Chicago Transit Authority

San Francisco Bay Area transit in California will take on a whole new look later this year. Transit agency and Metropolitan Transportation Commission officials unveiled design prototypes for a common set of signs to be used by all agencies at all locations. (Image Courtesy of BART)

Transit Briefs: Bay Area Transit, LACMTA, CTA, Amtrak Virginia

A project is under way to unify San Francisco Bay Area transit maps and signs. Also, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) renames the West Santa Ana Branch Corridor Project to avoid rider confusion; and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Amtrak Virginia set ridership records in 2023.

SEPTA will close ticket sales windows at 14 Regional Rail stations on Feb. 3.

Transit Briefs: SEPTA, East-West Rail, CTA

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is shuttering ticket windows at 14 Regional Rail stations. Also, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officially recommends a Palmer stop for the East-West passenger rail project; and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) ramps up recruitment.

While customer satisfaction surveys show that “we’re making measurable progress in many areas,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said, “clearly there is more work we need to do. I’m absolutely committed to that.” (CTA Photograph Courtesy of FTA)

Transit Briefs: CTA, TEXRail

Service satisfaction for Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) customers was up in 2023. Also, TEXRail has celebrated five years of commuter service between Fort Worth and DFW Airport in Texas.

Forty Creek® Canadian Whisky and Metrolinx will provide free rides on GO Transit and UP Express on New Year's Eve. (CNW Group/Campari Group Canada)

Transit Briefs: Metrolinx, NJ Transit, FTA, CTA, SFMTA, TTC

Metrolinx teams up with Canadian whisky brand Forty Creek to provide free rides on GO Transit and UP Express on New Year’s Eve. Meanwhile, NJ Transit’s systemwide beverage ban remains in effect, and the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) takes nationwide steps to address assaults on transit workers. Also, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) kicks off a community engagement process to activate new spaces under new Red Line Tracks; the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) introduces the first LRV4s with a new seating arrangement; Scarborough’s Rapid Transit (RT) trains could have a new home in Detroit; and NJ Transit sells a stuffed animal to support Ricardo the Bull.

Screenshot Courtesy of SMART, via YouTube

Transit Briefs: SMART, Sound Transit, Project Connect, SEPTA, CTA

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) celebrates the groundbreaking of its Petaluma North Station. Also, Sound Transit expects to finish the planning phase for its West Seattle Light Rail Extension in 2024; Project Connect expects to wrap its initial light rail environmental review by next fall; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Transit Police vote to strike after rejecting the latest contract from the agency; and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) introduces “Innovation Studio” to address public transit challenges.

Caltrain on Dec. 7 unveiled its fall 2024 schedule for electrified service, which it said includes faster transit times and more frequent service including during weekends. (Caltrain Photograph)

Transit Briefs: BART, Caltrain, CMAP, CTA, NYMTA

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Board approves a new financial organizational structure. Also, California’s Caltrain releases a service plan for its fall 2024 Electrification Project rollout; Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) delivers to state legislators recommendations for keeping regional transit afloat; Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) wraps up this year’s “Refresh & Renew” project work across 29 rapid transit stations; and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) competes a subway station-accessibility project in Washington Heights.

With service expected to launch early next year, Phoenix Valley Metro’s 1.6-mile Northwest Extension Phase II project is now in the testing phase. (Phoenix Valley Metro Photograph)

Transit Briefs: CTA, MARTA, Phoenix Valley Metro, SacRT, Tri-Rail, TTC

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is developing a chatbot for customer assistance on its website. Also, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) advances its Five Points Station Transformation Project; Phoenix Valley Metro readies for the Northwest Extension Phase II project’s 2024 launch; the first of Sacramento (Calif.) Regional Transit District’s (SacRT) new Siemens Mobility SD700s enter the final testing phase; Tri-Rail’s commuter rail ridership recovery continues in Florida; and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) awards a radio communications coverage contract for a subway system pilot project.

(Photographs Courtesy of FTA, via social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter)

FTA: $343MM Available for Rail Transit Accessibility Projects

Transit agencies may now apply for Fiscal Year 2024 grants to improve subway, commuter rail and light rail system access for people with disabilities and mobility needs. The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) is making available $343 million; applications are due by Jan. 30, 2024.

“This [emergency transit operations] funding [plan] from the MTC supports BART’s new Safe and Clean Plan to welcome riders back to our system and it buys us time to explore a sustainable funding model while avoiding devasting service cuts,” San Francisco Bay Area Transit District (BART) General Manager Bob Powers said Nov. 15.

Transit Briefs: MTC, CTA, LIRR, PANY/NJ

California’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approves an emergency transit operations funding plan. Also, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) extends its partnership with City of Chicago to provide outreach and assistance to unhoused riders; the village of Westbury, N.Y., completes a rezoning project to promote transit-oriented development near MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR); and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ) releases proposed 2024 budget that advances a new PATH fare payment system and the development of a new AirTrain Newark system.