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Kendall Board backs Metra study expansion

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Riders may be able to start using Ventra cards and credit cards on Metra trains starting next summer, now that the agency unveiled a detailed timeline for the project. | Sun-Times Media Files

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Updated: January 21, 2014 6:19AM

YORKVILLE — Kendall County will support an expansion of a Metra study to look at possible train station sites in Plano and even Sandwich.

Board members this week agreed to send a letter to Metra supporting expansion of the about $5 million federally funded study, which has been in the works since 2004.

The original study was to look at station sites in Oswego and Yorkville, but Kendall County Administrator Jeff Wilkins said this week Kendall has grown so much since 2004 that suburban rail might be warranted in Plano and beyond.

“It would be an injustice to people in the county not to look at the length of the county,” Wilkins said.

The push for the study has come largely from Plano Mayor Bob Hausler, but is supported by others in the county. Wilkins and other county officials recently met with Hausler, Sandwich officials and the Metra director to discuss looking further into Kendall County.

Oswego and Yorkville already have sent letters endorsing expanding the study.

Sending the letter is a first step, Wilkins said. Metra officials still have to get the idea through federal officials before they can officially expand the study’s scope.

Kendall County Board Chairman John Shaw said it might make sense to have a station in Oswego and possibly along Eldamain Road, where Yorkville and Plano meet.

“Traffic is getting worse and worse here all the time,” he said.

Board member Scott Gryder said the Metra study of adding Kendall County goes back to when he once served on the Oswego Plan Commission.

“It seems to make sense,” he said.

One thing that would have to be worked out is how Kendall would pay to bring Metra into the county.

It could be done if Kendall voters approved a referendum joining the Regional Transportation Authority, but that seems unlikely right now.

The county and cities in Kendall themselves could also possibly pay for Metra service.

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