Kansas City Streetcar begins testing the first of eight new CAF USA-manufactured vehicles. Also, New Jersey Transit (NJT) will host the opening module of International Association of Public Transport’s (UITP) three-part global diploma course; and infrastructure consulting firm AECOM will help deliver numerous projects for U.S. transportation clients that have secured funding from the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program.
KC Streetcar on Feb. 2 received the first of eight CAF USA-manufactured streetcars that will be used to support operation of the Main Street and Riverfront extensions, ultimately connecting the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to the Berkley Riverfront (see map below). The remaining new vehicles will arrive this year; deliveries are expected approximately every four weeks from CAF USA’s Elmira, N.Y., facility.
As with the original streetcars, each new vehicle is bi-directional, approximately 77 feet long, and 78,000 pounds, and has a maximum rider capacity of 150. All will allow for level boarding, and offer interior displays showing next-stop arrivals, an enhanced on-board video surveillance system, and other system upgrades, including exterior lights, air compressors, train-to-wayside communication system, and an advanced driver assist system. The new vehicles will be numbered 807-814, picking up from the earlier 801-806 series.
The Main Street Extension project will expand the line 3.5 miles south on Main Street, adding 15 stops and connecting the River Market to UMKC. Construction is under way. At the end of 2023, crews hit 67% completion of track, power systems, pedestrian upgrades, future station stops, and underground electrical work. The Kite E. Singleton Maintenance Yard, also known as the Vehicle Maintenance Facility, is undergoing a significant expansion to accommodate the growing streetcar line, which will connect downtown to UMKC once operational in 2025.
The Riverfront Extension project will take the Downtown line north to Kansas City’s Riverfront, connecting to CPKC Stadium, home of the KC Current. The 0.7 mile extension will begin at 3rd Street and Grand Boulevard in the River Market and end near the midpoint of Berkley Riverfront. The project is 100% designed with construction slated to begin in early 2024. Opening is anticipated for late 2025/early 2026.
Since its arrival, streetcar No. 807 has gone through a series of inspections and static (non-movement) vehicle tests within the Singleton Yard Vehicle Maintenance Facility. It began nighttime testing along Main Street on Feb. 7. Members of the streetcar project team—including KC Streetcar Authority, city of Kansas City, Mo., Herzog Transit Services Inc., and CAF USA—worked collaboratively on the first test run between 18th Street and Pershing Road. Nighttime testing will continue through approximately Feb. 17, to monitor the car’s three braking systems (friction, dynamic, and track/emergency).
“The delivery of KC Streetcar No. 807 represents the first of many exciting milestones anticipated for 2024 as we ready our system for expanded service to UMKC in 2025 and prepare for a new generation of transit connectivity in Kansas City,” said Tom Gerend, Executive Director, KC Streetcar Authority.
UITP has selected NJT to host the first segment of the UITP Managers in Public Transport Diploma Program. This three-part international diploma course is an expert-level yearlong program held in three different locations around the world. According to NJT, it comprises three modules and is tailored for experienced professionals “to gain an international perspective on the ever-evolving realm of public transportation.”
The diploma program will take place in June, September and November 2024. NJT will host Module 1: Policy, Planning, Regulating and Funding on June 24-26. It will cover mobility trends, policies for sustainable urban mobility, funding and financing public transportation, and planning public transportation services. The second and third modules will be held in Sweden and Hong Kong.
“I am delighted to see NJT unveiled as the opening host of the 2024 UITP Diploma Program for Public Transport Managers,” UITP President Renée Amilcar said. “For over two decades, this program has stood as the pinnacle of UITP’s training initiatives, symbolizing excellence and innovation by developing talent within the sector. During the earlier stages of my own career in public transit, I too became a graduate of the diploma program, and I can personally attest to the leadership skills that participants will gain. I am excited to hear more from the next generation of sector leaders.”
“Hosting the first segment of UITP’s Global Diploma Program is both a privilege and a testament to NJT’s leadership in the public transit industry,” NJT President and CEO Kevin S. Corbett. “Our partnership with UITP and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) exemplifies our commitment to fostering global best practices to deliver the best possible travel experience for our customers.”
NJT, UITP and CAIT on March 16, 2023, signed an agreement to establish UITP’s first North American Regional Transit Center, which they said would “bring world-class transportation training to the region and the continent, helping to develop the next wave of leaders in the transit space.”
UITP has Regional Training Centers in Europe (France, Germany and Spain), Asia-Pacific and Eurasia (China and Turkey), South America (Chile), and South Africa, which offer training “through the establishment of uniform standards and best practices for all areas of sustainable transportation.” According to UITP, the training programs and all related processes are certified for ISO29990:2010, “the standard for learning services for non-formal education and training.”
UITP has released the 2024 course list for the North American Regional Training Center:
- Public Transport Fundamentals for North America: March 2024.
- Bus Operation Excellence: June 2024.
- Rail Operation & Maintenance: October 2024.
- Resiliency & Emergency Preparedness for Rail and Bus: October 2024.
AECOM on Feb. 7 reported that it will help deliver a number of projects for clients that were recently awarded funding through FRA’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, which is providing approximately $16.4 billion for critical rail infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor and nationwide. Among the projects: California High-Speed Rail Authority’s high-speed rail service in the Central Valley; Gateway Program: Hudson Tunnel Project Systems and Fit Out; and the Connecticut River Bridge Replacement along the Northeast Corridor. Additionally, AECOM said it supported Amtrak and the Connecticut Department of Transportation for the Baltimore Penn Station Master Plan and the Walk and Devon Bridge Replacement projects, respectively.
“As the U.S. experiences a renaissance in rail investment, we’re proud to partner with clients to provide the expertise needed to drive exceptional outcomes for critical rail infrastructure nationwide,” AECOM President Lara Poloni said. “These projects reflect our industry-leading rail capabilities and our commitment to deepening our relationships with clients as we support their objectives at each project stage—from advisory to design and delivery.”