Transit Briefs: TransLink, CTA, LYNX, MDOT MTA, Metrolink, Metrolinx, NYMTA

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
TransLink’s mural installation on a section of the Canada Line Bridge showcases designs from three xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band) artists. (Photograph Courtesy of TransLink)

TransLink’s mural installation on a section of the Canada Line Bridge showcases designs from three xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band) artists. (Photograph Courtesy of TransLink)

Metro Vancouver’s TransLink installs three digital murals “reflecting the past, present and future of the region, through the lens of colonialism and reconciliation.” Also, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) celebrates 75 years of service; Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) of Charlotte, N.C., advances the LYNX Red Line project; Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) launches a campaign to address sexual harassment on transit; Southern California’s Metrolink and local law enforcement promote highway/rail grade crossing safety; Metrolinx awards a contract for work to connect the Yonge North Subway Extension to existing TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) Line 1 service; and a limited-edition “1904 Sandwich” has been created in recognition of the New York City subway’s 118th anniversary.

(Photograph Courtesy of TransLink)

TransLink has completed installation of three murals on a section of the Canada Line Bridge, which spans the Fraser River on the unceded and traditional territory of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), connecting Richmond and Vancouver.

As part of Transport 2050, TransLink said it teamed with xʷməθkʷəy̓əm to put out a call for Indigenous art “to celebrate the future of transportation.” Three xʷməθkʷəy̓əm artists were selected: Mack Paul, Diamond Point, and Hailee Stogan. Each artist created an original digital mural, roughly 17-feet long and seven-feet high, “reflecting the past, present and future of the region, through the lens of colonialism and reconciliation,” TransLink reported. “Reconciliation is a priority at TransLink and a key part of its regional transportation strategy.”

“It’s mind-blowing to think I’ve had the privilege to work on this project with TransLink,” Grade 12 artist Hailee Stogan said. “The topic of truth and reconciliation has been a large movement in Canada and, being so young, I never felt like my voice and opinions would be heard. By creating my piece of art for this project, I’m able to express these feelings without words.”

TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said in a statement that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept. 30) serves as a reminder that “reconciliation is an ongoing journey into the future and not a destination. By building respectful relationships with Indigenous Nations and urban Indigenous Peoples and taking action to improve transportation for all Indigenous Nations, we’re striving to help the process in a meaningful way.”

To mark its 75th anniversary on Oct. 1, CTA will be offering rides on its Heritage Fleet buses and trains, including the 4000-series from the 1920s, the 6000-series from the 1950s, and the 2400-series from the 1970s.

“For three-quarters of a century, the CTA has connected customers and communities to work, to school, to activities and to every vibrant Chicago neighborhood,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. said. “This is an important milestone worth celebrating in appreciation for our customers, as well as our dedicated, hard-working employees, who over the last 75 years have kept CTA on track in providing the most equitable, accessible and affordable public transportation in the country!”

For more on CTA’s anniversary, read: “Happy 75th, CTA!” by Railway Age Contributing Editor David Peter Alan.

LYNX Red Line map, taken from the CATS 2030 System Plan

MTC has unanimously approved the progression of Charlotte Area Transit System’s (CATS) 2030 System Plan, specifically the advancement of the LYNX Red Line, a proposed 25-mile, 10-station regional commuter rail line that will connect Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius and Huntersville to uptown Charlotte (see map, left), CATS reported on Sept. 29.

Through this approval, the FY 2023 Capital Investment Plan will allocate $5 million to the project for public outreach, updated design, confirmation of the proposed alignment, and continued coordination with Norfolk Southern for use of its existing rail line, according to the transit agency. CATS, a department of the city of Charlotte, is governed by MTC and offers light rail, streetcar, bus, vanpool and paratransit services.

“Transit is at a pivotal moment; we have an unprecedented opportunity for federal funding that can advance the Charlotte landscape,” CATS CEO John Lewis said. “It’s crucial for CATS to utilize this opportunity and plan ahead as the Charlotte region continues to grow.” 

MDOT MTA has a new public service campaign to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment on transit. It focuses on educating the public on what constitutes sexual harassment and how it can be stopped, according to the agency, which operates Local Bus, Commuter Bus, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train and Mobility paratransit services. Ads are being deployed on railcars and buses in addition to social media. MDOT MTA is also launching a safety and security webpage that highlights resources; includes a reporting form for individuals experiencing harassment on an MDOT MTA transit vehicle or at an MDOT MTA stop or station; and identifies the “3Ds” (Distract, Delegate and Direct), which it calls strategies that bystanders witnessing harassment can use to help a victim.

