Metro-North

Transit Briefs: Metro-North, Santa Clara VTA, APTA/WSP USA

MTA Metro-North Railroad has expanded its rider seat availability tracker to Google Maps. In addition, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has scheduled pilot testing of autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle routes in 2022 and 2023; and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has selected WSP USA’s Jannet Walker-Ford to serve on its Executive Committee.

MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi (pictured, center) helped unveil the $95 million White Plains, N.Y., station renewal project on Nov. 1. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, Metra, MTA Metro-North, Trinity Metro

Amtrak is introducing new ticket kiosks. In addition, Chicago’s Metra has broken ground on the Peterson Ridge Station; MTA Metro-North Railroad has completed a $95 million renewal of its White Plains, N.Y., station; and Texas’ Trinity Metro has appointed Paul J. Ballard interim President and CEO.

“As our communities and system recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, planning becomes even more important,” DART said on Oct. 19. “The 2045 Transit System Plan is intended to be a more policy-oriented plan so DART can shape and influence the future.”

Transit Briefs: DART; Denver RTD; MTA Metro-North; VIA Rail Canada

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has released a draft 2045 Transit System Plan. In addition, Denver (Colo.) Regional Transportation District is surveying riders to assess communication needs; MTA Metro-North Railroad is piloting a bike storage program in New York City; and Via Rail Canada will begin the final phase of its gradual service resumption plan in December.

High-Speed Debate Continues—in Congress

The long-simmering controversy over high-speed rail (HSR) continued during a May 6 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials. Its theme: “When Unlimited Potential Meets Limited Resources: The Benefits and Challenges of High-Speed Rail and Emerging Rail Technologies.”

Receiving CARSI grants are: Metrolink operator Southern California Regional Rail Authority ($14,771,250); Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ($1,000,000); New York State Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and MTA Metro-North Railroad ($19,728,000); Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority ($3,335,000); and Washington state’s Sound Transit ($1,421,500).

USDOT Awards $40.26MM for Commuter Rail Grade Crossing Improvements

Five commuter rail agencies will receive a total of $40.26 million in grants for highway/rail grade crossing improvements from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The awards are part of round one of the Commuter Authority Rail Safety Improvement (CARSI) Grants Program.

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye (right), Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi and Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng announced Dec. 23 that the commuter railroads are operating in Positive Train Control (PTC) mode. (Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)

NYMTA Commuter Railroads: 100% PTC Operational

Officials at New York MTA’s Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) announced Dec. 23 that implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) was complete, just ahead of the Dec. 31, 2020, federal deadline. They teamed with systems integrator Siemens Mobility and Bombardier Transportation on the project.

Metro-North: Forgot Your Mask? Need Hand Sanitizer? No Problem, We’ll Sell It To You

MTA Metro-North Railroad has reconfigured vending machines at 12 stations throughout its commuter rail system to allow customers to purchase PPE (personal protective equipment) KN95 masks, bottled hand sanitizer and gloves at the machines starting July 10, though “free masks and hand sanitizer are still being distributed at stations and on trains for any rider that needs them,” the agency said.