New York Transit Edges Into a Future Without MetroCards Beginning Friday, you can get into select subway stations by waving your phone. With no fiscal fix in sight for the MTA, Standards & Poor’s Global Ratings lowered its credit rating for the MTA and delivered a negative outlook. Future land ownership Following completion of the FWLE Midway Project, the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, and WSDOT will make some changes in property ownership. In the unfolding pandemic, economic crisis and reckoning on race, governors and mayors are shaping our shared future. The agency, controlled by Gov. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Boston-Worcester train No. At more than $400 million per year, commuter rail represents the largest budget item by category of service for the MBTA. As New Yorkers hunkered down at the height of the pandemic, the MTA kept going — providing service to thousands of essential workers even as their own fell to the coronavirus. Overlake Transit Center is a bus station and future light rail station in Redmond, Washington.The current bus station opened in 2002 and is located on the Microsoft Redmond Campus; it is served by Sound Transit Express and King County Metro.. Trains will be able run closer together and more reliably, allowing for future increased capacity. Cars.com research found 62% of Americans leaving public transportation for the privacy of their own automobiles. The City's Role with Light Rail. Ridership dropped by 75% when the pandemic hit. The Downtown Redmond Link Extension adds two new light rail stations in 2024 in southeast Redmond, serving Marymoor Village near Marymoor Park, and in the downtown residential and retail core. “It’s really made a tremendous impact on our staff, understanding how people depend on the transit system.”. System Modernization The projects shaping the future of the MTA. A Metra UP West train passes inbound and outbound trains on the Chicago Transit Authority Green Line at Oak Park, Ill. Fixed-rail systems appear to be likely targets as states and cities reallocate resources in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, there have been many plans to expand the system during this time period. “If we have no Federal funding to offset this loss, the State will have to reduce spending by 20%” Klopott wrote. Capital investments are also on the chopping block or could be delayed by years. The MBTA identified 65% of bus routes as a top priority, along with all subway and light rail lines. Foye said the authority will have to make a final call by November, when it approves its budget for the next fiscal year. Building the Second Avenue Subway line. This sign-up form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Transit officials consider future of Minnesota's Northstar rail line. “COVID-19 reduced our ridership to the kind of the folks who are utterly dependent on transit,” said Steve Poftak, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), speaking at a meeting of the state’s Fiscal and Management Control Board. Some stations could be closed. As the pandemic drags on, many large companies that initially expected to bring workers back in January are now delaying a return until July 2021. Commuter rail systems typically serve affluent suburban residents, more of whom work in office environments. Monthly surveys by the Chicago Loop Alliance show that driving is now the primary choice for those coming to the city’s downtown. By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or updates from POLITICO and you agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. The purchase is … You can unsubscribe at any time and you can contact us here. In the five boroughs and beyond, the MTA is investing in the systems we need to make it easier and faster to travel in the region—better stations, modern signals, new buses and trains, and lots of behind-the-scenes infrastructure. By ANNIE MCDONOUGH. The Regional Plan Association, a prominent planning group, has said the MTA would have to triple its fares and tolls over the next six months just to make up the projected shortfall for 2020, a change that would create a $9 base subway fare. “They’ve been through challenges before, but nothing like what we’re seeing now.”. And while all those options are currently on the table, top transit officials say it still won’t be enough to fill the hole the authority is projecting through 2021 — a deficit caused by a precipitous drop in ridership and revenue from state and local taxes. But there are many workers who can’t work from home, who are employed at low-wage jobs, and may not own a car. The future of transit is a train without coronavirus. Large, expensive commuter rail, heavy and light rail projects are natural targets as states and cities face budget shortfalls while future post-pandemic travel patterns are unclear. “Our core rider is from the suburbs into the city and many businesses will be making great business decisions in the upcoming years, how they will structure their business, and that will definitely affect Metra's ridership in the long run.”