‘Save Transit’ Coalition to Inform Region of SEPTA’s Financial Plight

PHILADELPHIA – A region-wide coalition of major business, civic, labor and community organizations has been convened to inform the public and state government of the financial plight of SEPTA, which is facing a $70-million budget crisis. Approximately 50 leaders of region-wide businesses and organizations gathered for the first time today at the offices of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. "Public transportation services provided by SEPTA affect everyone in the five-county region, whether they are regular commuters or not," said Pasquale T. Deon, Sr., SEPTA Board Chairman. "Without long-term, predictable funding, SEPTA service will be in jeopardy. This, in turn,

N.O. Reopens Historic Streetcar Line After 40 Years

April 14, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW ORLEANS – For the first time in 40 years, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will resume revenue service of the Canal Streetcar line. "The new Streetcar will be a bright, functional and most-welcomed addition to our city," said Sandra Shilstone, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. "Generations of New Orleanians have ridden the Streetcar to and from work, and visitors love the old-world charm of the ride." The new Canal Streetcar will take thousands of locals and tourists to work and play each day as it travels the 5.5-mile route from the French Market,

No Fare Hike for N.J. Transit

April 14, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — For the second straight year, Governor James E. McGreevey’s budget calls for N.J. Transit fares remain at their current level. "Public transportation must remain affordable for the hundreds of thousands of hard-working New Jerseyans who commute to work every day," McGreevey said. "This is an important addition to their quality of life – and yet another way we’re investing to keep New Jersey’s economy the strongest among the Northeastern states." In keeping the fares the same this year, McGreevey decided to allocate an extra $85 million to N.J. Transit. These additional funds, combined with internal cost efficiencies,

Transit Leader Testifies on Importance of Security

April 14, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — In testimony before the full Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, on the safety and security of passenger rail and public transportation systems, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) highlighted an identified $6 billion in critical security needs to keep America’s public transportation systems safe. “In the United States, more than 9 1⁄2 billion trips are taken on public transportation systems every year. 32 million times every weekday Americans board public transportation vehicles throughout the country-in urban, suburban, and rural communities,” said APTA President William W. Millar. “To put it in perspective, 16 times more Americans travel by

Marta Faces $6 Million Shortfall

April 10, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

ATLANTA – It’s a budget shortfall to the tune of $6 million. In response, MARTA officials are turning to the public, holding a series of hearing to gather input as the next budget year approaches. “We’ve reduced our costs, but the economic recession has left us with no choice but to propose service modifications,” MARTA General Manager/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. said in a statement posted online. “And unfortunately, MARTA could see more changes in the heart of its service next year and the year after if new sources of revenue aren’t identified.” MARTA says it will have to reduce

Group: Calif. High Speed Rail Could be ‘Train Wreck’

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A proposed high-speed rail system through California’s Central Valley could cause an agricultural, environmental and financial “train wreck” if it promotes more urban sprawl, according to American Farmland Trust. At a public hearing held in March, Edward Thompson, Jr., the organization’s state director, said the environmental report underestimates the impact the rail project will have on agriculture. Thompson called on local and state officials to step up their efforts to manage the state’s growth by getting better control on development and by protecting the “best farmland on the planet. … This doesn’t mean we need more laws

The End of An Era: The Redbirds Retire

January 4, 2004 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW YORK – MTA New York City Transit’s legendary Redbirds have made their farewell journey – the last 11-car train of Tuscan-red cars operated Nov. 3 on the Flushing Line between Times Square and Willets Point before being permanently retired from service. About three years ago, there were more than 1,400 Redbirds of various vintages serving many of NYC Transit’s A Division routes (numbered lines). However, with the MTA’s $2 billion capital investment in more comfortable and reliable high-tech subway cars the number of Redbirds on the system has dwindled. Their last stronghold was along the No. 7 Flushing Line,

SEPTA Statement on Passage of the Pennsylvania Fiscal 2004 Budget

December 24, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

PHILADELPHIA – The passage of the Fiscal 2004 Pennsylvania state budget restores a 6 percent cut in SEPTA subsidies ($15 million), but does not alleviate the need for greater state support for public transit in the Commonwealth. “Passage of the 2004 budget essentially returns SEPTA to where we were last January,” said SEPTA Board Chair Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. “But we are facing an immediate $70-million dollar deficit going into the next budget year. “With the prolonged budget struggle hopefully over, there is the expectation that state government will quickly address the fundamental issue of providing a long term and

MTA, Bus and Rail Operators Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

December 24, 2003 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

LOS ANGELES – A tentative agreement has been reached on a new three-year labor contract between the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the United Transportation Union, which represents 5,000 bus and rail operators, officials announced Dec. 18. Terms of the settlement are being withheld pending a ratification meeting for the Union’s members. Subject to Union ratification, the MTA Board will consider approval of the contract at its January Board meeting. “We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement which is equitable to both parties,” MTA Board Chairman Zev Yaroslavsky, CEO Roger Snoble and UTU

Isabel Slows Trains

October 1, 2003 The Cross-Tie 0

WASHINGTON — Rail service along the eastern coast was slowed in September because of Hurricane Isabel. Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern and other railroads between North Carolina and New York reported interruptions to their service due to the hurricane. Norfolk Southern implemented its contingency plan, taking extra safety precautions to assure the safety of employees and prevent damage to facilities, equipment, and shipments, the railroad said in a news release. This included moving equipment and shipments that have not yet placed within customer facilities, out of coastal and low lying areas prone to flooding. Likewise, CSX ceased some operations between Virginia

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