March Madness of another kind

The just-abandoned GoTriangle light rail project in North Carolina, while never a slam-dunk, was until recently an interesting game. Now, after a few critical blocked shots and maybe even several offensive fouls, it appears to be a forfeit.

Budget woes force Hurontario LRT scale-backs

Metrolinx, the Government of Ontario’s transit funding, planning and construction agency, recently announced cutbacks to the Hurontario Light Rail project in. The stated reason for the changes was to help reduce Ontario’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit.

Schaefer new NJT Chief Engineer, Capital Planning

Richard Schaefer, P.E., has joined New Jersey Transit as Chief Engineer in the Capital Planning and Program department.

NJT packs ’em in with $800MM in contracting plans

For New Jersey Transit, the days of subsisting on a starvation capital diet imposed by former Gov. Chris Christie appear over. On March 26, the agency hosted an open house for prime contractors, small businesses and DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises), the first such event in 10 years. On the table: More than $800 million in contracting opportunities for capital projects that will be available in the upcoming year.

Climate change: Timely advocacy needed

The scientific community has long warned of anthropogenic climate change, and a growing majority of Americans believe the threat is real. The United States is at the tipping point, and the rail industry could be a major beneficiary.

Calabrese joins Focused Technology Solutions

Forty-year transit industry veteran Joe Calabrese is joining Focused Technology Solutions, a division of The Marmon/Berkshire Hathaway Company, as Senior Advisor, effective April 1.

Ponzio Promoted to STV SVP

John Ponzio has been promoted to Senior Vice President of STV’s National Systems Group.

Metra issues RFP for new cars

Metra on March 20 issued a request for proposals (RFP) for at least 200 new locomotive-hauled railcars, and the Chicago-area commuter railroad is allowing manufacturers to propose alternative designs that could reduce delays and suit Metra’s needs better than its bi-level gallery cars, some of which have been in service upwards of 70 years.

FTA stymies Gateway tunnels with “medium-low” rating

The $13 billion Hudson River tunnel project, aimed at building two new rail tunnels between New York and New Jersey, is again facing funding problems after federal authorities announced a rating that means the project remains “ineligible for critical grant funding.”

New York’s subways “an overall better experience”

MTA President Patrick Foye, New York City Transit President Andy Byford and Senior Vice President Subways Sally Librera provided statistics on March 18 to show that the New York subway system has seen a dramatic increase in performance since the implementation of the Subway Action Plan and NYCT’s Save Safe Seconds campaign.