WASHINGTON — A total of 16 issues, some major (the procedure for adding trains to Metra’s schedule), some less so (whether Metra is entitled to any station parking), remain to be settled by the Surface Transportation Board in the long-running dispute between Metra and Amtrak over the commuter railroad’s lease at Chicago Union Station. That’s according to a Tuesday filing to the board made jointly by the two sides.
Among other issues still to be resolved:
— Rules governing the presence of Metra equipment at the station except when boarding or detraining passengers;
— Funding for “extraordinary maintenance” and capital improvements at those portions of the station used exclusively by Metra;
— Terms governing policing provided by Amtrak at the station;
— Procedures for changing Metra’s schedules, as well as to increase the number of trains;
— The procedure for resolving disputes.
The two sides approached the STB for resolution of the dispute in 2018 and 2019 before the board agreed to hear the matter earlier this year, eventually sending the two sides to a mediation period that was extended once and yielded “agreement concerning several, but not all, issues,” according to Tuesday’s filing. Amtrak and Metra will file briefs with the board on the remaining issues by Jan. 22, 2021, with each side responding to the other’s briefs by Feb. 19, according to a schedule set last week by the STB [see “Digest: Metra places second bike car in service,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 11, 2020].