New group forms to represent commuter rail interests

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ALEXANDRA, Va. — Metra, NJ Transit, and TriMet of Portland, Ore., are among the initial members of the Commuter Rail Coalition, a new association formed to advocate for commuter railroads in the U.S.

Describing itself as “a single-minded advocate in Washington” for U.S. commuter railroads, the coalition website says it is “a collection of agencies, operators, and public owners, along with the supply and consulting sectors” with two core purposes: to educate and advocate.

Metra CEO and Executive Director Jim Derwinski is the group’s chairman, with Tri-Met General Manager Doug Kelsey as vice chairman.

“Commuter railroads need the focus in Washington that brings our issues forward,” Derwinski said in a press release announcing the group’s formation. “By coming together as a single group, the Commuter Rail Coalition allows us to leverage our collective voices on the issues that matter.”

Other coalition members are the Connecticut Department of Transportation; the North County Transit District of northern San Diego County; the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District (South Shore); the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the overseeing agency for Tri-Rail; and Washington, D.C., consulting firm FTI Consulting.

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