Transit Briefs: Brightline; CTA; Metrolink; NJ Transit

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
On Nov. 1 Chicago Transit Authority debuted a special train wrap to honor the Chicago Sky, its hometown 2021 WNBA Champions.

On Nov. 1 Chicago Transit Authority debuted a special train wrap to honor the Chicago Sky, its hometown 2021 WNBA Champions.

Brightline has partnered with TransitScreen to provide real-time multi-modal transportation information in stations. In addition, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is honoring the Chicago Sky, its hometown 2021 WNBA Champions; Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) is working with Moovit to help riders calculate the best routes for their trips; and New Jersey Transit is adding 22 weekday trains to align with rider demand and 14 weekend trains to improve service frequency.

Brightline will install TransitScreen7 screens in its Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Fla., stations to provide real-time information on multi-modal transportation options and services beyond its trains. (The private-sector passenger rail operator is slated to restore service on Nov. 8, following its suspension on March 25, 2020, due to the pandemic.)

TransitScreen’s proprietary data platform coordinates and customizes more than 3,000 data feeds to provide real-time information about public transportation such as subways, buses, ferries and trolleys; shared transportation like scooters, bikeshares and mopeds; ride hailing services such as Uber, Lyft and Via; and private transportation like shuttle buses, and parking and vanpool programs,” according to Washington, D.C.-based TransitScreen.

TransitScreen also provides information on nearby transportation as well as on-site and neighborhood amenities such as:
• Live crowd estimates, service disruption alerts, walking distance in minutes to stations or stops, and real-time arrival times for any mode of public transportation.
• Flight times and delays.
• Walking distance in minutes to and availability of shared transportation.
• Surge pricing and estimated time of arrival for ride hailing services.
• Names, hours of operation and address information for nearby amenities.
• Time, date and live weather conditions
• Custom messaging and communications alerts.

“The addition of … TransitScreen7 screens to our stations enhances and works in concert with our mission to make a car-optional lifestyle possible through the use of ride shares, public transit, bikes, scooters, shuttles and other vehicle services,” Brightline VP of Mobility Jonathan Hopkins said.

When Brightline resumes service, it will introduce door-to-door service Brightline+, giving customers the option to book together train tickets and a shared or private ride to “seamlessly” travel to and from stations. They will be able to plan trips using public transit, Citibikes, scooters and shuttles, as well.

CTA on Nov. 1 debuted a specially designed wrap on a Green Line train to honor the Chicago Sky. Celebrating the team’s first pro basketball championship win, the wrap features the Chicago Sky logo and the team’s signature blue-and-yellow color scheme. The 2021 Chicago Sky Train—which passes Wintrust Arena, the team’s home court and place where it clinched this year’s championship—will run through the end of the year.

“Playing inspired basketball throughout the playoffs, the Chicago Sky epitomized the same resilience, grit and determination our city and our CTA employees have demonstrated for the past 19 months, while lifting our spirits sky high in the process,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said.

This is not the first time CTA has created special wraps for its railcars. The transit agency previously honored the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the 2016 Chicago Cubs. In 2017, CTA became the first major U.S. transit agency to unveil a special Pride Train, which received an update this year.

Metrolink has a formed a marketing partnership with Mobility as a Service (MaaS) provider Moovit to offer Metrolink commuters—in addition to other transit riders—quick, convenient trip planning options.

The Moovit app, which uses official and crowd-sourced data, provides riders with “current information so they know exactly when their bus or train is arriving, a Live Directions feature with Get Off Alerts to provide step-by-step guidance for the entire journey, and Service Alerts so they can avoid delays and better-plan their journey,” according to Metrolink. The app also incorporates accessibility features such as TalkBack/VoiceOver screen reading for low-vision users; identifies wheelchair-accessible routes and stations; calculates step-free routes; and offers optimized menus and buttons for those with hand-motor disabilities.

“We want to make it easier for people to use Metrolink as a part of their daily lives—for commuting as well as leisure travel,” Metrolink Director of Marketing and Partnerships Monica Bouldin said. “Moovit helps people plan their entire trip, which includes connections to other transit services so they can get where they need to go without using their cars.”

Starting Nov. 14, NJ Transit will add 22 weekday trains across its system. The additions enhance service during peak travel times on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), North Jersey Coast Line (NJCL), and the M&E, Bergen County and Pascack Valley lines. In response to recovery patterns in off-peak and weekend ridership, weekend service will operate hourly throughout the day on Saturday, Sunday and holidays on both the Main Line and Bergen County Line with the addition of 14 trains. The changes are part of NJ Transit’s regular fall service adjustments, the agency said.

“As rail ridership grows and commuting patterns continue to evolve, NJ Transit is committed to delivering a schedule that improves travel times and frequency aligned with customer demand,” NJ Transit President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett said. “Now that we have a full roster of locomotive engineers, we are able to support these kinds of service enhancements to meet the needs of our customers as they return to our system.”

Tags: , , , , , , ,