Business Class riders will now be treated to reclining leather seats and other amenities onboard Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner. (Photograph Courtesy of Amtrak Pacific Surfliner)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, CTDOT, CTA, MARTA, Metrolinx, SacRT, Tri-Rail

Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® trains now include upgraded Business Class equipment. Also, Shore Line East, Connecticut Department of Transportation’s (CTDOT) commuter rail service between New London and New Haven, may be expanded to Rhode Island; Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has installed security camera monitors in all rail station customer service booths; Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) marked the official opening of StationSoccer and released a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Request for Proposals (RFP); Metrolinx’s GO expansion is progressing along the Barrie Line; Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) offers tips to “help clear the air” in recognition of California Clean Air Day (Oct. 5); and Tri-Rail, South Florida’s regional passenger railroad, will not reach downtown Miami in 2022.

Images of Connecticut's Rail System. (Carl Talley)

Small-Road Briefs: CTDOT, WisDOT

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is soliciting comments on its Draft State Rail Plan Update. Also, Gov. Tony Evers, along with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), announces nearly $8 million in grants and loans for Wisconsin’s Freight Railroad Assistance Program (FRPP).

On Sept. 11, the first two of 72 Kawasaki-built rapid transit cars for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s PATH system arrived at Port Newark via a Ro-ro vessel originating in Japan. (Credit: PANYNJ)

Transit Briefs: CA, CTrail, MARTA, NJT, NYCT, PATH, SacRt, TTC

Wellness centers will be deployed at all California transit agencies. Also, a new CTrail- and Amtrak-served train station and roadway safety and track improvement project is under way in Windsor Locks, Conn.; Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) outlines Streetcar East Extension project; New Jersey Transit (NJT) teams with BetMGM on rail line naming rights; MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) graduates subway train operators; PATH’s first two new Kawasaki-built rapid transit cars arrive from Japan; Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) offers a ride-free week in celebration of California Clean Air Day; and Toronto Transit Commission will recognize Canada’s National Day of Mourning.

APTA Honors Top Public Transportation Organizations and Leaders

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) honored on July 15 nine organizations and leaders with awards for “their vision, leadership and commitment to public transportation.” APTA also inducted four new members into

Metro-North's new timetables took effect July 10, adding six express trains on the New Haven Line.

Passenger Rail Briefs: Metro-North, NJ Transit, Metro Transit

Metro-North Railroad (Metro-North) adds express trains to New Haven Line and increases Waterbury Branch service by 47%. Also, NJ Transit workers sue over abusive riders and Metro Transit rolls out Safety and

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) General Manager and CEO Jeffrey A. Parker died Jan. 14, 2022.

MARTA GM/CEO Jeffrey Parker Dies at 55

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) General Manager and CEO Jeffrey A. Parker died on Jan. 14.

“This critical help from Congress is the reason we were able to keep most of our service running for essential trips during the pandemic and all of our workers employed,” LACMTA CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins said.

CTDOT, LACMTA, NJT, NYMTA: $9.4B in Grants for COVID-19 Response

The Federal Transit Administration is awarding American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 grants for COVID-19 response to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT, $332.5 million); Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA, $1.24 billion); New Jersey Transit (NJT, $1.6 billion); and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (NYMTA, $6.2 billion).

Commentary

Coming to Metro-North’s Waterbury, CT Branch: PTC, Increased Frequency

MTA Metro-North Railroad’s branch line from Bridgeport to Waterbury, Conn., is being upgraded, and plans call for more trains to run on weekdays, starting next June.

Transit Briefs: UTA, TransLink, SEPTA, CTDOT

Utah Transit Authority’s (UTA) FrontRunner commuter rail service may expand from Provo to Payson. In addition, metro Vancouver’s TransLink has released the first full draft of Transport 2050, the region’s 30-year transportation strategy; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has selected Huitt-Zollars, Inc. for an 18-month study to create a regional rail network plan; and Connecticut will evaluate Aira, a service providing public transit assistance to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

CSX/Pan Am Merger: Pros and Cons

As a series of Surface Transportation Board comment periods continues for the CSX’s proposed acquisition of Pan Am Railways, letters both for and against the combination have been filed with the STB.

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