The Metra Board unanimously passed a resolution for SouthEast Service Corridor expansion at the Sept. 21 meeting.
Chairman Marty Oberman introduced the resolution with some context, identified the importance and indicated Metra’s endorsement of SES as an integral part of any Calumet Region’s bi-state regional planning, now being initiated in conjunction with NICTD, Metra, NIRPC, and CMAP, South Holland Mayor and Metra Board member Don De Graff stated in an email.
At the meeting, Norm Carlson provided historical perspective and strongly endorsed the project, as well as encouraged the SES Commuter Rail Transit District to address creative ideas to advance the project.
“I was very glad to add my appreciation and to provide some additional perspective and promotion, De Graff said. “All said and done, it was a very good endorsement.”
SES background from Metra’s website: The 33-mile SouthEast Service is proposed to run along existing freight and passenger railroad tracks, enhancing Metra’s commuter rail service between the south suburbs and downtown Chicago. The SES line would link close to 20 communities in south Suburban Cook and Will counties, providing new opportunities for travel to downtown Chicago and economic growth and development for the south suburbs.
This new line would provide commuting opportunities for a fast growing, underserved corridor of the south suburbs. As the regional labor pool grows, we have to think and act strategically to provide transportation where it is needed and prevent any further congestion along our roadways as people travel into the city for work. We must also recognize and address the need to attract new employment opportunities in the south suburbs as population growth in this area is consistently outpacing job growth.
Connecting the south suburbs to the city of Chicago offers residents improved access to downtown jobs, schools, shopping, entertainment and other regional attractions. Business and real estate opportunities in the south suburbs also could expand, as developers look to take advantage of transit-oriented development and greater access to the region’s labor pool. Development within the south suburbs could also lead to an enhanced tax base as property values increase and retail sales grow.
A related story on a potential SES South Holland station can be found here in the Tribune.