The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces the completion of Avalon Harrison, a transit-oriented development at the Harrison Metro-North station. Also, LA Metro reveals new subway cars; Metrolink relaunches low-income discount program as “Mobility-4-All”; Brightline delays inaugural Orlando rail service; partial service on OC Transpo’s O-Train Line 1 returns; and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is paid $100,000 to extend service after Beyoncé concert.
The transit-oriented development, which MTA says is intended to “promote downtown revitalization and improve the environment and healthy lifestyles by providing residents access to shops, amenities and rail stations within walking distance,” includes:
- 143 apartments in three residential buildings, including seven affordable apartments subsidized by Westchester County.
- Approximately 5,000 square feet of interior amenities for the residential community.
- Approximately 27,000 square feet of vibrant, street-level retail/commercial space.
- Two landscaped public plazas with connections to the Metro-North Harrison Station platform.
- 758 total project parking spaces.
- 475 Metro-North Customer Parking spaces (an increase of 218 or 85 percent).
- 96 Retail Parking Spaces.
- 187 Residential Parking Spaces.
The first phase of the two-phase project opened Aug. 23, 2021, and included the construction of a 598-space commuter parking garage located steps away from the Harrison station’s Connecticut-bound platform. The garage is owned and operated by Metro-North.
The Harrison project, MTA says, is expected to be a transformative project for the station and the central business district of Harrison and is a “three-way win for the partnership.” On the public sector side, MTA now has improved station access (increased parking, improved pedestrian flow with direct access to the outbound platform from the garage); an enhanced station environment with retail shops along the frontage of Halstead Avenue and in the plazas/courtyard; and increased residential density within walking distance to the station for potential ridership increases; all while avoiding any capital cost.
The Town/Village of Harrison benefits with a potential economic catalyst for the central business district and tax revenues from property that was previously public owned. Avalon Bay Communities now has a showcase transit-oriented development along Metro-North’s highest ridership line.
Harrison currently has 98 trains per weekday and 75 on Saturdays and Sundays, generally offering service every 30 minutes toward Manhattan and Stamford during off-peak hours and every 20 minutes during peak hours.
The MTA says it is continuing to advance transit-oriented developments, with another active project underway in Westbury.
“This project is a perfect example of what people are calling ‘TOD’—Transit Oriented Development,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “We’ve got beautiful multi-family housing close to transit so people don’t have to own as many cars, and they don’t have to use them as frequently. And, as the governor said, these are the units that are a perfect fit both for seniors who want to get out of houses that are now too big for them, and for early-career singles and couples putting down roots before they purchase a home.”
“The completion of this beautiful complex completely transforms the area around Harrison Station and will attract new customers to the cleaner and greener public transportation that Metro-North provides,” said Metro-North President and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “Instead of just being a place to come and go quickly, Harrison station is now a destination and an example of how we can transform cities and increase the use of public transportation with Transit Oriented Development.”
LA Metro took to social media on Friday to show off the exterior of the agency’s new HR4000 trains, one of which “appears to have bright yellow accents to contrast with the classic metal outside of the subway cars,” according to a KTLA 5 report.
Manufactured by CRRC (China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.) and assembled in Springfield, Mass., the new railcars are set to replace some original subway vehicles that are “nearing the end of their service lifespan,” according to the report.
According to the report, a total of 64 new subway cars arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday to add capacity to the B and D lines as the system grows.
The cars are arranged in a side seating layout, according to a video posted to the agency’s Facebook page. Additionally, there will be an “open gangway” design between cars, meaning that riders will “no longer have to open emergency doors to travel from car to car,” KTLA 5 reports.
According to LA Metro, all construction work on the D Line extension through central and western Los Angeles is expected to be completed by 2027.
According to the agency, Metrolink passengers with a California Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card are still eligible for a 50% discount on all Metrolink tickets and passes. Riders can use their card at any Metrolink station ticket maching to validate and unlock the discount.
“Since we began the program in September 2022, we have sold more than 80,000 tickets with the discounted fare,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Thanks to a generous Caltrans grant, we have made Metrolink an even more affordable option for people. Renaming the program to Mobility-4-All reaffirms our commitment to make public transportation more equitable, without reference to socioeconomic status.”
Funding for the discount is made possible by a grant from the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP), administered by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
A California EBT card is required to validate the discount, while an alternative form of payment is needed to complete the ticket transaction.
According to a News 6 report, service was originally slated to begin this summer, with Brightline celebrating the rail line completion between Orlando and Miami back in June.
According to the report, Brightline officials told News 6 that the rail service will “continue its high-speed testing through Brevard County, with a train running at 110 mph in the county for the first time on Monday.”
Testing will continue in Brevard County until Wednesday, after which Brightline trains will be a “regular sight” between Orlando and West Palm Beach as the company continues qualifying crews on the new corridor, officials added.
“We’re working through the final stages of certification and crew testing, but it’s apparent that we won’t hit our opening weekend as planned. Knowing it’s a holiday weekend, we want to give guests as much time as possible to adjust their travel plans,” the company wrote. “We have already started engaging them and will refund their tickets and provide a premium credit ‘on us.’ We hope they will rebook and enjoy the inaugural Brightline experience. We look forward to announcing an official date as soon as possible.”
According to Brightline, customers who booked a ride between Orlando and South Florida during Sept. 1-6 should have received an email about the change, along with options for rebooking.
Service on OC Transpo’s O-Train Line 1 will gradually return on Tuesday, Aug. 8, the agency recently announced.
According to OC Transpo, trains will run from Tunney’s Pasture to uOttawa in both directions. Boarding locations at Line 1 stations will change. Line 1 service from uOttawa to Blair remains suspended.
Floor decals have been installed at Line 1 station platforms to help direct customers to board trains. For an interactive video on single-car train boarding, click here.
According to a CNN report, Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” tour paid WMATA $100,000 to keep all 98 Metro stations in the Washington, D.C., area open for an extra hour after Sunday’s show at the outdoor FedExField venue was delayed because of heavy rain and lightning, a news release from the transit authority said.
“Due to inclement weather that may delay the start of tonight’s Renaissance World Tour at FedExField, Metro will extend the last train by an extra hour beyond the extended closing previously announced,” WMATA said in a statement.
“The additional hour will be funded by the Tour to cover the $100,000 cost to run more trains, keep all 98 stations open for customers to exit, and other operational expenses.”
According to the CNN report, “the stadium issued a shelter-in-place notice citing lightning in the area before giving fans the all clear and allowing the show to go on. The delay left fans sweltering in hot and humid conditions as they waited for word on what was happening.”
The shelter-in-place order was lifted after an almost two-hour wait during which several people were treated for heat exhaustion and one person was hospitalized, CNN affiliate WJLA reported.