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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Metra Board of Directors met January 17.

By Lhalie Castillo | Apr 14, 2018

Shutterstock 112445855

Metra Board of Directors met January 17.

Here is the minutes provided by the Board:

The Board of Directors of the Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority met in a public session for a Board Meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in the Metra Board Room, 547 W.Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, pursuant to notice.

Roll Call:

Members Present: R. Brown, R. Craig, D. De Graff, A. Holt, K. Koehler, S. Messerli, S. Palmer, J. Plante, J. Zediker, and Chairman Carlson

Members Absent: None

Public Comment:



1. Approval of the Minutes from the Board Meeting of December 13, 2017

Director De Graff moved and Director Zediker seconded approval of the Board meeting minutes of December 13, 2017. With a roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously.

Consent Agenda:

2. Capital Procurements from December 13, 2017 through January 16, 2018

A-1 Change Order for Office Cubicles

A-2 Change Order for Metra Financial System Replacement

A-3 Change Order for Workforce Talent Acquisition

A-4 Contract for Building Materials, Lumber, Plywood and Nails

A-5 Contract for Toilet System

A-6 Contract for Clean Agent Fire Suppression System

A-7 Contract for Remote Terminal Units

3. Operating Procurements from December 13, 2017 through January 16, 2018

B-1 Contract for Racine Parts

B-2 Contract for Kershaw Parts

Real Estate and Contracts

4. Grade Crossing Improvement Agreement with the State of Illinois Department of Transportation, Rock

Island Line-Vermont Street, Blue Island

5. Crossing Improvement Agreement with the Village of Bartlett Milwaukee District West Line

6. Metra/IDOT/CDOT Intergovernmental Agreement for the Chicago Terminal Planning Study

Chairman Carlson tabled #6, Metra/IDOT/CDOT Intergovernmental Agreement for the Chicago Terminal Planning Study, from the Agenda and noted there was an error on #8, the Management Personnel Report -- on page one under Union to Management, the last item has the person listed as Lieutenant and it should read Captain.

Pursuant to Board request, items A-1, A-2 and A-3 were discussed. After discussion, Chairman Carlson called a roll call vote and there were 10 ayes with the exception of Director Messerli who voted nay for A-2.

Receive And File Reports

7. Corporate Website Activity Report for December 2017

8. Management Personnel Report for December 2017

9. Metra Capital Procurements of $500,000 and Under for November 2017

10. Metra Operating Procurements of $500,000 and Under for November 2017

11. Office of Diversity & Civil Rights Activity Report for December 2017

12. Real Estate Report for December 2017

13. Ridership Trends Report for November 2017

14. Commuter Rail System On-Time Performance Report for November 2017

15. Preliminary Revenues and Ridership Report for December 2017

16. No Legislative Update for December 2017

17. Quarterly Operating Contract Report

No discussion ensued after on the Receive and File Reports.

18. Deputy Executive Director - Operations, State Of Metra Operations Report

Pete Zwolfer, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, reported that December 2017 on-time performance was 93.9%. There were 989 delays with 46% between 6-10 minutes and 21% between 11-15 minutes. Signal/switch failure, weather and freight interference topped the list for delay occurrences. There were four major delay events. One was a signal bungalow fire at B-35 junction which caused 89 delays, a contractor error created signal and power failure causing 56 delays. Due to weather there was broken rail causing 73 delays and switch/signal failure causing 78 delays. There were 28 primary delays due to mechanical issues. On-time performance on the South West line was 93.8% with 39 delays. The month of December ended at 92.8% during the peak period.

19. DED Quarterly Update – Online Auction Update

John Milano, Deputy Executive Director of Administration reported on Metra's online public auction pilot program which is helping create interest in the sale of Metra's used property. The testing market consists of used vehicles, heavy equipment, some rail car parts and other surplus items. There have been 12 online auctions. Auction sales allow for higher bids and a shorter process allowing the old inventory to move much faster. Conventional sales of a 181 used vehicles produced an average selling price of $780, compared with the 72 used vehicles sold through the online auction with average selling price of $3,100. The auction process has allowed us to open up to a wider audience with over 700,000 subscribers. Multiple websites are being used to sell Metra's property.

20. Monthly Financial Report

Tom Farmer, Chief Financial Officer reported Metra financial Fare revenue is $1.2m (0.4%) below budget and will be about $2.5m (0.8%) below budget at yearend. Leases and trackage are $3.3m favorable, $1.8m easements/onetime items and $1.5m trackage. Advertising is $1m over budget due to car wraps and more sales of wall/car space for ads. Other Revenue is over budget $3.8m, the biggest item being about $3m in project billings. Transportation $9.4m favorable, largely from (1) Police, Ticket Agent headcount/OT and (2) over-budgeted for the PSA labor settlement. Engineering $0.9m unfavorable. Mechanical was $4.4m favorable, good news labor and unfavorable materials, mainly air brakes, UP batteries and carbon strips for MED Pantographs. Admin was $4.1m favorable YTD. Diesel was $5.5m favorable. MED power was $1.8m favorable. Claims and insurance was $6.2m over budget due to some adverse judgments and a full trial schedule causing high litigation costs. Downtown stations was under budget by $1.8m due to a lower CPI increase on the Union Station Bill. YTD Operating expense was under budget by $19.9m and our recovery ratio was 56.0%, above our budget 53.1%. Funding - $17.8m down on funding YTD through September. YTD through November, we are $26.8m positive on revenues and spending. By yearend, we will be close to net zero. The Illinois Department of Revenue surcharge has cost the region about $9m and Metra about $2m.

