FTA awards $300MM to three transit projects

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced a total of $300 million in federal funding—provided via its Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program—allocations to three transit projects in Arizona, California and Washington.

Saft begins CTA 7000 series battery system deliveries

Saft Batteries has begun battery system deliveries to CRRC Sifang America’s manufacturing facility for the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) 7000 series transit railcars.

MSU, BCRRE offer rail transit management program

Michigan State University’s Center for Railway Research and Education (CRRE) recently announced “Transit & Urban Railways: Technology, Engineering and Management”—a new educational program to be held in Newark, N.J., October 7-11, 2019.

Ethics Issues in the Engineering Profession

Engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor, and dignity of the profession by using their knowledge and skills for the enhancement of human welfare, by being honest and impartial, by serving with fidelity to public, their employers and clients, by striving to increase the competence and prestige of the engineering profession, and by supporting the professional and technical societies of their disciplines.

Safety first? Or privacy first?

I have this friend, a railroad professional. I know I would never question his commitment to safety. I hope he wouldn’t question mine. This friend is concerned that railroad management will unfairly use medical information it obtains from employees, from employees’ medical care providers, and from the requirements of a medical fitness for duty regulation, to disqualify employees from service. He fears railroads will weaponize the information.

Ken Lawson, 1928-2019

Kenneth Leslie Lawson, who enjoyed a distinguished career in railway engineering, planning and research and development, died at his home Bluemont, Va., June 19, 2019. He was 90.

Part 6 of 6: We Have a Plan B. Do We Need a Plan C?

At a legislative hearing on Aug. 16, 2018, Gateway Program Development Corp Interim Executive Director John D. Porcari said, “There is no Plan B.” He was wrong. At the same hearing, this writer (as Chair of the Lackawanna Coalition, a New Jersey-based advocacy organization) outlined the “Plan B” that some rider-advocates had formulated and submitted, in the event that the entire $30 billion-plus Gateway program as currently proposed fails to attract sufficient funding. Porcari stuck to his story that the existing North River Tunnels are deteriorating so quickly that they constitute a disaster waiting to happen but, under his proposal, they would not be repaired until 2030 or some time shortly thereafter.

Part 5 of 6: Can We Keep Penn Station from Going South?

In 1995, one of the alternatives of the original Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) Project would have developed a track connection for New Jersey Transit (NJT) trains to go to Grand Central Terminal (GCT) on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan. New Jersey riders, especially commuters whose offices are nearby, would have enjoyed convenient access to them for the first time. That alternative was eliminated in 2003, and the means for delivering new Manhattan capacity was downgraded to a stub-end deep-cavern station 20 stories below ground.

Federal transit support turns 55

Many remember the late President Lyndon B. Johnson for succeeding President John F. Kennedy after his assassination in Dallas, Tex., on Nov. 22, 1963. Others remember him for his domestic Great Society Program, which included Civil Rights, Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty, Public Broadcasting, and being known as a friend of Israel. There was also other foreign policy, most notably the Vietnam War.

Bombardier, SFO extend partnership

Bombardier Transportation recently announced that it has signed a new contract worth $220 million with the City and County of San Francisco to provide 10 years of operations and maintenance services—with an option for five additional years—for the Bombardier Innovia APM 100 automated people mover (APM) system at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

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