At the request of the U.S. Department of State, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver, Colo., hosted a high-level Ethiopian delegation on August 20 to research transit solutions to improve the availability, quality and efficient delivery of transportation services to the disabled in their nation.
"We are pleased to respond to this request from the state department's International Visitor Leadership Program," stated Phil Washington, RTD general manager. "It is humbling to be recognized both in America and internationally for our light-rail system and how we continue to pursue ways to improve transportation delivery to disabled community members."
Delegation members represent the Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC), the Addis Ababa Road and Transport Bureau and the National Association of Physical Handicap. ERC officials have expressed interest in ensuring that the light-rail transport now under construction, the first in Sub-Saharan Africa, will be a state-of-the-art facility and meet internationally accepted disability standards.
In Chicago, Metra has selected Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operations Officer Donald Orseno, a lifelong railroader, as the interim executive director/CEO.
Vossloh AG is stepping up its presence in North America and opening a production plant for its rail fastening systems in the U.S. The fitting out of the facility will start in the third quarter of 2013, with plant commissioning followed by regular production scheduled to begin after mid-2014. There will be 50 new jobs at the plant in Waco, Texas.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) have said that Colton Crossing, a project that will unlock delays at a major rail crossing in Southern California, has been delivered significantly under budget and ahead of schedule.
The state of New Jersey is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy to design NJ TransitGrid, a first-of-its-kind electrical microgrid capable of supplying highly-reliable power during storms or other times when the traditional centralized grid is compromised.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff to provide construction management services for transit projects throughout its system.
Elected officials and community leaders are rallying in support of Caltrain's $20-million request for federal funding to help electrify and upgrade the performance, operating efficiency, capacity, safety and reliability of the passenger rail service.
The Department of Homeland Security has awarded Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) $12.8 million in Transit Security Grant Program funds to enhance security and help protect the Transbay Tube, one of BART's most critical assets.
TriMet in Portland, Ore., has been awarded a $25,000 grant by Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
In Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh addressed concerns surrounding the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) green line extension and said more time is needed to evaluate all the options available.