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In April 2010 Metra's executive director, Phil Pagano, faced investigation for taking an unauthorized ,000 bonus and was later found to have improperly received 5,000 in vacation pay.
The day that the agency's board was scheduled to discuss his fate, Pagano stepped in front of a moving Metra train in an apparent suicide.
Although Metra's commuter rail system is designed to connect points all over the Chicago metropolitan area, it does provide some intracity connections within Chicago.
In downtown Chicago, Metra trains originate from one of four stations. The three Union Pacific lines originate at Ogilvie Transportation Center.
In the beginning the Regional Transportation Authority commuter train fleet consisted of second-hand equipment, until 1976 when the first order of new EMD F40PH locomotives arrived. Less than a decade later the Regional Transportation Authority was already suffering from ongoing financial problems.
In 1983 the Illinois Legislature reorganized the agency.
The Burlington Northern, Milwaukee Road, Chicago and North Western and Illinois Central were losing money and were using passenger cars dating as far back as the 1920s.
By the mid-1970s, the commuter lines faced an uncertain future.Using Chicago's rail infrastructure, much of which was created in the 19th century, the Illinois General Assembly established the RTA, and later Metra, to serve commuters by rail.Metra's creation was a result of the anticipated failure of commuter service operated and owned by various private railroad companies in the 1970s.Orseno and Alex Wiggins shared duties as co-executive directors.) Orseno's long railroad career, beginning with work to set up trains and check doors for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad played favorably in the board's decision.Metra services passengers through stations throughout the Chicago metropolitan area.