New York MTA

“The tremendous growth in ridership is a result of the substantial investments North Carolina and Virginia are making to expand and improve passenger rail,” Amtrak Vice President Ray Lang said on Feb. 28. “Customers are taking advantage of a sustainable way to travel to the many destinations our network offers.” (Amtrak Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NYMTA, Metrolinx

Virginia and North Carolina are home Amtrak’s busiest stations in the Southeast. Also, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) provides an update on expanding Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Chief Accessibility Officer earns Presidential Volunteer Award; and Metrolinx’s maintenance and storage facility for the Finch West LRT project in Toronto receives LEED Silver Certification.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s upcoming budget plans include a proposed $282.8 million in new funding for transit agencies, including “cash strapped” SEPTA, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Jan. 26. (SEPTA Photograph)

Transit Briefs: SEPTA, Project Connect, Valley Metro, NYMTA, Amtrak

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro is planning to include $282.8 million in new state funding for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and other transit agencies. Also, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) advances Project Connect light rail in Austin, Tex.; Phoenix Valley Metro launches the Northwest Extension Phase II project; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces the first round of subway station renovations for 2024; and Amtrak kicks off Art at Amtrak’s third year with the latest installation at New York Penn Station.

The $135 million East-West Rail project in Massachusetts may include Palmer as a stop on the line linking Pittsfield and Boston. Springfield and Worcester are already stops on the planned line. (MassDOT image)

Transit Briefs: East-West Rail, MBTA, NYMTA, SCVTA, TransLink

Will the city Palmer be included in the Massachusetts’ East-West Rail project? Also, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) completes an expedited track work project on the Red Line and removes nine speed restrictions; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) upgrades cellular connectivity for MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) riders and wraps up an subway station accessibility project in Brooklyn; Santa Clara Valley (Calif.) Transportation Authority (SCVTA) improves wayfinding for light rail riders; and metro Vancouver’s TransLink certifies 28 “transit-friendly” employers.

Wabtec has landed a “multi-million-dollar” order from Kawasaki Rail Car for brakes and couplers that will be used on MTA New York City Transit’s 640 new R211 rapid transit cars. The 640 cars were ordered in 2022 as an option to a 2018 base order for 535 cars (pictured).
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Supply Side: Wabtec, FourKites

Wabtec Corporation is supplying brakes and couplers for 640 MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) R211s on order with Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. Also, supply chain visibility provider FourKites updates its AI-enabled Slot Manager system.

The New Jersey Herald on Aug. 8 reported that New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and Amtrak officials visited the future Andover, N.J., station site, to which New Jersey Transit will run commuter rail service and from which Amtrak will operate intercity passenger rail service to Scranton, Pa.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak/NJT, NYMTA, TriMet, WMATA

Amtrak and New Jersey Transit’s (NJT) passenger rail service project between Andover, N.J., and Scranton, Pa., is advancing. Also, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launches an all-in-one mobile app for trip planning and service information; Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) leases a new office space; and the latest Washington Metrorail Safety Commission report highlights Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) missteps.

Trinity Metro will continue TEXRail commuter service south to one new station. (Photograph Courtesy of Trinity Metro)

Transit Briefs: Trinity Metro, Midcoast Railservice, NYCT, Keolis

Trinity Metro selects a final design consultant for its $167 million commuter rail extension project in Fort Worth, Tex. Also, Midcoast Railservice debuts Rockland-to-Brunswick, Maine, rail excursions; off-peak headways on MTA New York City Transit’s C Line are decreasing by 20%; and Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis) provides $25,000 in scholarships to Massachusetts students.

A consultant has been selected to perform the environmental review of New York MTA’s Interborough Express, a proposed 14-mile, 19-station light rail transit project. (Station Rendering Courtesy of NYMTA)

Transit Briefs: East-West Rail, MBTA, Metra, NYMTA, SEPTA

Funding for the east-west passenger rail project is left out of the Massachusetts budget. Also, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and Boston Carmen’s ATU Local 589 reach a tentative agreement; Chicago’s Metra is boosting its ME Blue Island commuter rail service; a consultant has been selected for environmental review of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Interborough Express project; and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is expanding its institutional pass program.

A new Amtrak OIG report finds that Amtrak “faces challenges with the systems and processes it uses to track and manage costs for capital projects, which hinder project teams from identifying emerging cost overruns.” (Photograph Courtesy of Amtrak OIG, via Twitter)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak OIG, FTA, NYMTA

“Amtrak is strengthening its project cost management, but can better organize costs and improve guidance,” according to the latest Amtrak Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. Also, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Cincinnati Connector Streetcar will receive funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Areas of Persistent Poverty Program; and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will increase subway fares and implement recommendations of the Blue-Ribbon Panel Report on Fare and Toll Evasion.