- Vancouver to get streetcars
Brussels has donated two trams to the city of Vancouver to use during the Olympics. The trams will run on a demonstration line along False Creek. Vancouver eventually hopes to extend the "Olympic Line" up Main Street to downtown. Full story: The Vancouver Sun.
- Preserving the Thomas Viaduct
Baltimore-area preservationists are calling for a visitor park at the Thomas Viaduct. The 174-year old span crosses the Patapsco River just south of Baltimore and is the oldest operational mainline railroad bridge in the United States. CSX is worried about trespassers. Full story: The Baltimore Sun.
- Amtrak sees second-highest ridership year
Amtrak saw a 5% reduction in passengers from last year, but still had its second-highest ridership year ever during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. Trains carried 27.2 million passengers this fiscal year. While ridership is down overall, several trains saw increases, including: (Full story: Amtrak)
- Coast Starlight: Seattle-LA (+22.3%)
- Sunset Limited: New Orleans-LA (+9.8%)
- Lincoln Service: Chicago-St. Louis (+6.0%)
- Piedmont: Charlotte-Raleigh (+3.8%)
- Texas Eagle: Chicago-San Antonio (+3.6%)
- Silver Meteor: NYC-Miami (+3.4%)
- Keystone Service: NYC-Harrisburg (+2.7%)
- Vermonter: DC-St. Albans (+1.9%)
- Silver Star: NYC-Tampa-Miami (+1.1%)
- Amtrak releases Pioneer feasibility report
Amtrak released a preliminary feasibility study on restoration of the Pioneer. Idaho Senator Crapo has published the report on his website. It appears that the service would cost around $30-40 million annually, with fares covering about one-third of the cost. Initial capital costs are around $400 million.
- Chicago looks at raising fares
Chicago is facing a major budget crunch. CTA released a proposal on Monday to raise fares 33% to $3.00 while reducing rail and bus service. This fare would make Chicago among the most expensive transit systems in the country. However, other cities have been raising fares as well. Full story: AP.
- Commuter rail for Kansas City?
Kansas City, well known for shooting down light rail plans, is now looking at a commuter rail system. The Jackson County Executive recently released a plan for a 144 mile rail system centered on KC Union Station. The proposal calls for seven radial corridors, including one serving the Airport. Full story: Kansas City Star. The plan (PDF).
- Hawaii LRT moves into PE
Honolulu's light rail system got the green light from FTA to move into preliminary engineering. It's a good sign that the project will likely receive the final go ahead in a few months. Full story: KGMB.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Transit in the news, of late: