A daily roundtrip will be added to the Piedmont starting July 10, according to Amtrak, which operates the intercity passenger train for NCDOT. (NCDOT Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, CTA, TransLink/TTC, WMATA

Amtrak and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) are boosting Piedmont service between Charlotte and Raleigh. Also, Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Transit-Supportive Development Plan for the Red Line Extension project has been adopted; Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Vancouver’s TransLink wrap up a pilot testing the effectiveness of antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch vehicle services; TTC opens a community office ahead of construction at the Bloor-Yonge Station; and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) celebrates the grand opening of its 98th station.

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have received federal approval to raise speeds from 90 mph to up to 110 mph for most of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, primarily between the Joliet and Alton stations. (Amtrak Photograph)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, Metrolinx, NYMTA, TransLink

Amtrak can now operate up to 110 mph through most of the Chicago-St. Louis corridor, and awaits approval of a federal grant to plan an Oklahoma City-Newton, Kans., connection. Also, Metrolinx offers a new way to pay for transit fares in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area; New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reports nearly $500 million in upgrades to Brooklyn’s Broadway Junction subway station complex, and could consider re-instating Twitter to publish service alerts; and TransLink ridership in Metro Vancouver rebounds in 2022.

Train testing on LA Metro’s Regional Connector project has begun.

Transit Briefs: LA Metro, BART, Sound Transit, TransLink, NYMTA

Train testing on LA Metro’s Regional Connector project begins. Also, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) seek approval to bolster BART Inspector General funding; the University of Washington partners with Sound Transit to study fentanyl smoke movement in public transportation; TransLink commits to first real estate development project; and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces another 13 stations to be refurbished as part of New York City Transit’s (NYCT) Re-NEW-vation Program.

Amtrak’s Adirondack service between New York City and Montreal will resume April 3. It had been suspended for three years due to the pandemic.

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, CATS, MBTA, Metrolinx, NYCT, TransLink

Amtrak, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and VIA Rail Canada are fully restoring Adirondack service. Also, a Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) derailment report raises light rail vehicle safety concerns; Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) lifts Green Line speed restrictions; Metrolinx, the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area transit authority, launches the #GOTransitReads by Legible Book Club; MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) logs more “Station Re-NEW-vation Program” work; and the government of British Columbia provides C$479 million in emergency funding for metro Vancouver’s TransLink.

Forbes has recognized Amtrak as one of 500 “Best Large Employers” in America for 2023. (Photograph Courtesy of Amtrak)

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, BART, Brightline, Metra, NCTD, TransLink

Amtrak earns a spot on the Forbes 2023 list of America’s Best Large Employers. Also, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) launches a domestic violence prevention campaign; Brightline targets the opening of its Orlando, Fla., passenger rail extension, and plans three wildlife overcrossings for its Los Vegas-to-Southern California high-speed rail project; Metra’s Board signs off on the Chicago commuter railroad’s 2023-27 strategic plan; North County Transit District (NCTD) launches pilot fare products to meet the needs of San Diego County’s hybrid workforce; and members of the metro Vancouver community can scrap their cars for 16 months of free transit.

Amtrak is awarding 11 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, who have “an active interest in the railroad industry.”

Transit Briefs: Amtrak, NYMTA, City of Montreal, TransLink

Applications are now being accepted for Amtrak’s scholarship program. Also, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) unveils a strategic action plan to improve bike, pedestrian, and micromobility access at and near its facilities; city of Montreal advances the Western Link Kirkland project, providing access to the Prairies River and a new Réseau express métropolitain (REM) train station; and metro Vancouver’s TransLink fully integrates contactless Interac Debit payments systemwide.

Gov. of British Columbia Issues RFP for Surrey Langley SkyTrain

Following a thorough evaluation of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) submissions, the Government of British Columbia announced Jan. 3 that it has invited two teams to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage to design, build and finance the elevated guideway, roadworks and utilities, as well as active transportation elements of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain.

ONxpress Transportation Partners has chosen ZEDAS GmbH’s software for the On-Corridor Works Project of the GO Expansion program. Starting in 2024, it will be used “to digitize and automate maintenance processes in the areas of rail vehicles and rail infrastructure.”

Supply Side: Actelis, ZEDAS GmbH

Northern Ireland Railways (NI Railways) has selected Fremont, Calif.-based Actelis to enable high-speed connectivity for a large-scale safety critical project. Also, the ONxpress Transportation Partners consortium has chosen ZEDAS GmbH’s asset management system for the On-Corridor Works Project of the GO Expansion program in Canada’s Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

TransLink's Compass Mini-Trains attach to a keyring and offer an alternate way to pay for transit in Metro Vancouver.

Transit Briefs: TransLink, NYMTA, Metra, CTA

TransLink launches Compass Mini-Train as an alternate way to pay for transit in Metro Vancouver. Also, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 11 unveil New York City subway Customer Service Centers; Metra approves contract to rebuild three electric line stations; and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announces plans to develop a new Control and Training Center on Chicago’s West Side.