Commuter and Transit

Commuter Trains and Rapid Transit
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Clock is ticking for 110-year-old Hudson River rail tunnel

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NEW YORK (AP) — Myriad problems in the Hudson River rail tunnel must be addressed in the next few years to avoid what officials say are potentially catastrophic failures before a new tunnel is finally built, a soon-to-be-completed study by Amtrak spells out in stark detail.

The study by Amtrak, reviewed by The Associated Press, pinpoints a litany of problems in the 110-year-old tunnel, many stemming from saltwater inundation from Superstorm Sandy eight years ago.

Washington Metro to advance safety-critical work on Blue Line during historically low ridership

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November 13, 2020

Metro today announced plans to accelerate major capital work on the Blue Line in Virginia that will modernize the signal system in the Alexandria Rail Yard, resulting in improved safety, reliability and on-time performance. Taking advantage of the historically low ridership during the pandemic, Metro will consolidate the project into a shorter series of outages that will close two stations – Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St.

The work will take place over 10 weekends beginning Friday, November 27 and ending Sunday, March 14. In addition, a two-week shutdown will take place during the winter holiday period when ridership typically drops even further. During those times, local and express shuttle bus service will replace train service at Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn St. Blue Line trains will operate between Huntington and Largo Town Center. The schedule includes a break in work during Wreaths Across America (December 19), Inauguration week (January...

Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) Launches West Lake Corridor Project

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Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for its West Lake Corridor Project, extending the South Shore Line commuter rail service 7.8 miles from Hammond (on the north) to Dyer (on the south).

Slated for completion in 2024, the extension will include four new stations—two in Hammond, one in Munster, and one at the border of Muster and Dyer (see map below). In July, NICTD awarded a nearly $555 million contract to F.H. Paschen and Ragnar Benson (both based in Chicago) to complete design work and lead construction.

NJ Transit Police expands community outreach

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NEW JERSEY TRANSIT POLICE EXPAND COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM
October 28, 2020

NEWARK, NJ — The New Jersey Transit Police Department has expanded its Community Outreach Unit from two to five officers, allowing for more ways to help those in need and to help maintain a safe and healthy environment for all.

“The New Jersey Transit Police Department is one of the best trained and most professional police departments in the country, and a community-based policing approach brings help to the people who need it the most,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “NJ TRANSIT is not only committed to providing safe and essential transit services throughout the state for those who depend on us, we are equally committed to being good community partners.”

Officer Sean Pfeifer has been with the Community Outreach Unit for three years, serving those in the Newark Transit District. Joining Pfeifer on the expanded team, and the transit districts they will be...

California, Connecticut, New Jersey Win $172.1MM in SOGR Grants

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California, Connecticut, New Jersey Win $172.1MM in SOGR Grants


The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded grants to California’s North County Transit District (NCTD; $9.8 million), the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and Amtrak ($144 million), and New Jersey Transit ($18.3 million) under the FY 2020 Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair program.

Election ‘Blues’ Could Benefit Rail Suppliers

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Election ‘Blues’ Could Benefit Rail Suppliers


Rail transit rail equipment is among the transportation equipment subsectors most likely to benefit from a potential “Blue Wave” in January following a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris win and the Democrats flipping enough seats in the U.S. Senate in the November Presidential election to take control of that chamber.* As well, a power shift in Washington could drive a public transit service recovery in the U.S.
NJ TRANSIT ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET AND A FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL PLAN
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NJ TRANSIT ADOPTS FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING BUDGET AND A FIVE-YEAR CAPITAL PLAN
Budget and Capital Plans Continue Governor Murphy's Commitment to Increased Mass Transit Investment; Maintains Pledge to Keep Fares Stable

October 21, 2020

NEWARK, NJ -- The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today adopted a Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) operating budget and A Five-Year Capital Plan that supports continued investments in frontline personnel, infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state-of-good repair, helps advance its 10-year Strategic Plan (NJT2030) and includes additional spending due to the ongoing effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all without raising fares for a third straight fiscal year.