21. Office Of Diversity & Civil Rights Quarterly Update

Janice R. Thomas, Senior Division Director, Office of Diversity & Civil Rights (ODCR) presented a comparison of Metra's workforce: In 2016, Metra's workforce consisted of 59.8% Minorities & Women and 40.1% Non-Minority Men and 60.7% Minorities & Women, 39.3% Non-Minority Men in 2017. EEO Training Report: 51 employee trainings, 362 employees trained online, 949 employees trained in classroom. Certification Report: 220 files processed, 73 consultations, 73 site visits, 219 Metra hosted certified DBE firms. Labor Compliance Report: 1,723 certified payrolls reviewed, 2,511 applications for payment processed. Outreach Efforts: Metra has hosted multiple outreach events. Metra hosted an On Track to Success Vendor Fair with 12 awardees, 4 panelists, 30 exhibitors, and over 300 attendees. In 2017, there has been an 8.51% increase in the number of contracts awarded with DBE goals, a 39.57% increase in DBE commitment dollar value and an increase of 47.32% increase in the total number of contracts monitored with DBE participation. 2017 Total contracts with DBE participation by Ethnicity and gender: Black American 35, Hispanic American 24, Native American 0, Asian American 21, Asian-Pacific American 12, NonMinority 65, with a total of 157. ODCR 2018 Goals consist of Update EEO training program, identify employee training tracking system, implement updated Limited English Proficiency (LEP) program, and increase DBE participation by $2-5m.

22. CEO/Executive Director Report

Jim Derwinski, CEO/Executive Director reported on December 19th he spoke in front of the House Transportation Committee sitting together with the RTA and the CTA as one panel. Also present were four class one railroads, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Highway Authority, and many experts in the field; both in logistics and strategic planning transportation, and people that manage the water ways. On January 18th Jim participated in a meeting with the RTA to provide Metra's status and concerns so we are a collective agency and have a unified voice when it comes to our message for the Illinois legislature. On January 9th there was a meeting at Western Railway club with speaker, CEO Jim Squires of the Norfolk Southern Corporation. He talked about the CREATE Project and how the public/private relationship works benefiting from collaboration.

Jim recognized Hilary Konczal for being appointed to the DuPage's Rail Safety Counsel Board of Directors. The US department of transportation invited Hilary to be the only representative from the commuter rail industry to the Transportation Rail Safety Institute. Hilary will be providing training for the rail system safety classes. Congratulations Hilary.

The Fare structure study public meetings will be announced in the early part of February.

As a reminder, on Feb 5th Metra will be opening the first Heritage Corridor station.

Jim presented a brief slideshow with an overview of Don Orseno's retirement.

23. New Business

No new business.

24. Recess To Closed Session, Pursuant To The Open Meetings Act, For Matters Relating To Discussion Of Minutes Of Closed Meetings And/Or Discussion On Selection, Performance, Or Discipline Of Specific Personnel Or Legal Counsel And/Or Discussion On The Purchase Or Lease Of Property For Metra's Use, Including Meetings Held For The Purpose Of Discussing Whether A Particular Administrative Tribunal, Or When The Board Finds That An Action Is Probable Or Imminent, In Which Case The Basis For The Finding Shall Be Recorded And Entered Into The Minutes Of The Closed Meeting Pursuant To Section; 2 (C) (1) (5) (6) (11) (21).

At 12:40p.m. Director Carlson requested a recess to closed session. Director Craig moved and Director Plante seconded. With a leave by the Board for the previous roll call, the motion carried unanimously.

Board recessed at 12:40 p.m.

25. Discussion With Possible Action -- Settlement Of Claim

The Board reconvened from closed session at 2:40 p.m. A roll call was taken. Members Present: R. Brown, R. Craig, D. De Graff, A. Holt, K. Koehler, S. Messerli, S. Palmer, J. Plante, J. Zediker, and Chairman Carlson

Members Absent: None

Sue Ann Rosen, General Counsel recommended that the Board authorize the Law Department to settle a dispute between Metra and Divane Brothers Construction with respect to a dispute involving 31st Power Station in the amount of $824,500.00.

Director Plante moved and Director Craig seconded with a roll call vote, the motion carried unanimously.

26. Adjourn

Director Plante moved and Director Craig seconded to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously.

Board adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

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Organizations in this Story

Illinois Department of TransportationMetra Board of Directors