The City of
"With the economic successes we are having and the large retirement community we have, plus the number of baby boomers we have moving south to the coast after they retire, we need another transportation option," said Mayor Jones.
“I think we’ve probably got another four to six months’
worth of preparation before we step out with our plan and proposal,” Jones told
the Mobile Press-Register after the summit. “We need to
sell it as a region, and that’s what we’re committed to do.” He said the
The keynote speakers at the
Hedlund responded to the familiar criticism that trains are too costly. "What is affordable about adding four more lanes to Interstate 10? What is affordable about doubling size of airports? Rail is affordable. Yes, upfront costs can be higher but it lasts for hundreds of years," she told the audience.
Stennis said Amtrak stands ready to work as a partner with
whatever federal or state government develops a plan to bring service to the
region, but that the chosen government entity must take the lead. He reviewed
the projected cost of the three options Amtrak presented in its 2009
report: restore the Sunset Limited as it was pre-Katrina;
extend the daily City of
Stennis emphasized Amtrak’s position that the 2006 decision
to suspend the Sunset indefinitely was a “strategic business
decision” that was not intended to single out the
Nelson’s well-received presentation focused on the ability
of train stations to be economic development engines for en-route communities,
and pointed to Amtrak’s Downeaster as a model for this. He
closed by emphasizing former
Mayor Smith was also present in
At the summit, Hedlund unveiled FRA’s
award of $100,000 to the State of
The study will include a cost and ridership analysis,
stakeholder outreach and planning to assess the feasibility of service between
“Solid planning and thorough analysis is the foundation for
successful rail projects,” Hedlund told the
As the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) celebrated the opening of a brand-new El train station at Morse on the Red Line, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that June marked the agency’s 16thconsecutive month of ridership increases.
"These numbers demonstrate that a firm commitment to
improving our infrastructure will help improve quality of life for all
Chicagoans," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our residents are taking the CTA
now more than ever and as we improve the stations and the infrastructure of the
system as a whole, these trends will continue, creating jobs throughout
The number of recorded rides on CTA’s rail network has seen 51 months of consecutive growth. For the first half of 2012, there were nearly 114 million rides taken on CTA trains, an increase of 6.2 percent. "While we cannot attribute one particular factor to changes we're seeing in ridership trends, it is clear that the investments we've made to improve both the bus and rail system over the past year have contributed to our continued growth in ridership," CTA President Forest Claypool told Railway Track & Structures.
The Federal Railroad Administration completed its first five of eight scheduled public Scoping Meetings for NEC Future: A Rail Investment Plan for the Northeast Corridor, which it is developing in cooperation with Amtrak, which owns most of the Corridor. It calls for investing $151 billion to modernize the nation’s busiest passenger railroad.
NARP Vice Chairman and New Jersey Association of Railroad
Passengers President Albert Papp, Jr. spoke at the Scoping Meeting on Wednesday
Papp’s statement highlighted three items: the reinstatement of the previously-included plan to connect New York Penn Station with Grand Central Terminal (part of Amtrak’s NextGen High-Speed Rail proposal), that creative funding mechanisms like Public-Private Partnerships should be examined, and that through ticketing among Amtrak and commuter and regional rail systems be part of the plan.
Four more Scoping Meetings will be held in
In a victory for the Northern Flyer
The NFA is now in the process of recommending individuals to
be invited to testify to the Committee regarding the benefits to passenger rail
“We anticipate that the committee will hear from several business leaders around the state as to why passenger rail is important for their businesses and employees,” said NFA President (and NARP Kansas Council Representative) Deborah Fischer-Stout.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that the Administration will redirect $473 million in unspent highway earmarks from the 2003 through 2006 appropriations laws to eligible highway, transit, passenger rail or port projects.
Every state except
“We’re right in the middle of the construction season,” LaHood told reporters. “We’d like to get money spent on these projects.” He added, “By November, we’ll have a pretty good notion of how the money will be spent and how many people we can put to work.”
The announcement was framed as part of a series of “We Can’t Wait” initiatives by President Obama, aimed at taking executive action to circumvent a gridlocked Congress.
The Board rated the state’s intercity passenger rail service this year as “LOS D,” showing that the frequency, convenience and reach of train service are “significantly below expectations and below levels needed to capture the market demand for such service,” according to the “2040 Plan.” It estimates that the passenger rail sector needs $2.7 billion in investment over the next 30 years. (LOS refers to Level of Service and is traditionally used to describe operating conditions on highways. They range from LOS A--“free flowing” traffic--to LOS F, where speeds are reduced and stoppages may occur.)
“Growth of ridership in that corridor as highway congestion
grows and train frequency is improved suggests the presence of underserved (
The 2040 Plan also estimates the state’s freight rail investment needs to be $806 million. NCDOT “envisions strategy investments in private Class I and short-line railroads to enhance publicly sponsored rail operations that address targeted safety priorities,” the report states.
The National Association of Realtors awarded the Greater
Portland Transit District a $15,000 grant to study new ways to fund a 29-mile
commuter rail line between
Wednesday’s announcement breathes new life into the
long-envisioned proposal. The Realtors’ grant will be used as seed money to
leverage an additional $60 to $70,000 needed for the study. The State of
Among the focuses of the newly funded research work will be
a look into utilizing so-called “value capture” methods of funding the transit
Tony Donovan, founder and president of the Maine Rail Transit Coalition and a Realtor, called the grant “a game changer.”
With Amtrak having had electronic ticketing in place system
wide, largely successfully, for 3 weeks,
A pilot program has begun that allows people to buy tickets for trains to the Meadowlands sports complex and print them at home. It is in place just in time for tomorrow’s start of pre-season football. Depending on how well the pilot works, the concept could be expanded to the entire commuter rail system.
“It’s a good idea,” Doug Bowen, managing editor of Railway Age and director of the New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers, told the Asbury Park Press.
The Ontario Northland Railway’s Toronto-Cochrane, ON Northlander passenger
train—part of one of only three intercity train services in Canada not operated
by federally-owned VIA Rail
The move comes as part of the government of
While the Polar Bear Express remained popular with both locals and tourists, the Northlander suffered from dwindling ridership. Many who were interviewed by the Toronto Star, however, said the train’s disappearance will make travel more difficult for many, particularly the elderly.
“On a bus, you’re stuck in a seat for hours. By the time the