Manager Allison Matson said.
Members of the H-F community reacted strongly against a proposed Metra schedule change that would reduce the number of stops between Flossmoor and 59th Street and reduce stops at the 59th Street station from 14 to three.
Flossmoor village board members announced opposition to the plan and passed out flyers at the train station last week. Flossmoor’s Future, a civic group, also distributed literature at the station and encouraged residents to voice their opposition to the plan.
Changes would begin later this spring as a result of the implementation of a system called positive train control, a safety measure required to be in place by the end of 2020 by federal law. PTC can help stop a train if the engineer doesn’t obey a signal or exceeds the speed limit.
In a Feb. 28 letter to Metra Executive Director James Derwinski, Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun said the village is strongly opposed to the proposed changes.
“These proposed schedule changes will have a significant negative impact to Flossmoor residents who either work or study at the University of Chicago, or whose children attend the University of Chicago Lab School.
The university is a major employer and economic engine on Chicago’s South Side and for the South Suburbs, Braun said.
“Our residents have informed us that these proposed changes could force them off of public transportation and onto the road, thereby increasing congestion and lengthening commutes,” he said.
Metra’s longtime service to Flossmoor, and the convenience that the trains bring, are major factors in residents choosing to live in the community, he said.
“It is critical that Metra continues to support our region. The Village of Flossmoor will take a strong position in support of our commuters needs.” Braun said.