Brightline

The Portal North Bridge crossing the Hackensack River in the New Jersey Meadowlands is 50% complete, NJT and Amtrak reported May 13. (Photo Credit: Amtrak/Marc Glucksman and William Kyle Anderson)

Transit Briefs: NJT/Amtrak, MBTA, Caltrain, Brightline

New Jersey Transit (NJT) and Amtrak’s Portal North Bridge project on the Northeast Corridor is 50% complete. Also, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) advances Red Line track work, removing 13 speed restrictions; Caltrain launches Bay Area transit “discord server”; and Assured Guaranty Municipal Corporation insures $1.134 billion of bonds for Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad.

Brightline train in Orlando. (Photo by David C. Lester)

Transit Briefs: Metra, CTA, Brightline

Metra increases its UP North Line weekday service. Also, crime on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) continues a downward trend in April; and Brightline ends its monthly passes.

Brightline covers 235 miles between Miami and Orlando. It launched the first phase of its South Florida operations in 2018, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Stations in Boca Raton and Aventura opened in 2022. Construction of its 170-mile, $6 billion phase two extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando began in 2019 and service launched in September 2023. (Brightline Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Brightline, Capital Line South LRT, GCRTA

Brightline, Florida’s private-sector passenger railroad, receives “investment-grade” ratings. Also, the city of Edmonton, Alberta, has selected its preferred bidder to design and build Phase 1 of the Capital Line South LRT Extension; and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) launches a new webpage for its Railcar Replacement Program.

​Passengers wait to board a Piedmont train at the station in Greensboro N.C. (NC By Train)

Transit Briefs: MBTA, Brightline, NC By Train

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) issues a request for information (RFI) to gather views on plans to replace its existing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) contract and considers increasing service on the Fairmount Line with a new fleet of electric battery-powered trains. Also, Brightline cuts its 2024 ridership forecast; and NC By Train ridership continues to grow.

(Image: Brightline)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NJ Transit, SEPTA, Brightline

Amtrak Northeast Corridor (NEC) trains transition to fixed forward and backward seating. Also, Gov. Phil Murphy’s $55.9 billion budget includes a plan for NJ Transit by taxing businesses; the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Transit Police Department upgrades to CODY Systems’ cloud-based Public Safety Suite; and Brightline ranks No. 59 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the Southeast region’s fastest-growing private companies.

MARTA photo

Transit Briefs: MARTA, Minn. Met Council, Brightline/FEC, HRT, SEPTA, Sound Transit, TRE

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) contracts INIT to implement a new fare collection system in time for the FIFA World Cup. Also, Minnesota’s Metropolitan Council transit ridership grows 16%; Brightline and Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) horns will continue in Indian River as County Commission nixes quiet zones; Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) receives Direct Technical Assistance (DTA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) receives $317 million for new Market-Frankford Line cars; Sound Transit’s new app is now available for download; and Trinity Rail Express (TRE) is now making stops at a new station in Fort Worth, Texas.

The USDOT has awarded a $226.2 million INFRA grant and a $73.8 Mega grant to the Port of New Orleans to construct a new 1,200-acre container terminal on the Gulf Coast. (Port of New Orleans Image)

USDOT Awards $4.9B for Mega, INFRA Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is distributing $4.9 billion to 37 nationwide projects through the FY 2023-24 Mega (National Infrastructure Project Assistance) and INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) grant programs. Twelve rail-related projects will receive a total of $1.6 billion; the Pier B project at the Port of Long Beach and the Louisiana International Terminal project at the Port of New Orleans are among the winners.

Brightline photo

A New Orlando-Tampa Extension for Brightline?

According to a Fox 35 Orlando news report, a bill filed Jan. 3 by State Senate Transportation Chair Nick DiCeglie (R-Indian Rocks Beach) would require the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to