. Transit officials have said fare and toll hikes, service cuts, layoffs, deferral of pension payments and wage freezes are all on the table. It’s now spending $200 million a week. Bridges and Tunnels Details … More ridership turnaround stories. SHARE: Six months ago, when we talked about “transportation of the future,” we were imagining self-driving cars. Learn more; Creating vibrant stations. In New York, Metro North ridership is 16% of pre-COVID levels, while city buses are near 50%. Planners are categorizing each subway, light rail, commuter and bus line along a four-axis grid that will determine the shape of Boston’s future transit system. The MTA is staring down a $10 billion deficit in the short-term and is begging Congress for billions more. Trains News Wire has learned that an update will be provided to the MBTA’s oversight board in the coming weeks. Maglev trains. In large part, those offices have been closed since spring, as workers swapped cubicles for their kitchen table or spare room. The MTA is also contending with a potential $3.2 billion shortfall from dedicated city and state taxes. The fate of some US transit agencies may be on the line in the upcoming presidential election. “We're not going to rebuild the system back exactly as we have it today,” said Kat Benesh, MBTA chief of operations strategy, policy, and oversight, speaking at a recent public meeting. Buses prove to be more vital to 'transit-critical' riders during pandemic, which could mean shift away from rail expenditures in post-COVID-19 world. Catherine Rinaldi, president of MTA Metro-North Railroad, says, “People who have been riding before don’t necessarily have to ride every day. | AP Photo. The MTA will hold an emergency board meeting next week to further discuss its financial turmoil. The revelation portends diminishing investment in rail. The MTA is undergoing a rebuild of the viaduct which hold the track but it will not address the bottleneck. Other factors are working against the MTA as it scrambles for money. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Boston-Worcester train No. Or it could borrow massive sums of money that would add to an already mountainous debt load. Without a federal bailout, MTA Chair and CEO Pat Foye told POLITICO the results could be catastrophic. Sharing the street. The MBTA calls these “transit-critical” populations, and they are the focus of how the nation’s fourth-largest transit system plans to restructure its network. Continue reading “The Future of the Utica Ave Subway ... As more and more people move along the M train the limitations of the current junction at Myrtle-Broadway will soon need to be addressed. But federal help is looking more unlikely everyday, as Senate Republicans resist calls to provide financial aid to states and cities — particularly blue ones like New York — and the debate about a larger economic relief package remains at a standstill. What a joy to hear about the possible return of the Palouse Goose! These two stations open a year after completion of East Link to Redmond Technology Station, opening in 2023. “No one has done more to boost the MTA than the Governor,” said Freeman Klopott, spokesperson for Cuomo’s budget office, in a statement. The East Link Extension, also known as Line 2, is a future light rail line serving the Eastside region of the Seattle metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Washington. The MBTA is looking at reallocating $150 million of annual federal formula funds from capital projects to preventive maintenance, at least for the short term. It will be part of Sound Transit's Link light rail system, running 14 miles (23 km) from west to east and serving 10 stations in Downtown Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond. The $700 million mystery: Why is CSX interested in regional Pan Am Railways? American Public Transportation Association data, aggregated across all U.S. cities, reveals that ridership for commuter rail was off 90% in the April-June period, compared to a decline of 65% for bus ridership. For other lines, the budget available to keep them running will determine future service levels. This is definitely one of the most interesting public transportation concepts we've … Track to the future. The Subway, the El, the Tube, the Métro: Trains have been transporting humans around cities since 1863. As transit agencies plot their recovery from the devastating effects of the 2020 pandemic, a common denominator is emerging: more riders need city buses than suburban trains. Nationwide Insurance closed six offices and will make remote work permanent in five states. “We have to basically adjust ourselves to be a different Metra as we come out post-COVID,” said Jim Derwinski, CEO of Metra, speaking at a board of directors meeting. “We feel there’s a lot of uncertainty on whether they’ll get additional federal funding and if they don’t whether they’ll be able to make the tough decisions to make substantial cuts,” said Paul Dyson, director in S&P’s Public Power & Transportation Group. Updated LaGuardia Airport Airline Terminal Info; Plan Your Trip to JFK and LGA by Subway, Bus & Train Get Schedules, Fares, and Travel Tips As transit agencies plot their recovery from the devastating effects of the 2020 pandemic, a common denominator is emerging: more riders need city buses than suburban trains. Companies have learned that telework works, and some are questioning the need for large, expensive office space. Subway riders could get relief from sardine-can conditions in a new "open" model of train car the MTA wants to test drive. The MTA is also contending with a potential $3.2 billion shortfall from dedicated city and state taxes. “Decisions that will have to be made in the very short term will dictate what the recovery looks like — and that’s the tragedy,” said Tom Wright, head of the RPA. The order is split into three parts: R211A and R211T cars for the subway and R211S cars for the SIR. Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Permanent cuts to MBTA commuter rail service may be coming as the agency shifts resources to buses, used more by those who remain dependent on transit. In polls, riders blamed him for deteriorating service, and a Twitter hashtag #CuomosMTA catalogued the system’s problems throughout the summer. It could try to slash labor costs — going after two-thirds of its operating budget — but that would open up a political battle with powerful unions that Cuomo and fellow Democrats rely on in election years. Permanent cuts to MBTA commuter rail service may be coming as the agency shifts resources to buses, used more by those who remain dependent on transit. Although this is a Sound Transit project, the City of Redmond is working together with them to share information on construction, traffic impacts, and other issues that may affect our community or nearby homes, businesses, or properties during design and construction of light rail. It’s also part of a concerted advocacy effort with other public transit agencies across the nation who are calling for a collective $32 billion in federal relief. The MTA is staring down a $10 billion deficit in the short-term and is begging Congress for billions more after it burned through the last $4 billion it got from Washington. Once these cuts are made, the MBTA considers them permanent. It has enacted a hiring freeze and indefinitely delayed its $54.8 billion capital plan. An IBM study found 75% of those now working remotely want their employers to continue offering that option. The agency has been studying a plan to electrify its commuter rail system and run service all day at 15 to 30-minute frequencies in both directions, at a cost of up to $30 billion. 515 arrives at Grafton, Mass., in November 2019. What do you think? ... With all of the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, it can be difficult to look 10 days into the future, let alone 10-plus years. NEW YORK — New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the biggest system of its kind in the country, has few options left to avoid complete destitution after the economic fallout from Covid-19. Downloadable maps for New York transit, including subways, buses, and the Staten Island Railway, plus the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need. The authority is also already grappling with an overwhelming debt load, making borrowing more money an unsavory option. It initially had asked for an additional $4 billion to get through the rest of the year, but has increased that request to $12 billion as negotiations have stalled and its fiscal outlook has worsened. A subway conductor wears a plastic shield over his face in the Queens borough of New York during the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s the entire New York City regional economy that will be screwed.”. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released … He cited pandemic revenue losses of $62 billion over four years in New York. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments. The authority also identified modest cuts amounting to $575 million in potential new savings over the next two years. MTA New York City Transit; MTA Long Island Rail Road; MTA Metro-North Railroad; MTA Bridges & Tunnels (None at this time) MTA Capital Construction (None at this time) MTA Bus Company 1744 moved to Antonito, Colo., shop to begin restoration, Transit agencies rethink future of commuter rail, Digest: VIA Rail Canada to get new reservation system, Key House transportation figures win reelection, Three ballot measures to fund rail projects pass (updated and corrected), Digest: Huron Central, preparing for shutdown, notifies employees of layoffs, AAR statistics show U.S. volume increases for week, October as a whole, Digest: Metra, Amtrak ask to continue mediation of Chicago Union Station dispute, Digest: Transportation Safety Board says sudden track failure led to CN derailment, Digest: Long Island Rail Road, NJ Transit announce commuter schedule changes, Digest: Train-truck collision in Georgia leads to lengthy fire; no injuries reported. The MTA plans to spend $3 billion for up to 1,175 train cars — 535 standard ones to arrive as early as 2020 and up to 640 open-ended cars that'll get … Recently, mass transit ridership has been decliningat a worrying … Maglev (short for “magnetic levitation”) trains hover about 4 inches above their tracks … The MTA unveiled its upcoming R211 train models. After World War II and up until the late 1990s, the New York City Subway did not expand much. Debt is expected to account for 25 percent of its operating budget next year, said Rachael