Sen. Jeff Flake says Amtrak should not be giving away free trips while receiving U.S. subsidies.
Rail industry officials and federal accident regulators disagreed about the viability of a looming mandate that most U.S. railways be equipped with automated control systems by the end of next year during a Senate hearing on Thursday.
Congress is requiring that most major railroad companies install automated systems known as Positive Train Control (PTC) by December 2015.
The automated train systems have gained renewed attention after a spate of high-profile recent accident on passenger and freight railways, including most recently a December derailment of a freight train in North Dakota that resulted in 400,000 gallons of crude oil being spilled.
Amtrak is busing passengers between two of its stations in Montana because of the potential for an avalanche, The Associated Press reports.
The skipped stations are located in Whitehouse and Shelby, Mont. on Amtrak’s northwestern Empire Builder line.
The New Jersey Transit system is undergoing a shakeup among its leadership team, the Star-Ledger reports.
The agency’s executive director and its directors of rail and bus operations are all leaving, according to the report.
A proposed light rail in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., and a Florida commuter rail extension are among the recommended winners of “new starts” transportation grants in President Obama’s proposed 2015 budget.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is recommending that lawmakers provide $100 million to Maryland’s proposed Purple Line light railway, which is planned to run between Bethesda and New Carrollton, Md., north of Washington, D.C.
The transportation department is also recommending that lawmakers provide $63 million to a second phase of construction for Orlando, Fla.’s SunRail commuter rail line that is scheduled to begin operations this year.
The governor is calling on federal officials to expedite safety reforms.
The Senate committee that oversees transportation issues has rescheduled hearing about freight rail ail safety that was postponed by a snow storm last month.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to conduct a review of freight rail safety regulations following a spate of high-profile passenger and freight trains accidents last year.
Obama said he's for expanded public transportation access in all possible forms.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday that 2014 was the "busiest year" year for high-speed rail construction since the Obama administration began pushing for more railways in 2009.
Speaking at the U.S. High Speed Rail Association's summit in Washington, Foxx said funding from the transportation department has helped double the amount of railways that can operate at speeds between 90 and 125 miles-per-hour.
"Over the past five years, we’ve invested more than $12 billion in high-performance rail," Foxx said. "Our High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program is the largest grant program for passenger rail in our nation’s history. Compared to 2009, over 24 million more Americans – a population about as big as Texas’ – now have access to upgraded rail service – or soon will."
Public transportation ridership can improve interaction between different races and ethnicities, according to a new study reported on Tuesday by The Boston Globe.
The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard University, found that riding public transportation systems with people of different backgrounds can gradually improve social interactions between groups.
“These things like public transit and the way we build our cities very much affect how we interact with people and how we get along as groups,” the study’s author Ryan Enos told the paper. “When we invest in infrastructure, we bring intergroup harmony by encouraging people to interact.”