Metra's Departing Boss: Increase Taxes to Help Transit

June 16, 2006

Outgoing Metra Board Chairman Jeffrey Ladd says a tax increase is necessary to properly fund mass transit in Illinois.

Ladd is leaving Metra after 22 years. He says his number one regret is not completing a rail system that connects suburban routes.

He blames that delay on maintenance costs and not enough money in the pot. He says there's one way to make sure Metra's funding woes are addressed.

"I don't know how it's going to happen without a tax increase," Ladd says.

But he says it's up to others to work out the details.

"The governor and the General Assembly are going to have to move to solve this problem - not just for Metra, but for the CTA, and for PACE and for a lot of other things," he says.

Ladd says to fund regular operating costs, Metra's been forced to put off some capital improvement projects.