Operation Lifesaver

Ahead of future service between Mobile, Ala., and New Orleans, La., Amtrak engineers and conductors will soon begin required “familiarization” trips to learn the route’s physical characteristics.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, MTA Metro-North, Tri-Rail

Amtrak advances crew training for Mobile-to-New Orleans intercity passenger rail service. Also, Connecticut lawmakers eye electrification of MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Danbury Branch; and south Florida’s Tri-Rail commuter railroad saw January ridership grow 30% over the same month last year.

Antonio Marquez, conductor, San Antonio, Tex. (Photograph Courtesy of UP)
Commentary

Military Prepared Marquez for Life on the Rails

How do Union Pacific (UP) employees provide safe and reliable service year-after-year in a 24/7 outdoor factory? Conductor Antonio Marquez credits his 18-year reportable injury-free career to situational awareness and knowing what’s required to safely complete each job.

“Our new fare capping policy will save our customers money and ensure that no one overpays,” LACMTA CEO Stephanie Wiggins said on Dec. 2. (LACMTA Photo, Via Twitter)

Transit Briefs: LACMTA, NCDOT/Amtrak, OLI, VTA

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) Board approves a new fare policy. Also, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) completes the first phase of construction for a new Amtrak station in Charlotte; Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) awards more than $140,000 in grants to eight transit agencies in six states; and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) receives authority to pursue federal funding for up to 50% of the cost of Phase II of the BART Silicon Valley Extension Project.

BART Add Fare Machines inside stations, which also serve as parking payment machines, now accept credit and debit cards.

Transit Briefs: BART, Amtrak, SEPTA, HART, MTC, NJ Transit

Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Add Fare machines undergo major upgrades to improve customer experience. Also, Amtrak trains could be coming into the Miami Intermodal Center; the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) breaks ground on new accessibility project at Tasker-Morris Station; the Honolulu Authority for Rail Transportation (HART) and Hitachi Rail run small-scale exercise drills in partnership with the city’s first responders; the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) adopts a new Transit-Oriented Communities Policy to promote commercial development near transit stations; and NJ Transit rolls out two initiatives as part of its ongoing Safety Education Program.

OLI Names New State Coordinators, Issues Photography Safety Materials

Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) now offers rail safety outreach and education programs in 47 states plus Washington, D.C., with the addition of eight new state coordinators. It has also teamed with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on education materials covering the dangers and illegality of railroad track photography.

Commentary

Our Industry Must Present a United Front

Recently, I was honored to receive the OneRail Coalition’s newly established Canby Award. Named for the Coalition’s founder and former director, Anne Canby, the award recognizes an individual’s “dedication to preserving and

Operation Lifesaver (OLI) will use 2022 funding from the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh to support a competitive grant program for public education activities conducted by OLI state programs, among other initiatives.

OLI: Posner Foundation Grant Renewed

The Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh has renewed its annual grant to Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), supporting U.S. highway/rail grade crossing safety education.

This summer, WMATA will close the New Carrollton, Landover, Cheverly, Deanwood and Minnesota Avenue stations on the Orange Line, as part of the final phase of its four-year Platform Improvement Project.

Transit Briefs: GCRTA, Metra, WMATA

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) will receive an initial $20.3 million under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Also, Chicago’s Metra has scheduled 51 safety blitzes for 2022; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will start the final phase of its Platform Improvement Project on May 28.