UP-West Line NEPA Documentation: Metra
Objective: To ensure smoother train traffic flow and reduce conflicts between freight and commuter trains that share the line, improving the route’s reliability and efficiency.
Challenge: Add approximately 7.8 miles of a new third mainline track in two sections of the UP-West Line: from River Forest to Melrose Park and from West Chicago to Geneva. These are the only remaining two-track sections on the UP-West Line between Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago to Elburn.
Services: National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance and documentation, project documentation, stakeholder engagement and coordination with Union Pacific Railroad, forest preserve districts, park districts and other federal, state, and regional agencies.
Solutions: Metro Strategies is assisting with the preparation of two NEPA Documented Categorical Exclusions (DCEs) and is the primary author of the following sections: Purpose and Need, Alternatives, Section 4(f)/Parklands, Community Impacts, Environmental Justice and Land Use. Metro Strategies is approaching this work as part of a larger team with many authors to create a seamless document for the client.
Jeffery Jump Customer Satisfaction Survey: CTA/CDOT
Objective: To collect, review and document rider satisfaction with the Jeffery Jump service, which provides an important link for commuters traveling to/from the South Side to the Loop.
Challenge: To understand customer satisfaction in light of the final service upgrades (Bus Rapid Transit) completed in 2013.
Services: Survey design, data analysis and summary report.
Solutions: Metro Strategies managed the entire survey process, collecting over 1,500 completed surveys. Metro Strategies analyzed data to gauge levels of customer satisfaction regarding a range of issues such as consistency of wait times between buses and bus schedules. The analysis included a close look at historical data from previous surveys to determine changes in levels of customer satisfaction. Metro Strategies issued a final report including initial findings and recommendations.
High Speed Rail (HSR) Motorist Behavior Study: IDOT
Objective: To document changes in motorist behavior since increased gate/crossing warning times took effect in 2012 in Odell, Illinois, to accommodate the much-anticipated Chicago to St. Louis HSR Amtrak service.
Challenge: To observe motorists and their behavior at six, at-grade crossings in Odell with varying trains that use the corridor: freight, Amtrak Texas Eagle and Amtrak Lincoln HSR Service. At the time, Odell was the only portion of the HSR corridor where Amtrak trains were travelling up to 110 mph.
Services: Site visits, video recording and motorist observations/documentation, stakeholder interviews, data collection/analysis, initial and final reports.
Solutions: Metro Strategies worked closely with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to complete a motorist behavior study at the request of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The study needed to meet FRA requirements, but there was no existing protocol for HSR motorist behavior studies so Metro Strategies was responsible for establishing the study’s guidelines and methodologies. After a six-day period of site visits, motorist behavior documentation and stakeholder interviews, a second round of data collection was conducted using video cameras at three key intersections to ensure statistically significant findings. Metro Strategies analyzed over 380 hours of footage to document vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle movements across the tracks, and produced a final report with findings for IDOT and ICC. FRA approved the final report for this initial HSR test section.
Glen Ellyn, IL
526 Crescent Boulevard, Suite 314
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
17 N. State Street, Suite 440
Chicago, IL 60602