Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 1



| VOLUME 79, NO. 4

Public Transit: Connecting the
Nation to COVID-19 Vaccines

From left: NCTD Board Chair Tony Kranz, SANDAG Chair Catherine
Blakespear and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) in front of a new COASTER

NCTD Rolls Out New
COASTER Locomotives
And Cars
Oceanside, CA, with the support of regional transportation
partners, has rolled out five new, state-of-the-art Siemens
locomotives and several renovated COASTER passenger
cars. The coach and cab cars will be painted with a new
color scheme and will be equipped with new seating upholstery, new carpet, upgraded LED lighting and charging amenities at some seats.
The agency will also be receiving two replacement locomotives, two expansion locomotives, ten expansion bi-level
passenger coaches and one replacement rail cab to support
state of good repair needs and regional plans to increase
train frequencies from 22 to 42 trains per average weekday
over the next three to five years.
Tony Kranz, NCTD board chair and City of Encinitas deputy mayor, and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) commemorated the
event with a virtual audience of local elected officials and
leaders in regional transportation.
" Today's launch of the new COASTER locomotives and
overhauled passenger cars underscores NCTD's commitment to its mission to deliver safe, convenient, reliable and
user-friendly public transportation services, " said Kranz.
" The new COASTER locomotives will increase service reliability, improve the rider experience and are more environmentally friendly. "
" SANDAG [San Diego Association of Governments] has
been looking forward to celebrating this day alongside
NCTD and other key stakeholders, " said SANDAG Chair
Catherine Blakespear. " This event starts the clock on implementing new and improved COASTER services, consistent
with SANDAG's 5 Big Moves vision to provide high-quality
public transportation. SANDAG is proud to have helped
NCTD leverage their investment into the COASTER by providing $58.8 million toward an additional two new trainsets,
supporting the region's complete corridors strategy to provide competitive travel choices to support regional mobility
and meet our state-mandated greenhouse gas emissions
goals. "

organizations are helping people get to COVID19 vaccination sites by providing free rides, and
in some cases, transit facilities have become
vaccination clinics. These efforts have been
made possible because of federal emergency
funding provided to the public transit industry.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), San Jose, CA, is offering free rides
on its buses and light rail to Levi's Stadium in
Santa Clara, where a mass vaccination site has
opened. VTA increased the frequency of seven
bus routes to help relieve the impact of passenger pass-ups due to limited capacity necessitated by the requirements to social distance. The
agency also reimplemented rear door boarding
for buses and suspended the collection of fares
systemwide for the time being.
The Orange County Transportation Authority
(OCTA), CA, took nurses, medical technicians
and volunteers organized by the Orange County
Health Care Agency to a senior center to help
administer the vaccine in late January.
OCTA is working with Orange
County health
officials and emergency operations
personnel to help
get medical workers from the Disneyland super site for
vaccination distributions to smaller
sites throughout
the county. Those
targeted clinics
are being set up to

distribute the vaccine to vulnerable seniors age
65 years and older.
" OCTA men and women always stand ready to
assist our community in responding to emergencies, whether fires, floods or this public health
crisis, " said OCTA CEO Darrell E. Johnson. " We
thank our drivers and the health workers for
safely delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to the
most vulnerable residents in the county. "
The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC
Transit) in Oakland, CA, is offering fare-free shuttles to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
" East Oakland has been described as 'left
behind in prioritization,' " said Elsa Ortiz, AC
Transit board president. " However, service here
has always been AC Transit's priority. Even in the
face of shelter-in-place orders, we never stopped
rolling. The board is hopeful the fare-free vaccine
shuttles will give our communities the fighting
chance to put the brakes on COVID-19. "


APTA Board Appoints Tucker
As Vice Chair
the San Diego Northern Railway and
director/CEO of the North County Tranhosts Amtrak, Metrolink, BNSF and
sit District (NCTD), Oceanside, CA, has
PAC Sun Railroad operators.
been appointed APTA vice chair. Tucker
APTA Chair Jeff Nelson, general
has served in his role at NCTD since
manager, Rock Island County Metropol2008, where he oversees activities
itan Mass Transit District (MetroLink),
within the agency's 1,020-square-mile
Moline, IL, said, " I've worked with Matt
service area.
Tucker for a number of years and am
NCTD services include COASTER
confident he will fill the vice chair role
Matthew O. Tucker
commuter rail, SPRINTER light rail, the
with a high level of enthusiasm and a
BREEZE bus system, FLEX specialized transportation and LIFT ADA paratransit services. NCTD
has operational responsibility and control over


Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4

Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 1
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 2
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 3
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 4
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 5
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 6
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 7
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 8
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 9
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 10
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 11
Passenger Transport February 2021 Vol 79 No 4 - 12