“An integral component of the MDOT MTA campaign focuses on data collection to better assess the extent riders in the Baltimore region are experiencing sexual harassment, as well as to inform future decision-making on outreach, campaign messaging, expectations for rider conduct and resource deployment,” the agency reported. “Rider outreach tactics include annual rider surveys, management and operator training, outreach events at frequently used transit stops, and online reporting tools.”

Based on data and feedback collected from riders, the agency said it plans to refine and expand the campaign annually, as well as partner with local community-based organizations to share ideas and input.

“There is no place for sexual harassment on transit or anywhere else,” MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold said. “We want everyone to know we take incidents of harassment seriously and are launching this campaign so that we can improve the overall experience for all who take transit.”

(Photograph Courtesy of Metrolink)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Metrolink Bureau teamed with local law enforcement agencies in September to perform highway/rail grade crossing enforcement events in observation of Rail Safety Month. Education, rather than punishment, was the primary purpose, according to Metrolink.

“For the month, law enforcement arrested two trespassers and issued 19 citations,” said Sergeant James M. Eggers of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Metrolink Bureau. “By issuing warnings and citations for dangerous crossing violations, law enforcement can increase safety awareness and save lives.”

“At Metrolink, safety is foundational and at the core of all we do, each and every day of the year,” said Frank Castellon, Metrolink’s Chief Safety, Security and Compliance Officer. “As part of our ongoing efforts to maintain the highest standards of safety, we are committed to educating drivers and the public about the vital importance of being alert and avoiding dangerous behaviors around railroad tracks.”

A TTC subway train approaches Finch Station. (Caption and Photograph Courtesy of Metrolinx)

Metrolinx reported on Sept. 29 that Black & McDonald has been awarded a contract to work on early upgrades at Finch Station to connect the approximately five-mile (eight-kilometer) Yonge North Subway Extension to existing TTC Line 1 service.

“We’re excited to bring a new partner on board to help us set the stage for major construction to begin,” Metrolinx Project Sponsor Stephen Collins said.

Work will include the installation of new heavy-duty electrical cables from an existing traction power substation on Hendon Avenue to Finch Station, and a new fire department connection near the intersection of Yonge Street and Hendon. Additionally, minor renovations and upgrades will be made to the electrical rooms inside Finch Station to accommodate the additional power cables.

Changes to the existing tail track area, beyond the subway platform, will prepare it to become part of the main subway line, according to Metrolinx. This involves extending the waterless sprinkler system from the existing service tracks through the tail tracks, along with new cables and other equipment that will link the future subway extension into existing communications and support systems.

Construction is slated to begin this fall.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber (right), Alidoro Owner/CEO Jon Streep, and third-generation owner of Katz’s Jake Dell on Sept. 29 announced the launch of the limited-edition 1904 Sandwich in celebration of New York City Transit subway’s 118th anniversary, Oct. 27, 1904. (Jessie Mislavsky/MTA)

New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has partnered with sandwich shops Katz’s Delicatessen and Alidoro to introduce the 1904 Sandwich, named after the year the first NYCT subway line opened to the public. In celebration of the subway’s 118th anniversary on Oct. 27, the sandwich is being sold at four of Alidoro’s shops in Manhattan from Sept. 29 through Oct. 31.

Katz’s Deli and Alidoro created the sandwich featuring Katz’s pastrami, confit garlic cream, Calabrian pepper dijon slaw, and aged provolone, served warm on a rye sourdough baguette custom-made by Newlight Breadworks for this collaboration, according to MTA.

The sandwich is $14, but for $17 it is available for purchase as part of an MTA Away lunchbox deal, which includes a cookie and a bag of chips. Customers who purchase the MTA Away lunchbox deal may win one of 25 preloaded $50 OMNY cards or one of 50 $50 gift certificates to add to a smart device or contactless card.

Each sandwich is wrapped in a Massimo Vignelli-inspired subway map design that includes the MTA Away logo, an integrated Katz’s and Alidoro logo, an illustration of the subway stops of Alidoro’s locations, and a QR code directing customers to an About page of the 1904 Sandwich.

While the 1904 Sandwich is available in-store only and not available for delivery, it can be ordered for shipping nationwide.

MTA reported that it will not receive any proceeds from the purchase of a sandwich, which is being advertised across all Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and subway platforms, and on trains and in terminals.

“A big thank you to Katz’s and Alidoro for helping the MTA find new ways to engage with New Yorkers,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,