Metrolink's discount program will be available for one year or until the grant funds are depleted.

Transit Briefs: Metrolink, WMATA, Valley Metro, MDOT, Metrolinx, LA Metro

Metrolink launches discount program for low-income train riders. Also, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)’s newly improved Orange Line stations will reopen on schedule featuring platform and customer upgrades; Valley Metro’s South Central Extension/Downtown Hub is halfway to the goal line; the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) releases $19.9 billion draft six-year capital budget plan; new reserved bike rooms are opening at five of Metrolinx’s GO stations; and LA Metro releases final limited edition TAP cards featuring rider portraits.

The grand opening of UTA's new Trax 600 South Station took place on July 26. (Photo Courtesy of UTA, via Twitter)

Passenger Rail Briefs: UTA, NYMTA, TriMet, Metrolinx, Valley Metro

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) celebrates grand opening of the new 600 South Station on its Trax system. Also, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announces universal subway wireless connectivity plan; TriMet offers unlimited one-month

The TriMet Board has approved a $1.93 billion FY 2023 budget.

Transit Briefs: Metrolinx, SEPTA, Shore Line East, TriMet, Valley Metro

Metrolinx selected Ricardo Certification to perform safety assessments for the GO Expansion project in Toronto; SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) released three options for its Reimagining Regional Rail project; Connecticut’s Shore Line East commuter rail is now operating M8 Electric Multiple Units (EMU); the Board of Directors for Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) approved the FY 2023 budget; and Valley Metro launched its Tempe (Ariz.) Streetcar system.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded a $75 million Capital Investment Grant to Valley Metro in September 2019 for the approximately $200 million Tempe Streetcar project.

Tempe Streetcar to Debut May 20

Set to launch May 20 is the Tempe (Ariz.) Streetcar system. Six Brookville Equipment Corp. vehicles will run along the three-mile, 14-station route, whose construction got under way in 2018.

Phoenix (Ariz.) Valley Metro incoming CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller

Mefford-Miller to Lead Phoenix Valley Metro

The Phoenix (Ariz.) Valley Metro Board has appointed Jessica Mefford-Miller as CEO, effective April 4. She succeeds Scott Smith, who in August 2021 informed the Board of his intent to retire in 2022.

In January 2021, the Federal Transit Administration signed a Full Funding Grant Agreement for Valley Metro’s South Central Light Rail Extension/Downtown Hub Project in Phoenix; the funding is part of the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program.

APTA to Congress: ‘Fully Fund IIJA’

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) on Feb. 11 submitted a letter to Congress urging members to “fully fund the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).”

First Look: Valley Metro’s Newest Siemens LRVs

On Jan. 10, three S700 light rail vehicles from Siemens Mobility entered revenue service on Phoenix Valley Metro’s 28-mile line between northwest Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa, Ariz.

The Phoenix Valley Metro’s Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project is on track to open in February 2025. The agency hosted U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg (at the podium) and Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez (seated) for the official FFGA signing on Nov. 19.

Valley Metro Earns FFGA for Light Rail Extension

Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Valley Metro celebrated the signing of a $158.1 million Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project on Nov. 19.

CTA has received AIA Illinois’ 2021 Greatest Impact Award for its $43 million renovation of the historic Garfield Station on Chicago’s south side.

Transit Briefs: CTA; DART; Valley Metro

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has received an architectural award for its Garfield Green Line station renovation project. In addition, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) now accepts contactless payment on all light rail, bus and Dallas Streetcar vehicles; and Phoenix Valley Metro’s Small Business Financial Assistance Program pilot has distributed more than $250,000 since its spring launch.

Scott Smith, outgoing CEO, Valley Metro, Phoenix, Ariz.

Valley Metro CEO Stepping Down in 2022

Scott Smith will retire as CEO of Phoenix’s Valley Metro in 2022.