Metra weather delays, cancelations at issue in Illinois lawmakers hearing

February 10, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Chicago-area residents are dealing with the bitter cold Monday, especially those who commute.

For Metra riders, cold-weather delays have been all too common this winter, and now, state lawmakers want to know why.

The Illinois House Mass Transit Committee scheduled a hearing Monday to talk about all the problems Metra has had with delays during the cold.

Commuters have faced a number delays and cancellations this winter due to weather. Some of the biggest problems have been on Metra’s UP Northwest Line. In one case, passengers were in the frigid temperatures for 35 minutes while waiting on the next train.

Metra board members and passengers want answers.

Rail line officials say the biggest reasons for delays was problems on the tracks because of the cold, wind, and snow. The weather affects the trains’ brake and switching systems.

Metra issued another cold weather alert Monday, warning passengers of temperature-related speed restrictions and mechanical problems.

The House committee also was expected to look at the problems with Ventra and its rollout on CTA trains and buses.