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Metra seeks input on strategic plan draft

(September 13, 2017) - 

Metra staff today 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,” said 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 of Directors and Metra’s senior leadership team, with input from the public and Metra employees. (Those statements appear at the end of this release.) 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. With sufficient, dependable funding, Metra could be and do so much more.

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. It is anticipated that the Strategic Plan will be revised periodically to address changing circumstances.

The draft document has been posted at and the public and other stakeholders are invited to submit comments online until Oct. 6, 2017 via A final plan will be presented to the Board at the November Board meeting for possible adoption.

Metra Mission: As part of a regional transportation network, Metra provides safe, reliable, efficient commuter rail service that enhances the economic and environmental health of Northeast Illinois.

Metra Vision: To be a world-class commuter rail agency linking communities throughout the region by

  • Providing the safest, most efficient, and most reliable service to our customers
  • Sustaining our infrastructure for future generations
  • Leading the industry in achieving continuous improvement, innovation, and transparency
  • Facilitating economic vitality throughout Northeast Illinois
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