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Metra Boss Gave Riders A Lift Home After Train Breakdown

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roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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(CBS) – The next time a Metra train breaks down, it may be the boss who gives you a ride home.

It happened Jan. 26, when a Metra Rock Island District train broke down inbound near New Lenox. New executive director Don Orseno lives nearby, and the veteran railroader went to the scene to see how he could help.

A broken hose to the water pump made the engine inoperable, so Metra had to transfer riders to another train, not the easiest of things to do on a Sunday morning. By the time the train arrived, four people opted to go home instead.

Orseno didn’t tell them who he was. He just offered them a ride to their station.

“They didn’t know what position I had with the company. That wasn’t my intent,” he said.

They accepted, and when one man called for a taxi, Orseno told him to “save the expense” and that he would drive the man home instead.

There’s no record of Orseno’s predecessors ever doing something similar. Orseno said he has done it before and he will do it again if the opportunity presents itself.

Another Metra employee, who asked not to be identified, said he finds Orseno’s approach “refreshing.”

“He goes out to be a help because he knows how it all works,” the employee said. “He gives a lot of clear direction on how to do stuff.”

The employee said that Metra workers and managers cannot fool him easily.

“He’s very clear in what he expects,” the employee said.

Orseno, incidentally, did not seek publicity for what he did, nor did he find it that out of the ordinary.

“We always try to accommodate our passengers the best way we can,” he said.

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