Editor’s Note: In 1918, the world was dealing with a deadly coronavirus pandemic, the “Spanish Flu.” Longtime Trains Editor and Publisher Kevin P. Keefe, now retired and a columnist for Classic Trains, sent me his April 2, 2020 “Mileposts” blog, in which he extensively references Railway Age. It is reposted here with permission, with some added photos. “It’s great to have a 170-year-old magazine around!” he said in his note to me. Actually, it’s 164, but who’s counting? Thanks for the shout-out, Kevin. – William C. Vantuono.
Fitch Ratings downgraded approximately $800 million of outstanding TRB Series 2020C (transportation revenue bonds, climate bond certified) to be issued by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from AA- to A+ and outstanding TRB anticipation notes to F1 from F1+, but removed the agency’s long-term rating from Rating Watch Negative status. The Rating Outlook is Negative.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), via the CARES Act, recently allocated a total of $25 billion in Federal funding to help the Nation’s public transportation systems respond to COVID-19.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is taking additional measures to protect customers and employees from the spread of the coronavirus by adding ultra violet technology (UV-C) to its arsenal of disinfectant procedures.
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the City of New York have agreed on “a site-specific value capture strategy” to jump-start development of 341-7 Madison Avenue, the site of the MTA’s former headquarters in East Midtown Manhattan.
Even dedicated environmentalists have trouble “doing the right thing” when it comes to traveling by today’s railways. In December 2019, activist Greta Thunberg was headed from Lisbon to Madrid to speak at a United Nations conference dealing with climate change, when she ruled out a flight due to its impact and instead opted to journey by rail. But the lack of fully electrified rails between Vilar Formoso, Portugal and Salamanca, Spain still required a heavily polluting diesel locomotive for more than an hour of her journey.
International Railway Journal Editor-in-Chief Kevin Smith talks with the International Union of Railways on the COVID-19 response in Europe.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 27, boosts unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad workers impacted by the pandemic.
Special Podcast Series: Coronavirus and the Rail Industry – Insight on the Federal Stimulus Package, How the Freight Industry is Battling, and More
Rail Group News editors talk about the federal stimulus package.
Following the deaths, on the same day, from coronavirus of a subway conductor and a bus driver, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has secured 75,000 protective masks for its frontline employees.