eNewsletter for May 5, 2014   May 9th, 2014

Union Station celebrating its 75th anniversary Saturday San Bernardino Sun-Apr 29, 2014 “This is more than just a party,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Marc Littman said. “We’re showcasing Union Station as the hub of L.A. County’s expanding transit system.”Metro will hold a rededication ceremony at the station’s Old Ticket Concourse at 10 a.m.

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Metro Board approves contract for Union Station regional rail improvements The Source Apr 24, 2014 As part of the consent calendar, the Metro Board of Directors unanimously approved Item 21, a $31-million contract for engineering work to extend regional rail tracks south from Union Station — so that trains don’t all have to enter and exit the station from the north. We have been waiting for this for over 30 years! This is a GREAT DAY! NB

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eNewsletter for April 21, 2014   April 25th, 2014

State Senate President Steinberg’s proposal might look like a setback for High Speed Rail since this proposes less direct funding from Cap and Trade than what the Governor was proposing. But the Cap and Trade funding  for High Speed Rail is “securitized” as propsed, that means the High Speed Rail Authority could leverage the Cap and Trade funds with bonds to greatly increase funding. This could be the basis of a financial plan needed to release Prop 1A funds for High Speed Rail to build the 300 mile Initial Operating Segment (IOS).  NB

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eNewsletter for April 14, 2014   April 18th, 2014

Oregon, Washington Consider Alternative To Amtrak For Cascades …OPB News-Apr 10, 2014 Oregon and Washington might turn to a private company to operate its Cascades rail service. The two states are testing the waters to see if anyone other than Amtrak is interested in operating the route that includes Seattle, Portland and Eugene. Most commuter rail services today are operated under contract by private companies. Amtrak has lost several commuter contracts recently because they were underbid. It will be interesting what the host railroads reaction will be to this, particularly on the issue of liability. NB

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Enewsletter for April 7, 2014   April 11th, 2014

Parking Sanity: Right Price Good for Congestion, Transit, & Revenue  Atlantic Cities Apr 2, 2014  Costanza’s universal theory of parking states that drivers should never pay for a spot because, if they apply themselves, they’ll get it for free. Most U.S. cities do everything they can to abide the theory. They undervalue the price of street spaces. They keep parking so cheap it encourages driving (and thus undermines their own transit investments, leading to more driving). And they require a minimum number of parking spaces for new developments whether residents need them or not.

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eNewsletter for March 31, 2014   April 4th, 2014

Public Policy Institute of California  PPIC Statewide Survey March 2014  SLIM MAJORITY OF ADULTS FAVOR HIGH SPEED RAIL In 2008, voters passed a $10 billion state bond for its planning and construction. Today, when read a description of the system and its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent favor it and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive (45% favor, 50% oppose) Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%) and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor. Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When opponents of high speed rail are asked how they would feel if the cost were lower support rises (69% adults, 60% likely voters). Asked about high speed rail’s importance 35 percent of adults and 29 percent of likely voters say it is very important to the future quality of life and state’s economic vitality.These results show that if High Speed Rail is economical and serves most of California it will have public support. It also suggests that it won’t be a major issue with voters. NB

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eNewsletter for March 24, 2014   March 28th, 2014

Squirrel Blamed for San Jose Power Outage NBC Bay Area – Mar 19, 2014

One of the customers affected was Caltrain’s San Jose dispatching center, according to Tell. The outage caused the dispatching center to fail and led trains to stop, causing major system-wide delays.

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eNewsletter for March 17, 2014   March 20th, 2014

One of the changes coming to Union Station will be the end of Gates E and F at the mouth of the tunnel to the platforms.Amtrak passengers now wait in line behind these gates for their trains. Amtrak passengers will be encouraged to sit in the waiting room until their train is called. This will reduce congestion in the tunnel. Also large electronic signs displaying train arrivals and departures will be placed in the waiting room, so passenger won’t need to use the ones at the mouth of the tunnel which also makes congestion worse. NB

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eNewsletter for March 10, 2014   March 14th, 2014

Amtrak fails to weather winter well Chicago Tribune-Mar 6, 2014    The passenger railroad’s on-time performance plummeted to around 26 percent on one Illinois run in January. Overall for the month, less than half of the state service operated on schedule, Amtrak data show. Even Amtrak’s service between Chicago and Milwaukee, which normally runs like clockwork, recorded its worst on-time performance in five years in January, with only 73 percent of trains arriving on time.

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eNewsletter for March 3, 2014   March 7th, 2014

Another View: Opponents’ arguments against high-speed rail are bogus Sacramento Bee – ?Feb 28, 2014 When opponents of California’s high-speed rail program don’t have answers on their side, they often resort to fiction over facts, as Rep. Jeff Denham and state Sen. Andy Vidak demonstrated in their highly critical op-ed ( “New vote needed on high-speed rail project” Viewpoints, Feb. 26). This goes beyond respectful disagreement. The opponents’ claims are increasingly outlandish. Indeed, virtually none of their “facts” are facts at all, but false assertions and phony suppositions.

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