In November, Virgin Hyperloop demonstrated for the first time with riders its hyperloop technology at the 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas (pictured).

What’s the Status of Hyperloop Standardization?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has released a status report on hyperloop standard development.

Gov. Cuomo’s plan includes reconstruction of the existing Penn Station (rendering above) and acquisition of property south of the station to expand it and construct eight additional tracks, increasing train capacity by 40%.

N.Y. Governor Outlines $306B Infrastructure Plan

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed $306 billion in infrastructure improvements as part of his 2021 agenda.

President-elect Biden's first step in rescue and recovery is the American Rescue Plan, which tackles the pandemic and includes transit investment. The next—his Build Back Better Recovery Plan, to be introduced next month—will “make historic investments in infrastructure and manufacturing, innovation, research and development, and clean energy.”

Biden: $20B for ‘Hardest Hit’ Public Transit Agencies

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Jan. 14 that includes a $20 billion investment to “protect the future of transit.”

Dr. Allan M. Zarembski is Research Professor and Director of the Railroad Engineering and Safety Program at the University of Delaware, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Now Enrolling: UD Graduate Certificate in Railroad Engineering Program

The University of Delaware (UD) is accepting applications for its Graduate Certificate in Railroad Engineering program, 2021-22 academic year. Professionals and engineering graduates may enroll; GREs (Graduate Record Examinations) are not required.

Between now and 2039, nearly $13 trillion will be needed for rail, transit, highways, bridges, drinking water, stormwater, wastewater, electricity, airports, seaports and inland waterways. But if the U.S. keeps pace with planned spending—currently totaling $7.3 trillion—it will face a $5.6 trillion investment gap by 2039, the ASCE report found.

ASCE: ‘Close the Infrastructure Investment Gap’

Inadequate U.S. infrastructure improvements could lead to a decline of more than $23 trillion in business productivity and a loss of $10.3 trillion in GDP over the next two decades, according to a recently released American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) economic study.

Second in a Series: Complete Streets, Incomplete Transit

In my last report, I looked at Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, and what he would bring to the post. I looked at his own concepts as he expressed them in his acceptance speech, how he might serve USDOT’s business constituents, and his background. Part of that background is the time he spent as mayor of South Bend, a post he occupied starting in 2012. As I will describe in this article, he can claim some credit as an urbanist with his “Smart Streets” policy for the city’s downtown area, but local bus service remains limited, and the passenger trains that ostensibly run to South Bend do not go anywhere near downtown.

Acting Secretary of Transportation Steven G. Bradbury

Bradbury Acting U.S. SEC DOT

Following Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s resignation, effective Jan. 11, Steven G. Bradbury is Acting Secretary of Transportation in accordance with the Department’s established order of succession.

Peter Anastor, Director, Office of Rail, Michigan Department of Transportation (left); Kristin Steiner, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Sales, Transit Wireless; Mark Boyle, Vice President, R.J. Corman Railroad Services LLC.

People News: MDOT Rail Director; R.J. Corman VP; Transit Wireless Sales Leader

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) named Peter Anastor, Director, Office of Rail; R.J. Corman Railroad Services LLC promoted Mark Boyle to Vice President, succeeding Rick Johnson, who transitions to Advisor; and Transit Wireless hired Kristin Steiner as Head of Strategic Partnerships and Sales.

Unions Petition FRA, DHS for Emergency Orders (UPDATED)

Leadership at the industry’s two largest operating-craft unions, the SMART-Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, have petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration to issue an Emergency Order regarding “the safety of all passenger rail crews and passengers.” The unions have also petitioned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enact a “No-Ride List” on passenger railroads.

The FTA will allocate $14 billion—via the recently signed $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill—to the nation’s public transportation systems that “continue to face challenges due to COVID-19,” FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams said.

FTA to Allocate $14B in COVID Relief for Public Transportation

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) reported that it will allocate $14 billion to public transportation systems under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA) (H.R. 133). CRRSAA directs recipients to prioritize payroll and operational needs.

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