Local Mayors Ask Metra for Additional Heritage Corridor Trains
Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves and Romeoville Mayor John Noak plan to deliver a letter to Metra's board of directors Friday morning, according to Congressman Dan Lipinski's office.
U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and 22 local elected officials are asking Metra to add two rush hour trains to the Heritage Corridor line—one morning inbound train and one evening outbound train.
The Heritage Corridor line runs from Joliet to Chicago, with stations in Lockport, Lemont, Willow Springs and Summit. Plans are underway to build a new station in Romeoville. Currently, the line has three-round trip trains per day, with no midday or weekend service.
Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves and Romeoville Mayor John Noak delivered a letter to Metra's board of directors at its meeting in Chicago on Friday, according Lipinski's office.
“The bottom line is that the current level of service of just three round-trip trains per day on the Heritage Corridor isn’t nearly enough,” Lipinski said in a press release. “Will County’s population has surged by 175,000 in the last decade, and Cook County communities along the line have also grown. But Heritage Corridor service has not kept pace. That’s why today we are all speaking with one voice to urge Metra to add one inbound and one outbound rush hour train as a first step toward expanding service.”
Lipinski has long been a proponent of improving transportation in the southwest surburbs, particularly along Metra's Heritage Corridor line. In April 2011, he held a press conference to announce a capacity study funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Although results of the study have yet to be released, Lipinski said it only considered what would be needed to add six new Metra trains. Moreover, it focused on adding trains during midday, not in the morning or evening.
Lipinski believes Metra can add two rush hour trains without making costly infrastructure upgrades.
“Adding the two trains we are talking about is something that we should be able to do in the near future at modest cost,” he said.
With construction on a Romeoville Metra station scheduled to begin in 2014 and an East Side development plan in the works, Noak has also taken an active interest in the Heritage Corridor.
“With the addition of a new Romeoville station next year, adding more trains to the Heritage Corridor is a top priority for the village,” Noak said in the release. “Our population has almost doubled in the last decade, and with growth continuing in the area, we need to give residents more options for getting to work.”
During Lemont's state of the village address in March, Reaves said increasing Metra service is one of his main goals in 2012.
“Lemont residents have been clamoring for more service on the Heritage Corridor,” Reaves said in the release. “This is something that is truly needed and I strongly encourage Metra to give full attention and consideration to this request.”
Would you like to see more trains added to the Heritage Corridor line? When, and how many? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.