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
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
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,
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
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
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
NEW YORK — A sweltering heat welcomed passengers to Penn Station Saturday, Aug. 16. A massive power outage left millions without power and thousands more stranded when transportation unable to operate. Commuter rail and subways shut down leaving residents without travel options. And when power was partially restored, travel was slow and fewer trains, particularly on New Jersey Transit lines, operated. Within days, however, rail service was back to normal, with passengers being whisked across the Northeast on assorted subways and commuter trains.
At the new year of 2003, only one high-speed rail corridor was in operation in the United States – The Northeast Corridor. “Our goal with this first Acela Express train was to establish a strong initial presence between Boston and New York and based on these initial results, we are succeeding,” said former Amtrak President George D. Warrington in January 2001. “Acela Express marks the introduction of premium, limited stop Amtrak service in New England and this first roundtrip was scheduled to serve that market.” However, high-speed rail as a viable option is being considered in communities nationwide. And in