Metra seeks public input on strategic plan draft

RELATED TOPICS: CHICAGO | COMMUTER | TRANSIT | PASSENGER | MIDWEST
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Commuter equipment shuffles about Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago after a Friday morning rush in June 2013.
Brian Schmidt
CHICAGO – Metra has unveiled a draft of its first-ever comprehensive strategic plan and invited its board of directors, customers, stakeholders, and the public to comment before the document is finalized.

“This plan sets the strategic direction for the agency, and is intended to be a roadmap leading Metra from where the agency is today to where we would like to be five years from now,” says Metra CEO/Executive Director Don Orseno. “I want to caution that the plan may be less ambitious than expected. That is a result of our chronic funding shortfalls, which severely limit our ability to improve the agency.”

The plan incorporates the Mission and Vision statements that were finalized in January 2013 with guidance from the board and Metra’s senior leadership team, with input from the public and Metra employees. Using additional public feedback and working with board members, Metra staff then focused the plan around five strategic goals, which are:
  • Prioritize Safety and Security Awareness
  • Invest in Workforce
  • Ensure Financial Stability
  • Deliver Quality Customer Service
  • Optimize Capital Assets
Each of the five strategic goals are linked to a set of initiatives, with measures that will be used to evaluate the agency’s progress. During the plan’s first year, Metra will focus on launching many of these initiatives, and the remaining four years will focus on bringing the initiatives to fruition.

To ensure that the document is realistic and relevant, the time horizon of the plan is limited to five years, and the plan only includes initiatives that staff believes can be completed within that timeframe, given Metra’s current resources.

Metra also plans to develop a set of key performance indicators to track the agency’s progress toward achieving the goals of the plan, which may be displayed in a dashboard or scorecard.

The draft document has been posted at www.metrarail.com/strategicplan and the public and other stakeholders are invited to submit comments online until Sept. 30, 2017, via strategicplan@metrarr.com. A final plan will be presented to the board at its November meeting for possible adoption.

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