With Railway Age since 1992, Bill Vantuono has broadened and deepened the magazine's coverage of the technological revolution that is so swiftly changing the industry. He has also strengthened Railway Age's leadership position in industry affairs with the conferences he conducts on operating passenger trains on freight railroads and communications-based train control.
San Francisco's Transport Workers Union Local 250-A is pressuring MUNI to seek repeal of Proposition G, a voter initiative funding improvements to light rail and bus operations and infrastructure. The union's effort appears aimed at strengthening its bargaining position in upcoming talks. Repeal of the proposition reportedly could jeopardize $2 billion in federal funding for the capital projects involved. Lawyers for the union, which represents roughly 2,000 MUNI rail and bus operators, complained to the Department of Labor earlier this week that the initiative violates a Federal Transit Act guarantee of fair bargaining rights for employees. A union spokesman said labor officials could bar MUNI from receiving federal transit funds until it complies with federal labor standards. Such funds comprise the bulk of many MUNI capital projects.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates MUNI, already faces a $2.2 billion shortfall in its capital budget.
Board members expressed sympathy to objections by Federal Way that LRT’s arrival would be delayed from 2023 to as late as 2040. “The goodnews for Federal Way is I think we’re going to get there,” said board member and Sumner, Wash., Mayor Dave Enslow, although the mayor added, “I’m not exactly sure when.”
Examining an alternate route to Federal Way—elevated lightrail along Interstate 5 instead of state Route 99—could take a year, said Sound Transit planner David Beal.
Board Chairman Aaron Reardon said Sound Transit will try towork with Federal Way as best as it can and as Sound Transit’s finances will permit.
The White House on Thursday began unveiling what it said would be “hundreds of regulatory changes that could save businesses billions of dollars and tens of millions of hours of work.”
The proposals reduce costs while “maintaining the critical health and safety protections that Americans deserve.”
The White House announcement led the Association of American Railroads to issue the following statement from President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger:
“We are pleased to see the Administration continues to move forward with its review of federal regulations that stymie U.S. economic recovery and future growth. AAR has been working with the Federal Railroad Administration on its review of various rules, including implementation of positive train control (PTC) technologies as mandated by the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act.
"In March 2010, AAR on behalf of its member railroads filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking to change certain aspects of the PTC regulations. On March 2, 2011 the parties asked the court to put the suit on hold while FRA agreed to undertake a review of its final rule. The D.C. Circuit granted the motion.
"A major issue is the scope of the PTC mandate. For example, while Congress clearly stipulated that PTC be installed on main lines used to transport passengers and TIH as of Dec. 31, 2015, FRA required PTC to be installed on lines used to transport passengers and TIH in 2008. This seven-year difference in implementation dates substantially affects the cost—according to AAR estimates by more than $500 million. AAR also estimates that at least 10,000 miles of track that saw TIH movements in 2008 would no longer be used for such movements by Dec. 31, 2015."
Bombardier Transportation has signed 10-year contract valued at $165 million with Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport to continue operating and maintaining the airport’s automatic people mover system. Bombardier received an order for the elevated dual-lane guideway system in 2000.
Known as Skylink, it connects Terminals A, B, C, D. and E. “Since it opened in 2005, the Skylink people mover system has helped transform DFW into one of the best connecting airports in the world by offering fast and easy access between all five of our terminals,” said Jeff Fegan, CEO of DFW International Airport.
“Skylink has dramatically improved the passenger experience at DFW, and we are truly pleased to continue our long-term partnership with Bombardier for the operations and maintenance ofthe Skylink system,” Fegan said.