Metra Chief Says Rail Agency Doesn’t Have Enough Money For Brake-Safety Mandate

Metra Chief Seeks Delay In New Braking System Startup

(CBS) — The head of Metra is explaining why the agency is asking for a delay in the deadline for a new computerized braking system.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Don Orseno says Metra wants the “positive train control” system but is asking for an extension of the January 2016 federal deadline.

There have been some major technical issues – and then there’s the funding.

“The fund challenge for Metra, right now, we estimate is about $234 million, to put this system in place. We’re a commuter agency. We don’t have that kind of funding,” he says.

Orseno said Metra would have to take money from other capital projects, such as bridges repairs.

“Those are all competing for the same capital dollars,” says Orseno, who’s hoping for more federal money to help pay for the braking system.

Some say a “positive train control” braking system could have prevented a recent fatal train crash in New York City.

Orseno was political editor Craig Dellimore’s guest on “At Issue” this weekend.

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