Tomorrow, I am in Lisle and Chicago. Shirley Perez, Executive Director of the Family
Support Network and I will meet with Director Casey to discuss flexible day services.
After that, I’m on to Chicago for a meeting with Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas. The
State of Illinois is launching an effort to develop a
Path to Transformation Medicaid Waiver
under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waiver authority.

It should be an interesting day.

As you know, I was appointed by Governor Quinn to serve on the Northeastern Illinois
Public Transit Task Force or NEIL. Yesterday we released an Interim Report which was
required by the Governor’s Executive Order. Click here to read the NEIL Interim Report.
Story below from the Chicago Tribune on the NEIL meeting yesterday.


Study: Merge transit agencies
RTA consultant suggests system like New York’s
By Richard Wronski Tribune reporter

The Chicago area should consider folding its separate transit boards into a strong, unified
agency to escape the often contentious rivalry that exists between the CTA, Metra and
Pace, a consultant said Wednesday.

Such a superagency would be similar to transportation agencies in New York City and
Philadelphia, said the consultant, who presented his findings to the Regional Transportation
Authority and to a task force charged with reforming the transit system after this
summer’s controversy at Metra.

The main problem with the RTA, the oversight agency for the CTA, Metra and Pace, is that
it lacks the power to support the planning and decision-making process that state law intended,
said Richard Mudge, vice president for Vienna, Va.-based transportation consultant Delcan
Corp.    “There is a mismatch between the RTA’s tools and what the legislature asked the
agency to do,” Mudge told the agency.

Although the study was paid for by the RTA, Mudge also was invited to address the transit
task force created by Gov. Pat Quinn after Metra’s board was rocked by the controversy
over the awarding of ousted CEO Alex Clifford a severance package potentially worth

The task force Wednesday issued an interim report that did not make recommendations
but listed six findings, including that “portions of the transit system have been plagued by
scandal and corruption, to the detriment of the system as a whole.”

The report also found that the structure of the transit system has led to “duplication,
competition, uncoordinated service and a lack of accountability.”

The RTA paid Delcan $383,000 to come up with ways to resolve the longstanding turf
wars between the transit agencies.

The battling among the agencies has taken center stage at RTA board meetings in recent
months with the rivals fighting over how to divvy up state funding. The monthslong dispute
was resolved Wednesday with an agreement passed by board members with the exception
of DuPage County representative Patrick Durante.

Although the amount of funding was relatively small, the transit agencies and their
representatives became “pretty well dug in,” according to Chairman John Gates Jr.
The stalemate put the RTA in violation of state law for failing to reach a budget deadline,
and threatened to jeopardize mass transit service on Dec. 31 if the dispute continued to
prevent the agencies from adopting their own budgets and holding public hearings,
Gates said.

The study outlined eight scenarios for revising how the region’s transit system is governed
and funded. The best approach, Mudge suggested, would be to revise funding formulas
and award money to the agencies based on how well they reach performance goals.

A single umbrella agency like New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority offers the
“best potential to achieve regional objectives,” the study said.
Under this scenario, the CTA, Metra and Pace would become “operating arms or subsidiaries”
and no longer have their own boards.   Twitter @richwronski

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)