Transit Briefs: NYMTA, Santa Clara VTAWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) has set a new record for pandemic-era subway ridership. Also, Santa Clara Valley (Calif.) Transportation Authority (VTA) has taken delivery of a Route Learning System™ to help qualify light rail operators.
On May 5, NYCT subways carried 3.497 million riders, surpassing the previous pandemic-era record of 3.421 million set on Dec. 9, 2021 and a pre-pandemic figure of 3.491 million observed on March 13, 2020, according to MTA.
“Prior to the pandemic, average weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million,” MTA reported. “That figure fell by 95% to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips in April 2020 as the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in the New York City area.”
“New York City Transit is working around the clock to improve service, upgrade the system, and encourage riders to come back to public transit,” NYCT President Richard Davey said. “Optimal service, increasing frequency of trains, and maintaining strong on-time performance are our main focuses as we continue to hire train operators and bolster the transit system for the returning ridership.”
Rutherford N.J.-based consultancy PTSI Transportation has supplied a Route Learning System™ (RLS) to Santa Clara VTA for use at its new technical training center. The all-digital, multi-media physical characteristics training system will help qualify light rail operators. It provides “detailed track and physical characteristics maps that are synchronized with an annotated video of the route taken from the operator’s (or locomotive engineer’s) perspective,” PTSI reported. “These are accompanied by carefully scripted narration to form a multi-media system that simulates an actual trip over the line with an instructor pointing out all operational elements.”
Also using the RLS are New Jersey Transit’s Newark Light Rail and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail systems and MTA Staten Island Railway in New York; RLS maps are used by the Belt Railway Company of Chicago and the New York & Atlantic Railway; and RLS is now being installed at the Indiana Harbor Belt Railway to teach foreign line interchange operations and main line and branch physical characteristics, according to PTSI.