Open houses set for proposed Metra service extension

Kendall County residents will have an opportunity next month to attend two open houses on the long-planned extension of Metra commuter rail into the county.

According to information provided by the village of Oswego, the first open house will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, at the Plano Public Library, 15 W. North St. in Plano.

The second open house will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill in Oswego.

During the open houses, the public will be able to view exhibits and offer comments. While there will be no formal presentation, project staff will be available to answer questions. Feel free to drop in anytime.

There has been interest in extending commuter rail service into Kendall County for many years to serve the growing population and travel demand in the area. In coordination with Metra, the Kendall Extension Study has been initiated to examine the feasibility of extending the BNSF commuter rail line beyond its terminus in Aurora. The study is funded through previously secured federal funds that are only eligible for use on this effort. It will examine new outlying yard locations in addition to new commuter rail stations in Montgomery, Oswego, Yorkville, Plano and Sandwich.

The study will include an analysis of station site options, potential environmental impacts, ridership study/impacts and costs/funding considerations. The results of the analysis will provide information to local municipalities and governments so they can make decisions about how to proceed.

New local funding will be needed to design, build, operate and maintain the extension. It is also important to note that extending commuter rail service to Kendall County, which is beyond the six-county Regional Transportation Authority service area, would require approval from BNSF, RTA and Metra. It also may require potential changes to state law.

The study will include a public involvement process intended to inform community members of study progress and findings, enhance project team understanding of community transportation use and potential ridership and assess community attitudes and preferences regarding the extension.

The open houses will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the overall project, including the study elements and station location options.

For information, visit Metrarail.com/kendallextension.

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