“The budgets presented today allow NJ TRANSIT to continue to provide necessary service to our customers and make improvements to an aging system,” NJDOT Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We are grateful for the...
New York MTA Completes Major Upgrades at 42nd St.–Grand Central – Busiest Subway Entrance in New York City
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Project Completed 7 Months Ahead of Initial Schedule; Replacement of Stairway Completed 25 Weeks Ahead of Schedule
Completion Signals Major Milestone in 42 St Connection Project

View Photos of Work

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the completion of major upgrades at 42nd St.–Grand Central – the busiest subway station entrance in New York City. The project included a total replacement of two escalators, an adjacent stairway and a newly replaced elevator leading to the subway station. These upgrades are part of the larger 42 St Connection Project, which will modernize key elements of the Times Square, Grand Central, and stations in between the 42 St corridor.

The entrance leading from the mezzanine of Grand Central Terminal into the subway is the busiest entry point in the New York City subway system, with approximately 135,800 combined daily entries and exits in pre-pandemic...
New York MTA Piloting State-of-the-Art Air Filtration and Purification System on Commuter Rails
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System Claims Electrical Field and Ionized Particles Eradicate 99.99998% of Airborne Viruses, Bacteria and Particulates, Including COVID-19

MTA First Transit Agency in North America to Pilot the Technology

Pilot Is Latest in MTA’s Nation-Leading Efforts to Minimize Health Risk to Customers and Employees During Pandemic



See Photos of Press Event

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road are piloting a new technology to filter and purify air inside rail cars using an electrical field to generate a wave of ionized particles that destroy airborne viruses, bacteria and particulate matter, including COVID-19. The MTA is the first transit agency in North America to test the technology.

The pilot follows a successful proof-of-concept conducted by Metro-North over the summer. The air filtration and purification system...
Commuter Activity: Geneva, IL
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Got a shot of a commuter train on my lunch hour. It's pushing the train east into Chicago.

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Following Phase 1 Expert Panel R179 Review, NYC Transit to Begin Returning Cars to Service in Coming Weeks
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Following Phase 1 Expert Panel R179 Review, NYC Transit to Begin Returning Cars to Service in Coming Weeks



Outside Expert Panel, Including Former NASA, FRA & FTA Officials, Worked Through Summer to Review and Address Bombardier Issues
Panel Will Continue Phase 2 Work to Address Lessons Learned and Develop Quality Assurance Recommendations for Future Rail Car Procurements


See Photos of the R179 Cars
View Report
MTA New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg today announced that the first phase of a comprehensive review of its R179 fleet has been completed and that the 318-car fleet will begin its return to service in the coming days. The review panel, comprised of outside experts, was tasked with reviewing previous production quality issues and incidents with the cars provided by Bombardier Transportation Group spanning from May...

Federal Railroad Administration Announces Rail Inspection Technology Rule to Improve Track Safety

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“This rule will allow railroads to use the latest technology to continually monitor safety, which is a big step forward in strengthening safety and reliability on our nation’s railroads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.


Friday, August 28, 2020

U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
www.transportation.gov/newsroom
News


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today submitted to the Federal Register a final rule allowing railroads to use ultrasonic inspection technology, augmented with global positioning system (GPS) technology, to employ continuous rail testing. These updated regulations are expected to improve safety...

Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT Open First Phase of the Refreshed Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn Station

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Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT Open First Phase of the Refreshed Ticketed Waiting Area at New York Penn Station
JULY 24, 2020

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NEW YORK – Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT have completed the first phase of the Ticketed Waiting Area refresh at New York Penn Station and opened the space for customers today at the Amtrak Concourse on the Upper Level and 8th Avenue side of the Station. As part of the refresh, customers can expect new furniture and fixtures, including seats with electrical and USB outlets to charge devices, an upgraded ceiling complete with new LED lighting, a new information desk and a second entrance in close proximity to the NJ TRANSIT concourse, offering easy access towards the 7th Avenue side of the Station.

To further simplify and safeguard the travel experience, the new space incorporates Amtrak’s new enhanced cleaning procedures, signage is also displayed to indicate safe distances in high traffic areas, protective plastic barriers have...

