NTSB: Fatigue Played Role in 2008 MBTA Trolley Wreck

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board  determined that the two-train collision on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line last year occurred as a result of the trolley operator’s failure to obey a signal indication likely because she became disengaged from her environment consistent with experiencing an episode of micro-sleep. The lack of a positive train control system, which would have intervened to stop the train and prevented the collision, was cited as a contributing factor. At 5:51 PM EDT, on May 28, 2008, an MBTA Green Line train, traveling westbound at about 38 mph, struck the rear

NTSB Issues ‘Urgent Safety Recommendation’ to Washington Metro

WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board issued an “urgent safety recommendation” to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) calling for enhanced safety redundancy of its train control system. “A recent accident on the Metrorail’s Red Line between the Fort Totten and Takoma stations has shown that WMATA’s train control system is susceptible to a single point failure because it did not fail safe and stop a train when detection of a preceding train was lost,” they NTSB said in a statement. “The urgent safety recommendation issued today calls for WMATA to evaluate track occupancy data on a real-time

$36 Million to Pay for Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail

March 30, 2009 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Valley Metro Rail officials and local leaders announced $36 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds for the Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Project. “This light rail project has been an engine for growth in the Phoenix area,” LaHood said. “And these recovery funds will ensure that transit continues to stimulate Arizona’s economy.” The ARRA funds will help to complete the rail line and allow Valley Metro to begin work on the extension, which is expected to create 10,000 jobs over the life of the project. Funds will be used

Newark Light Rail Gets Communications Upgrade

February 3, 2009 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEWARK, N.J. — New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director Richard L. Cañas joined N.J. Transit Police officials and representatives from Newark-area emergency response agencies to announce the completion of a communication system upgrade recently installed on Newark Light Rail that enables dozens of responding agencies to communicate via a common radio channel. “Enhancing interoperable communications among and between first responders in this part of New Jersey because of its heavy reliance on the mass transportation network, like the Newark Light Rail, is a key component of our state’s homeland security strategy,” said Cañas. “We will continue to

Federal Transit Administration Signs Agreement to Provide $428.3 Million to Fund Mid-Jordan Extension of TRAX Light Rail System

February 3, 2009 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

MIDVALE, Utah — Residents in the growing cities of Murray, Midvale, West Jordan and South Jordan will soon have more options for traveling to and from downtown Salt Lake, thanks to $428.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration. Acting FTA Administrator Sherry Little was joined by Utah Transit Authority (UTA) officials and local leaders this morning to sign the “full funding grant agreement” which commits the federal funds toward the project. “The Mid-Jordan extension is the latest federal down payment to support Utah’s visionary and ambitious effort to develop a world-class public transportation ‘backbone’ by 2015,” Little said. “This

Metrorail Extension to Tyson’s Corner, Dulles International Airport Moving Forward

WASHINGTON — The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has substantially improved its proposal to extend Metrorail, responding various concerns the Department of Transportation raised in January, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced. “Consequently, we have sent the required 10-day notification to Congress that we intend to move the project into the Final Design stage of FTA’s New Starts Process,” Federal Transit Administrator James S. Simpson said in a statement. “FTA will commit $158.7 million to use toward completion of a financial plan, construction plans, detailed engineering specifications and cost estimates, and other technical requirements. “However, there are still hurdles facing

President’s Spending Plan Recommends $1.62 Billion for Transit Construction, Including New Projects in Nine Cities Across the U.S.

February 6, 2008 Railfanning.org News Wire 1

WASHINGTON — President Bush has recommended a $1.62 billion funding package for Fiscal Year 2009 that includes new projects in nine cities across the nation. This New Starts amount is part of a total public transportation budget proposal of $10.1 billion, a 6.8 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2008. “Well planned, cost-effective transit is crucial to relieving congestion, protecting the environment and reducing dependence on foreign oil,” said Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. The budget proposes $200 million in funding for nine new projects in the “Small Starts” program, and four existing small starts projects. The spending plan also recommends

Feds Give $128 Million in Funding for Norfolk Light Rail Project

November 25, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — Norfolk’s light rail system is one step closer to reality, now that the federal government has signed a “full funding grant agreement.” Under the agreement, the federal government will provide $128 million in tax dollars, more than half of the $232 million in capital costs for the project. The money will be allocated through 2010. “Fighting future gridlock depends on building transit projects like this one,” Federal Transit Administrator James S. Simpson said. “Construction of  ‘The Tide’ will transform an abandoned rail right-of-way into a lifeline for those who currently depend on transit, and will help meet future

U.S. DOT Pledges $1.3 Billion for Second Avenue Subway to Relieve New York City Commuters on Congested Lexington Avenue Line

November 25, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

WASHINGTON — The federal government is giving $1.3 billion in tax dollars for New York’s Second Avenue Subway line, which when completed, will help ease congestion for commuters in the nation’s biggest city, officials announced earlier this month. “It was bold ideas and big dreams that made New York City the place it is today, and it is ambitious projects like the Second Avenue Subway that will keep it that way,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, noting that this is the second largest transit investment the federal government has made. The Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) gives

Streetcar Service Returns to St. Charles Line

January 4, 2007 Railfanning.org News Wire 0

NEW ORLEANS – Streetcar service is returning to the historic St. Charles line in New Orleans now that a federally funded project to replace electrical lines used to power the system is complete, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said. “Today, the streetcars’ familiar sounds return to St. Charles Avenue for the first time since Katrina hit, heralding to the world the resilience of this city,” Peters said. “Where cable hung following the storm, today neat rows of overhead wires stand ready to power New Orleans on a streetcar we should call Revival.” Peters noted that the Department of Transportation’s

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