A westbound OC Transpo train approaches Bayview Station on Line 1 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo: Courtesy, City of Ottawa)

Ottawa LRT Projects Advancing

Work is progressing on the two extensions to Ottawa, Ontario’s crosstown Confederation LRT Line, opened in 2019. A third major rail transit project currently under way in the Ottawa area is extending and upgrading the DMU Trillium Line. Scheduled for completion in 2023, this improvement should significantly boost ridership.

On Feb. 16, a Metrolink train traveled along the new nine-mile, five-station Arrow corridor from San Bernardino to Redlands, Calif. (pictured). It allowed crews to take clearance measurements in preparation for train testing, which kicked off Feb. 22. Revenue service is slated to begin this summer.

Transit Briefs: CTA, LOSSAN, SBCTA

The Chicago Transit Board has approved a new agreement with Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) largest union. Also, Icomera U.S. is improving Wi-Fi service for Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner riders; and San Bernardino County (Calif.) Transportation Authority (SBCTA) is starting train testing this month along the nine-mile Arrow passenger rail corridor.

CTA employs some 10,600 workers, who provided nearly 200 million trips in 2020.

For CTA, $912.1MM ARP Grant

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has been awarded a $912.1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for COVID-19 response under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021.

On Nov. 1 Chicago Transit Authority debuted a special train wrap to honor the Chicago Sky, its hometown 2021 WNBA Champions.

Transit Briefs: Brightline; CTA; Metrolink; NJ Transit

Brightline has partnered with TransitScreen to provide real-time multi-modal transportation information in stations. In addition, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is honoring the Chicago Sky, its hometown 2021 WNBA Champions; Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) is working with Moovit to help riders calculate the best routes for their trips; and New Jersey Transit is adding 22 weekday trains to align with rider demand and 14 weekend trains to improve service frequency.

L.B. Foster has launched digital passenger information display units that improve accessibility for deaf, hard-of-hearing or visually impaired users at railroad stations and airports.

Supply Side: Auxo/Genesis Rail Services; Industrial Networks; L.B. Foster; Liebherr

Auxo Investment Partners has acquired Genesis Rail Services, a railroad maintenance company. In addition, Industrial Networks LLC is expanding its rail yard automation system; L.B. Foster’s digital passenger information display units are now accessible for deaf, hard-of-hearing, or visually impaired rail passengers; and Liebherr-Transportation Systems will provide spare parts for Chicago Transit Authority’s 5000-series cars’ electro-hydraulic level control systems.

CTA Unveils Operating Budget, Capital Plan Proposals

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has proposed a $1.75 billion operating budget for 2022 and a $3.5 billion capital improvement plan for 2022-26.

Metra Unveils 2022 Operating, Capital Budgets

Chicago’s Metra has proposed a $900 million operating budget and $263 million capital budget for 2022; there is no fare increase.

CTA has received AIA Illinois’ 2021 Greatest Impact Award for its $43 million renovation of the historic Garfield Station on Chicago’s south side.

Transit Briefs: CTA; DART; Valley Metro

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has received an architectural award for its Garfield Green Line station renovation project. In addition, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) now accepts contactless payment on all light rail, bus and Dallas Streetcar vehicles; and Phoenix Valley Metro’s Small Business Financial Assistance Program pilot has distributed more than $250,000 since its spring launch.

The CDOT’s plan includes 21 goals, 84 strategies and hundreds of benchmarks laid out in one- and three-year increments to “chart a course toward building safer streets; reprioritizing transportation projects to increase access to opportunities for residents in historically neglected neighborhoods; and working with CTA and regional transit agencies to expand public transportation access,” among other measures.

Transit Briefs: Chicago DOT, FTA

The Chicago (Ill.) Department of Transportation (CDOT) has released a strategic transportation plan that it’s calling “the nation’s first” urban plan developed in the wake of the pandemic, economic and racial justice crises of 2020. Also, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is now accepting applications for its Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation.

The Chicago Transit Authority will use a $13.96 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant “to protect critical surface transportation and the traveling public from acts of terrorism and to increase the resilience of transit infrastructure.”

Transit Briefs: CTA, OCTA

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is receiving $13.96 million for emergency preparedness as part of a U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) grant to the state of Illinois. Also, the Orange County (Calif.) Transportation Authority (OCTA) will begin work this month on a $29.86 million Metrolink station improvement project at Anaheim Canyon.

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