Fauss, senior research analyst at Reinvent Albany. What would Redmond be like as a place to live, work or visit if the community’s values and preferences were achieved? See real-time, nighttime, and weekend subway routes, train arrival times, service alerts, emergency updates, accessible stations, and more. When those workers head back to the office, the traditional 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday workweek may be replaced with staggered shifts, alternate office days and optional work from home. The vision statement describes Redmond in the year 2030 if the Comprehensive Plan were implemented. The MTA has taken some actions to stem the bleeding. But he acknowledged there’s little impetus among Senate Republicans to give any aid for public transit. “The MTA has faced fiscal challenges in the past, [but] the size of the deficits we face in 2020 and 2021 and beyond are unprecedented,” Foye said. It’s a tale of numbers repeated across the country. In Detroit, Tenneco left a brand new $23 million office building vacant, putting it up for lease. Here’s how the MTA could do so. MTA eTix How to buy and use commuter rail tickets on your phone. Rosalie Rashid, 81, crosses Folsom Boulevard as she walks to a coffee shop after getting groceries in … In 2023, it will become the eastern terminus of the Sound Transit East Link light rail line and be renamed to Redmond Technology station. June 17, 2020. During the “Summer of Hell” — the last time the subway system was in crisis — Cuomo’s name became synonymous with the system’s neglect. View our, Your email address has been successfully added to the Trains Industry Newsletter. Metrolink, the Los Angeles commuter rail operator, is running 10% of pre-COVID passenger loads while Los Angeles Metro’s buses are 50% full. But too many public transit systems still run like they’re stuck in the 19th century. Orders for new rail cars could be canceled or postponed, and the current fleet could be trimmed to reduce maintenance costs. Foye declined to say what specifically is on the table ahead of the meeting, but without federal funding the MTA’s situation looks bleak. The MBTA’s buses are now carrying 41% of 2019 passenger levels, while its commuter rail lines are stuck at 12%. By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. Infrastructure projects that are underway and fully funded will continue, but those that haven’t started are at risk amid a larger questioning of where limited resources are best spent. 515 arrives at Grafton, Mass., in November 2019. Railroads could have key role in combating pandemic, 'Big Projects' arrives, with stories both timely and timeless, News Photos: New York gathering of Alcos; S1 preservation effort, Ontario Southland returns RS18 to action, repaints SW1200, CN's EJ&E-painted heritage unit hits US rails, CN celebrates 25th anniversary of privatization, unveils heritage locomotives, Locomotive profile: EMD SD70 series locomotives, Locomotive profile: Gas-electric turbine locomotives, Digest: Metrolink to revise schedules Nov. 16, Digest: Artists surprised whale's tail sculpture supported train, Digest: Evacuation lifted around KCS derailment as cleanup continues, Digest: Domestic traffic drives third-quarter increase in intermodal volume, Boiler for SP No. By 2023, MetroCards will go the way of the token. Service changes would take place in July 2021. Although further study will look at the MBTA’s commuter lines station by station, drastic service reductions are being discussed. Airport Service. The trains will be built as part of the MTA's $2.7 billion purchase of new 940 R-211 model train cars to replace 40-year-old clunkers on A and F lines. Welcome to the MTA's Eye on the Future Report; Information About Contracts; Forecast of Contracts and Proposals; Brief Descriptions of Work to be Advertised. “The deficit is so large, unlike the past, that we can’t cut our way out of it.”. Andrew Cuomo, could cut service to the bone and hike fares dramatically, but faces the prospect of turning away priced-out riders who feel they can’t depend on the system. In Manhattan, new office leasing is at a 25-year low, according to global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, with nearly one in seven spaces now vacant. If the authority craters, though, it could be the infrastructure obsessed Cuomo who’s left with the stain on his legacy. Who are the power players, and how are they driving politics and influencing Washington? Routes on the other end of the spectrum — with low ridership and less rider dependency on transit — are most likely to lose service. (MTA photos used in video) The Sound Transit FWLE rail alignment property currently owned by WSDOT will become owned by Sound Transit. They will replace all R44 cars on the Staten Island Railway and all R46 subway cars. Try as he might to distance himself from the authority during times of trouble, the governor appoints six of its 14 board members and picks its chair, budget director and inspector general. With voter approval in 1996, 2008 and 2016, new light rail, bus rapid transit and commuter rail service will come online every few years. We’ve never experienced anything like this as an industry.”. 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