Metro-North Welcomes Visitors Back to Grand Central With Live Pianist

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July 08th, 2020

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Metro-North Welcomes Visitors Back to Grand Central With Live Pianist

Trains pulling in and out, train departure announcements echoing through the concourse, and the ambient hustle and bustle of visitors all make up the typical Grand Central Terminal soundtrack. To help ease back into the daily routine, New York’s most iconic transit hub launches a dedicated Spotify channel featuring a variety of playlists for commuters and visitors to enjoy as they return to everyday life. Grand Central Terminal has teamed up with some of the city’s most iconic musical institutions to offer its visitors an enjoyable experience as they start their day, ride the train home, grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Titled GCTtracks, this new channel is free and accessible on Spotify by searching ‘Grand Central Terminal’. The four introductory playlists are curated by Steinway & Sons, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts...
FTA Announces $891 Million for 12 Transit Infrastructure Projects Across America
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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $891 Million for 12 Transit Infrastructure Projects Across America

Friday, May 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration today announced a total of $891 million in federal funding will be provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to 12 transit infrastructure projects. The allocations of funding across the country will be used to advance the readiness of projects for a construction grant agreement or a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA). Funding is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.

FTA is allocating $27 million in appropriated Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 CIG funding, $526.5 million in appropriated...
BART releases 15-step plan to welcome back riders as region reopens
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05.27.20
BART releases 15-step plan to welcome back riders as region reopens

BART is working hard to reimagine transit service as the region begins to reopen and riders return. We understand the public is looking to us to provide reassurance that service is as safe as possible and social distancing is followed. To welcome riders back and regain confidence in public transit, BART is taking the following 15 steps while continuing to explore new measures and technologies that could assist in a safe recovery.
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Step 1 – Cleaning
BART is using hospital-grade disinfectant in stations and on-board trains. Train poles are wiped down with disinfectant at the end of the line during service hours. Crews use electrostatic foggers on train cars that spray disinfecting mist that coats and clings to surfaces. Station touchpoints are wiped down multiple times each day.
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Step 2 – Run Long Trains
BART is...

LA Metro: 45-Day Public Review Set For $400B, 30-Year Transit Plan

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LA Metro: 45-Day Public Review Set For $400B, 30-Year Transit Plan


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors has authorized the release of an updated draft of its 2020 Long Range Transportation Plan (2020 LRTP), a $400 billion, 30-year transportation blueprint for the region. There is a 45-day public review period (through July 13, 2020) to gather comments.

The plan, Metro said “lays out a future vision and roadmap for bringing about a more mobile, sustainable and vibrant future for Los Angeles County. Through extensive public outreach during the past 18 months that included 77 community meetings, 28 public workshop meetings and 20,000 survey responses from the public, Metro has distilled the region’s desires into four goals: Better Transit, Less Congestion, Complete Streets and...

Facebook is rethinking its commitment to help fund Dumbarton Rail Corridor study

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Facebook is rethinking its commitment to help fund Dumbarton Rail Corridor study


Facebook may be backing away from funding a study that would bring the Peninsula one step closer to seeing the Dumbarton Rail Corridor revitalized.

Facebook is “reassessing this long-term commitment,” said a statement from Juan Salazar, Facebook’s local policy and community engagement director. Facebook, along with SamTrans, which owns the long-defunct trestle and rail spur, and Plenary Group, an investment group specializing in public-private partnerships, joined forces in August 2018 to begin the long-awaited environmental impact study for the project.

Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Completes Section 1 of the Purple Line Extension subway

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Soyeon, Elsie Complete Boring Task


Two TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) employed by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)—one named Soyeon, the other, Elsie—have completed many months of work on Section 1 of the $9.3 billion, nine-mile Metro Purple Line Extension subway project by reaching the future Wilshire/Fairfax station near the La Brea Tar Pits in the Miracle Mile.

Tunneling for the first three miles of the four-mile initial section is now complete. Soyeon started at the Wilshire/La Brea station in October 2019 and broke through the eastern side of the planned Wilshire/Fairfax station site about one mile away on May 21. Elsie broke through to Wilshire/Fairfax on April 4.
Seattle Sound Transit Service Revisions and Recovery Fares
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Several Routes, Link light rail, Sounder North & Sounder South Temporary Recovery Fares and Service Revisions



Posted: May 18 - 2:05 p.m. (updated: May 20 - 5:36 p.m.)
Effective June 1, Sound Transit will offer temporarily reduced Recovery Fares in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the agency re-introduces fares on Link light rail and Sounder. Service on Link will also increase at the same time, with trains running every 20 minutes during the day until after the afternoon commute. Link will continue to run every 30 minutes during evenings and on weekends.
Link schedules will be posted on our Reduced Service page when finalized.

Temporary Recovery Fares come as the region prepares for the next phases of recovery and the expected gradual return of...




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