Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) warns, it can happen in an instant; just checking e-mail, sending one text or turning up the music can take a driver's attention from their surroundings and put them in a potentially dangerous situation, especially when at a bus stop, train station or transportation center.

SunRail passenger rail service began May 1 in Central Florida along a 32-mile route comprised of 12 stations between DeBary and south Orlando. The new service marks completion of the first phase of the $1-billion Central Florida Commuter Rail Transit (CFCRT) project.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) was granted $1.25-billion dollars in federal funds, as well as approved for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Loan to help pay for the Purple Line Extension Project.

Cincinnati's streetcar project is the unexpected recipient of an extra $268,000 via a rail-related grant Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) received.

Union Pacific will strengthen Missouri's transportation infrastructure by investing $9 million in the rail line between Sedalia and Pleasant Hill, Mo. The project began May 15 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), chair and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Transportation, respectively, urged U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to increase safety resources for shortline railroads, which make up one third of the nation's rail network, but lack the funding and support that larger, Class 1 railroads receive.

An ongoing power upgrade for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line has achieved a major milestone with the installation of a second new transformer at Mount Vernon, providing additional redundancy and increased capacity.

Chicago's Metra, Union Pacific, the Village of Lombard, Ill., and DuPage County officials broke ground May 14 on more than $9.7-million in improvements at the Lombard Station along the UP West Line, including a new pedestrian underpass, rebuilt platforms and new platform canopies.

By 2035, transit ridership along the Columbia Pike and the Crystal City-Pentagon City corridors is expected to more than double, according to updated ridership forecasts released by Arlington County, Va., with more than 62 percent of projected daily transit trips to be on streetcar versus bus.

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. (BBII), was chosen by the city of Charlotte to build the track and systems components of the new Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) LYNX Blue Line Extension, as well as the Blue Line Capacity Expansion Project.

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