Commuter/Regional

Climbing out of a deep hole

It’s going to take a while for New Jersey Transit to dig itself out of the oversize trench that oversize-ego, oversize-mouthed “Bridgegate” Chris Christie gleefully dug for it during his eight interminably long, interminably loud and intrinsically corrupt years as governor of the Garden State. Meanwhile, NJT customers are enduring the effects of Christie’s transportation starvation diet—a locomotive engineer shortage, cancelled commuter trains, and a PTC implementation program that’s behind schedule.

Where are railroad medical standards?

Why don’t the railroads have comprehensive medical fitness-for-duty standards? Why does this persist, in spite of several train collisions and derailments attributed to medical issues like untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? This analysis of those questions considers the in-terests and relationships among the three primary interested parties: railroad management, railroad labor and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the regulator.

NJT sets FY2019 ops, capex spend

New Jersey Transit, the nation’s third-largest public transportation agency, on Aug. 8 adopted a Fiscal Year 2019 budget consisting of $2.32 billion in operating expenditures and a $1.46 billion capital program. The budget, which NJT stressed does not include any fare increases, “supports continued investments in personnel, infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state-of-good-repair and enhance the overall customer experience.”

Metrolink names Yu COO

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has named Kimberly Yu as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Yu has served as Deputy COO for Planning and Project Delivery since she joined Metrolink in September 2015.

Congress moving toward Chinese railcar ban: Eno

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have each passed versions of a U.S. Department of Transportation 2019 appropriations bill that would impose a one-year ban on new procurements of transit railcars or buses from companies owned or subsidized by the Chinese government (namely, CRRC, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.), if the procurement uses any Federal Transit Administration formula or bus funding, according to an Aug. 1 Eno Center for Transportation report written by Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow and Editor of Eno Transportation Weekly.

Stephens retiring from SFRTA

After 15 years with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), Executive Director Jack Stephens will retire at the expiration of his contract on Dec. 31, 2018. The executive placement firm KL2 Connect has been retained to conduct a national search to work with the SFRTA Governing Board to identify Stephens’ successor.