It was a pleasure to join Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno, members of the Metra Board of Directors and staff, and regional elected officials on today’s Metra Safety Train excursion to commemorate National Safety Month.
It was especially moving to hear the firsthand experience of train accident survivor Mark Kalina, Jr. He brings to life the theme of this year’s Metra’s Safety Poster and Essay contest “Make Safety Your Focus,” which calls attention to the need to eliminate distractions when around tracks and trains.
While on the train, riders learned about the challenges of implementing the federally mandated safety system called positive train control or PTC. PTC is a computerized system that prevents certain types of train-to-train collisions, helps avoid derailments and other accidents caused by excessive speed and increases safety for workers. It’s new technology that is extremely complicated and very expensive – the most recent cost estimate for Metra to implement PTC is between $350 million and $400 million.
The need for capital funding for our regional public transportation system grows every day. Investment in our system benefits us all. Thanks again for a wonderful day!