Metra

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.

In January, Metra’s Board of Directors approved a $1.8 billion purchase of up to 500 Alstom multilevels to replace aging bi-level gallery cars.

Supply Side: Alstom, Grignard Pure, Nexxiot

Alstom will receive a $3.4 million federal grant to expand its Hornell, N.Y., manufacturing facility. In addition, Grignard Pure LLC’s antimicrobial air treatment solution has received EPA approval for use in intrastate transit and transportation applications, and Nexxiot has teamed with TransRail Innovation Group (TRIG) to provide freight car monitoring.

Chicago’s Metra now offers an onboard survey to measure and track month-to-month rider satisfaction and to solicit feedback on on-time performance, cleanliness, communications, and employee interactions.

Transit Briefs: Metra, Metrolink, Valley Metro, Sound Transit, TTC

Chicago’s Metra is offering an onboard rider satisfaction survey; Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has launched a Small Business Partnership Program (SBPP); Phoenix’s Valley Metro has introduced a real-time light rail and bus tracking and trip planning app; Sound Transit has debuted a Northgate Link website ahead of the 4.3-mile light rail extension’s Oct. 2 opening; and Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has opened a new Fare Inspector and Special Constable Complaints (FISCC) Office.

The Commuter Rail Coalition (CRC) recently celebrated its second anniversary. Among its leaders are Executive Director KellyAnne Gallagher and Chair Jim Derwinski (CEO, Chicago’s Metra).

CRC Elects Board Members, Marks Second Anniversary

The Commuter Rail Coalition (CRC) has elected Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority General Manager Leslie Richards as Secretary of the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, and Caltrain Acting Executive Director Michelle Bouchard, Virginia Railway Express CEO Rich Dalton and T.Y. Lin International Senior Vice President Joe Yesbeck as Board Members At-Large for 2021-23.

Senators Propose Transit Accessibility Grant Program

The All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP) Act of 2021 has been introduced to establish grants that help transit authorities and commuter railroads upgrade existing stations to “meet or exceed accessibility standards” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reported bill authors and U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).