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Transit Records: CTA, LACMTA, Metra, TTC, UTA, Valley Link

Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

On October 17, UTA began auctioning off its 25 Comet cars, which were pulled from FrontRunner commuter rail service earlier this year. Auctions end on November 1.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) publishes monthly “dashboards” of service performance. Additionally, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) is releasing a draft Environmental Impact Report for a gondola project to Dodger Stadium; Chicago Metra awards Homewood station renovation contract; The Toronto Transit Commission is hosting a virtual information session “TTC Connects: Women as Transit Operators” on October 19; Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Auctions 25 Comet Cars; and the Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority Board is advancing the Valley Link passenger rail project in California.

call to action October 17 announced the release monthly dashboards (above) showing the percentage of rail and bus services provided; progress in hiring bus operators and installing touchscreen ADA bus stop signs; the completion of the Refresh and Renew station projects; and year-to-date conduct violations issued by the Chicago Police Department’s Transit Unit; among other measures. The effort, the transit agency said, is to “further improve communication and demonstrate the progress it is making to improve the customer experience and address the most pressing challenges posed by the pandemic.”

“Through these new monthly dashboards, we will continue to hold ourselves accountable and provide transparency to our customers about our progress and what remains to be done,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr..

The Los Angeles Rapid Air Transit Project would use a gondola system to connect Los Angeles Union Station to the Dodger Stadium property. (Rendered courtesy of LACMTA)

LA Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC offers a gondola system in downtown Los Angeles. According LACMTAthe Los Angeles Rapid Air Transport Project would connect Los Angeles Union Station to the Dodger Stadium property and provide an intermediate station at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

LACMTA is the responsible agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has prepared and released for public review and comment a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) assess the potential for environmental impacts resulting from the project.

The project is expected to have a maximum capacity of approximately 5,000 people per hour per direction, and travel time between Union Station and Dodger Stadium is estimated at seven minutes. The gondola system would operate daily to serve existing residents, workers, park users and visitors to Los Angeles. All DEIR comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on December 16, 2022reported LACMTA.

Rendering of the renovated Homewood station, courtesy of Metra

The Metra The Commuter Railroad Board awarded a $14.5 million contract to IHC Construction of Elgin, Illinois to renovate Homewood Station along the Metra Power Line.

The project covers the construction of a new parent house accessible to the ADA, including a ramp; renovation of the platform, windbreaks, boiler room and gatehouse; installation of new drainage, ventilation, lighting and interior finishing systems in the existing tunnel (built in 1911); and replacement of the elevator connecting the tunnel to the platform. Also included is the construction of a new Pace bus facility, including a practice lane, three bus ramps, a covered waiting area and driver backup facilities.

Homewood, Ill., and Metra sought funding from the federal Shared Transportation Program (STP) to support construction, according to Metra. The project received $9.25 million in federal STP funds, and local matching funds were provided as needed to secure the discretionary grant. Pace, Cook County and other funding sources will also provide support, Metra reported.

The two-year project is expected to begin next spring. It follows a $15 million investment by Amtrak to rehabilitate its portion of the shared facility. This work added an enclosed ramp on the west side of the tracks, allowing all customers access to the tunnel under the tracks at both the Amtrak and Metra rail platform; other ADA improvements to the former Illinois Central Railroad station (built in 1923), including waiting areas and restrooms; and a level path between the building, the parking lot and the tunnel entrance stairway/ramp.

“This project represents a significant upgrade to Homewood Station and its pedestrian tunnel,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “This will not only create a more welcoming and accessible station and tunnel for Metra and Amtrak customers, but also a more welcoming gateway to the commercial district and residential areas of downtown Homewood.”

The Homewood Station project is part of the Metra Electric Community Initiative, a multi-year plan to renovate and make accessible 13 stations on the Metra Power Line across the South Side and South Suburbs.

tax included October 19 (12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.) will host its second Virtual Briefing “TTC Connects: Women as Transit Operators” for 2022.

“Through events like these, we hope to showcase the TTC as a place where women can build rewarding and fulfilling careers,” said TTC CEO Rick Leary. “In 2020, we are committed to having four out of ten new hires for the Transit Operator position identify as women. We achieved this goal last year and we intend to continue working towards the same goal this year. At the TTC, we work hard to ensure that our workforce represents the diversity of the communities we serve. »

The event is open to everyone, the agency said. TTC employees will talk about what it’s like to work at the TTC, including personal stories, career advice and information on growth opportunities, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

UTA in April, it retired its Comet cars from FrontRunner commuter rail service. The 50-year-old cars built by Pullman Standard (upgraded by Bombardier) had run on New Jersey Transit; UTA bought them and started using them when FrontRunner was launched in 2008. According to UTA, it is “becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain the [25] cars and replacing worn or broken parts, which are almost impossible to find. The challenges of keeping the cars in good working order and safe for our drivers necessitate their removal. The agency said the move would help it save between $600,000 and $800,000 a year on fuel and maintenance costs.

While the UTA initially retained Comet cars for use at community events or unexpected peaks in ridership, “it became too much of a logistical and financial burden to maintain these vehicles and prepare them for operation. “, reported the transit agency earlier this month. “So in order for UTA to apply for federal subsidies to buy future cars, we need to auction the Comet cars.”

TNT Auction, which manages the bids, opened the auction on October 17. According to UTA, the auction ends on November 1, 2022; Comet cars must be retired within 90 days.

UTA noted that it is “assessing options for replacement vehicles, but no decision has been made at this time”. FrontRunner’s current ridership can be accommodated with three-car trains, and there is room for ridership growth before replacement vehicles are needed, the transit agency added.

The Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority (Authority) Council on October 13 approved a final purchase agreement with the City of Tracy for 200 acres of property to be used for the Valley Link Passenger Rail Project, which should work with hydrogen trains. This follows the approval by the Authority in September of a feasibility study on the production of hydrogen. The property is expected to house a green hydrogen production facility for the project, the first phase of which would run between the Dublin/Pleasanton Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Alameda County and the Mountain House station in Alameda County. San Joaquin (see map above). In June, Phase I was accepted as part of the FTA’s CIG Program Project Development. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.

“Valley Link’s self-produced green hydrogen will reduce the cost of overall project operations to the public and offset federal and state transit subsidies,” said Veronica Vargas, Chair of the Authority’s Board of Directors. “The project vision also supports opportunities to create and sustain new paid jobs in both hydrogen production and renewable energy related industries. It’s good for the economy and the environment. »

Even before Valley Link begins operations, the hydrogen generation facility will be able to support clean energy for other transit and heavy-duty truck operators within the next two to three years, the company reported. ‘Authority.

The passage of State Assembly Bill 209 now establishes a $100 million hydrogen program under the California Energy Commission to fund hydrogen demonstration projects, according to the Authority. which said it is also partnering with the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES) initiative to coordinate the development of the state application for federal funding under the National Program’s $8 billion U.S. Department of Energy Regional Hydrogen Department.

Key words: Latest News, Chicago Transit Authority, CTA, LACMTA, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metra, Toronto Transit Commission, Tri-Valley-San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, TTC, UTA, Utah Transit Authority, Valley Link