On the 100th anniversary of
the opening of New York City's Penn Station, New York City's Penn Station,
city, state, and federal officials gathered Oct. 18 for the groundbreaking for
Phase I of the new Moynihan Station, which Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
said "is poised to be one of the greatest transportation and
infrastructure legacies of our generation."
Southern announced Oct. 19 that is launching a "One Line, Infinite Possibilities" advertising
campaign that it says builds on its "Thoroughbred of Transportation"
communications program, now in its 28th year.
When Amtrak partnered
with IMAGES USA to create a television commercial targeting the Hispanic
community, the strategy was clear—produce a culturally relevant,
Spanish-language commercial showcasing the unique on-board benefits of train
travel in order to increase brand awareness among Hispanic consumers.
In a 17-page filing submitted Wednesday, Oct. 13, the United Spinal Association, a non-profit group, charged New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority with advancing “a major renovation of Dyckman Street Station, and to spend many millions of dollars doing so, without doing the disability access work that would allow people with disabilities and seniors to actually use the facility.”
MTA is arguing that the subway station, located on the No. 1 line in northern Manhattan, is not a key transfer station nor a top 100 “key”station required to be complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act by2020, as measured by ridership. MTA also says it cannot fully fund theimprovements sought by the association, including elevator access, alluding to the “unfunded mandate” levied by Congress.
But the association filing counters, “Federal law requires that when alterations are made to an existing transit facility, at least 20% of the cost of the alterations must be spent on making the altered facility accessible to and usable by people with disabilities … ”
MTA last July began work on the $47 million rehabilitation project, which includes platform replacement and track replacement.
A refinancing agreement between the U.S. government and Amtrak will save taxpayers approximately $162 million, the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Treasury jointly announced Friday.
During the course of its 39-year existence, Amtrak has incurred a large amount of debt paid by the government through an annual appropriation to the national passenger railroad. The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) permitted the Treasury Department to study ways to repay or restructure Amtrak’s debt that would save money for the taxpayer and the railroad, and to take action on its findings if this would produce substantial savings.
Friday’s announcement is based on the government’s findings. Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, the government will exercise early buyout options on 13 existing high-cost leases during the next three years. The $420 million upfront cost will save approximately $582 million in future payments, in effect saving the taxpayer approximately $162 million.
“This announcement is good for taxpayers and important for the future of rail service in America,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “Refinancing these leases will save taxpayers money while continuing the President's vision of improving passenger rail service across the country at a lower cost."
“This is a great opportunity to help Amtrak and save money for the taxpayer,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (pictured at right). “These savings also represent funds that could be used to support the development of high speed rail,” he said, referring to U.S. HSR and higher speed rail (HrSR) efforts.