030524KP7510reducedSPRINGFIELD – To ensure everyone can use rail transportation with peace of mind, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced bipartisan legislation to make rail travel safer for residents in response to a Chicago Transit Authority Yellow Line crash in his district in November of 2023.

“Rail accidents can be prevented if our rail transit systems are regularly implementing federal safety recommendations and keeping those up to date and viewable to the riding public,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “I want rail transit riders to feel safe as they commute. As a regular rider of CTA myself, I know how important it is that riders have confidence that the rail system is reliable and will safely and smoothly get them to where they need to be.”

Simmons drafted Senate Bill 3451 in response to the tragic collision in Rogers Park near the Howard “L” Station in November 2023 where a Yellow Line train collided with a snowplow resulting in numerous injuries. According to National Transportation Safety Board reports, there was a design flaw in the Yellow Line signaling system that may have contributed to the accident.

Simmons’ measure will require annual reports from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra detailing rail safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board made in the past 12 months and the status of their implementation by December 31 of each year. The reports must be viewable to the public through an online portal on the transit agency’s website as well as to the Illinois General Assembly.

“Senate Bill 3451 will establish actionable measures ensuring accountability within our transportation agencies,” said Simmons. “Passenger rail travel is an indispensable pillar of Chicago's transportation landscape. Whether it’s commuting to work, to visit family and friends, or visiting our neighborhoods, everyone should be fully confident in the safety and reliability of our train systems.”

Senate Bill 3451 passed the Senate on Friday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.