Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 1

THE SOURCE FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION NEWS AND ANALYSIS
FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2021 | VOLUME 79, NO. 13
House Passes INVEST Act
THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
passed, by 221-201 votes, the INVEST in America
Act July 1, which provides $109 billion for
public transit and $100 billion for passenger/
freight rail. This surface transportation authorization
bill also includes dozens of APTA's policy
recommendations.
In a statement, APTA President and CEO Paul
Regional public transportation leaders and advocates gather to witness
the first-ever Trolley on the Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego
Blue Line.
Testing Begins on
UC San Diego Blue
Line Extension
TRAIN TESTING HAS BEGUN WITH THE FIRST TROLLEY
to run on the Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego
Blue Line. With this milestone, the San Diego Association of
Governments (SANDAG) has officially transferred operational
responsibility to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System
(MTS).
The Mid-Coast Extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line
Trolley is a priority project for SANDAG and will have a
transformative impact on regional transit connectivity. The
project will expand the current Trolley network to provide a
one-seat ride from the U.S./Mexico border north to the University
community. The extension will connect the two largest
employment centers in San Diego: the University area
and Downtown San Diego. It will serve UC San Diego, which
supports 75,000 students, faculty and staff, and provide
healthcare access to the VA San Diego Healthcare System's
84,500 Veterans.
" This is an important day, " said Nathan Fletcher, MTS
board chair and chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
" We get the keys to Mid-Coast and it's all-systems-go
for testing our Trolleys on the tracks. The public will see
more and more of San Diego's famous red Trolleys testing
on these tracks over the next several months. "
Major construction for the 11-mile Trolley extension began
in 2016, and the project remains on budget and on schedule
to begin service in November 2021.
To support the extra service, MTS has added 45 new
Trolleys built by Siemens Mobility and partially funded by
TransNet, the region's half-cent sales tax for transportation
projects. MTS added 128 new positions including train operators,
security, maintenance, IT and more to manage the
extension. The agency has also made significant enhancements
to its bus service to align with the Trolley extension,
replacing two existing express routes, modifying seven
exiting east-west connections and implementing three new
routes that connect to the Trolley.
P. Skoutelas praised House members, saying the
bill will " transform America's public transportation
infrastructure, and we thank Speaker of the
House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Committee
on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter
A. DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee
on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton
(D-DC), Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads,
Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M.
Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) and House Committee on Ways
and Means Chair Richard E. Neal (D-MA) for their
extraordinary leadership and vision in crafting
this legislation. "
The passage of the bill, Skoutelas added,
is " a vital and necessary step to provide the
Sen. Durbin Visits MetroLINK
APTA CHAIR JEFF NELSON, GENERAL manager,
Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass
Transit District (MetroLink), Moline, IL, welcomed
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to his agency's operations
and maintenance facility June 29, along
with Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati. At a
news conference, they discussed electric vehicles
and associated infrastructure opportunities
in the Quad Cities and throughout Illinois.
Nelson described MetroLink's commitment
to sustainable practices, noting that the agency
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati visit the Rock Island County
Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLink) operations and maintenance facility. Pictured
with Jeff Nelson (at left), general manager and APTA chair.
has converted 85 percent of its fixed-route fleet
to compressed natural gas (CNG) and has purchased
eight zero-emissions battery-electric
buses since 2018, with nine more to be delivered
by January 2022, making the fleet 70 percent
CNG and 30 percent battery electric. The agency
has also installed solar panels on its operations
and maintenance facility, invested in employee
training and new charging equipment and is
planning for on-street bus charging. Nelson
noted that Sen. Durbin has been a consistent
and vocal supporter of
public transit funding
in the Senate Appropriations
Committee, on
which he serves.
Durbin, who, along
with a small group of
other senators, recently
reached a bipartisan
five-year, $1.2 trillion
infrastructure agreement
with the White
House, said " whether
we're talking about
the city of Moline or
the state of Illinois,
our nation, people are
looking to our leaders,
members of Congress
and others to cooperate
on a bipartisan basis to
get something done. "
transformational investment in infrastructure the
country so desperately needs. We look forward
to continuing to work with Congress and the
Biden Administration to achieve the shared goal
of meeting the growing and evolving mobility
demands of our cities and communities. "
The Senate could vote prior to the August
break on its own infrastructure investment bill.
Photo courtesy of Quad-City Times/Dispatch-Argus
Photo by Mitchell Wood

Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13

Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 1
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 2
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 3
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 4
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 5
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 6
Passenger Transport July 2021 Vol 79 No 13 - 7
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