NJ Transit has ranked No. 24 out of 90 New Jersey companies listed on the Forbes “America’s Best Employers By State 2021,” which includes 1,330 companies across the country.

Transit Briefs: NJ Transit; Metrolink

New Jersey Transit has been named to the Forbes “America’s Best Employers By State 2021” list. In addition, the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) will offer free round-trip tickets for rider use from Sept. 22, Car Free Day, until Oct. 31.

Among CTC’s recently approved rail-related projects is a new San Diego Maintenance and Layover Facility for the maintenance, support and storage for Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trainsets.

CTC Approves 11 Rail-Related Infrastructure Projects

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated more than $1.4 billion for state projects to improve transportation infrastructure. Of that total, $67.78 million is for 11 rail-related efforts.

Darren Kettle, incoming CEO, Metrolink

Darren Kettle to Lead Metrolink

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s (SCRRA) Board of Directors has appointed Darren Kettle CEO of Metrolink, the 538-route mile, seven-line, 62-station regional/commuter rail network that spans Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura and North San Diego counties.

CHSRA, City of Palmdale Team on Station Project

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and the city of Palmdale have entered into an agreement to supply matching funds for a $1.35 million RAISE grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation that, if awarded, would support completion of the city’s Station Implementation Master Plan.

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.

NERRC has selected Patricia Quinn for the Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award. Quinn, Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, led the development of Amtrak Downeaster service between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston, Mass., and has been engaged in all aspects of maintaining that service. (Amtrak/Downeaster)

High Profile: NERRC Lifetime Achievement Award; RBNM, Metrolink, MUL Railcars Announce Leadership Changes

The New England Railroad Club (NERRC) Executive Committee is honoring Patricia Quinn, Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), for her commitment to passenger rail service; Reading & Northern’s (RBMN) Rian Nemeroff, Susan Ludwig and Jim Cerulli are taking on new marketing and sales responsibilities; and Ilyssa DeCasperis and Bradley DeVault are joining Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) and MUL Railcars, Inc., respectively.

Amtrak's proposal, one of five, was selected for providing operations support for Metrolink's regional/commuter rail service in Southern California.

Metrolink Extends Amtrak Ops Contract

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has renewed its contract with Amtrak for regional/commuter rail operations services, beginning Jan. 1, 2021 and expiring June 30, 2025. Amtrak will also provide and manage engineers and conductors.

Grants totaling $291 million will support 11 projects in nine states that will repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly owned or controlled railroad assets.

FRA’s SOGR Grant Awardees

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is distributing $291 million in grants among 11 projects under its FY 2020 Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) Program.

The five engineering firms were chosen to support a variety of expansion, rehabilitation and state-of-good repair projects for the regional/commuter rail service.

SCRRA Growth and Safety: Five Firms, $50MM

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) has awarded a $50 million task-order contract to HDR Engineering Inc., AECOM Technical Services Inc., RailPros, Hill International Inc., and Parsons.

Talgo, SYSTRA tapped for railcar rebuild

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority recently awarded a Talgo-SYSTRA tandem a contract worth $138.9 million to rebuild up to 121 Metrolink-operated Bombardier railcars. The base order is for 50 cars with an option for up to 71 additional units.