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METROLINK BREAKS GROUND ON SCORE PROJECT TO IMPROVE REGIONAL RAIL SERVICE

Metrolink held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Burbank-Downtown Station to mark the start of the Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project.

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Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project Will Reduce Travel Times to Allow for Potentially More Frequent Train Operation

LOS ANGELES – Metrolink held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Burbank-Downtown Station to mark the start of the Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project. The project is part of Phase 1 of the agency’s Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) program and aims to reduce travel times by allowing for increased speeds and more efficient operations. These improvements will lay the groundwork for the potential to provide passengers with wait times of no more than 30 minutes. 

“By improving track infrastructure, the Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project is an important step toward greater regional mobility, while delivering economic growth through new jobs,” Metrolink Board Chair Ara Najarian said. “Metrolink appreciates its partnership with the City of Burbank on this enhancement and looks forward to working with other cities and agencies as our SCORE projects evolve.” 

The Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project, located north of the Burbank-Downtown Station, will realign a portion of existing main line track, reconfigure and lengthen track, improve and replace approximately one half mile of existing track and install new right of way safety fencing.  

“It’s an exciting day for Metrolink as we begin work on this project that will eventually deliver more efficient train travel in the region, especially for riders along our Antelope Valley and Ventura County lines,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “Metrolink’s SCORE program will, over the next few years, add more track while improving grade crossings, stations, and signals for our riders and in preparation for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.” 

The Burbank Junction Speed Improvement Project is funded by the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) through Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP). Construction is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2023. For more information, please visit: metrolinktrains.com/SCORE. 

Press conference speaker quotes: 

Senator Anthony Portantino (25th District)  

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“The Burbank Junction Speed Improvement project will bring new jobs, environmental benefits, and increased usage of regional public transportation,” said Senator Anthony Portantino. “Fewer vehicles on the road means fewer accidents and reduced air pollution and emissions. The improvements and updates will have significant positive impacts on our communities throughout the 25th Senate District for decades to come.”

Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) 

“The state’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) was created to fund transformative capital improvements that will modernize California’s rail, bus, and ferry transit systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly, vehicle miles traveled, and congestion,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale). “Transportation touches everything, and the work of TIRCP and SCORE advance the effort to create safe, equitable and sustainable transit solutions that positively impact housing issues, access to job opportunities, and our health.”

L.A. County Supervisor and Metrolink Board Member Kathryn Barger

“Every day our service takes thousands of vehicles off our highways and local roads. But we have only scratched the surface of what Metrolink can achieve,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metrolink Board Member Kathryn Barger. ” Our service will play an ever-increasing and important role in people’s ability to move around the region. So, I view this project as a first step in a great leap forward and I am so proud to celebrate it.”

Mayor Jess Talamantes (City of Burbank)  

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“Metrolink’s Burbank Junction Speed Improvements Project will be a tremendous benefit to our city,” said City of Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes. “On behalf of the City Council, I congratulate Metrolink on the groundbreaking of this milestone and look forward to our continued partnership in providing safer operations and increased service speeds for our community.”

Source: Metrolink

infrastructure

That year LA declared it was at “Peak Car!”

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Peak Car
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Was there a time it was consider that “The City of Angeles,” had reached “Peak Car?”

I recently came across an article posted by the Metro Digital Resources Librarian on the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive web site run by Metro Los Angeles. The article talked about LA’s new obsession with the automobile and how it gained popularity, in the early 1920s.

Library researchers pointed out that notable resources concurred with this, including Scott L. Bottles’ Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City, and Ashleigh Brilliant’s The Great Car Craze, How Southern California Collided with the Automobile in the 1920s.

The automobile was new and fresh, and also offered freedom to its owners, who realized that they could become more mobile and not rely solely on the massive LA street car network at the time.  The number of vehicle registrations in Los Angeles had quadrupled in just an eight-year period from 1914-1922.

“Automobile use exploded as the passenger vehicle transitioned from a hobbyist’s pursuit to a relatively affordable means of getting around the sprawling region and beyond.”

Metro Librarian found out what was happening on the public transit side of the story when they found an article published in Electric Railway Journal titled “California and Her Tractions, Part II.

MetroDigital Resource Librarian:

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As one of several features titled “A Series of Articles on Salient Phases of the Electric Railway Situation,” author Edward Hungerford details the then current state of public transit in the Los Angeles area.

And within that overview, he interviews Paul Shoup, Pacific Electric Railways president and vice-president of Southern Pacific Company.

Hungerford documents Pacific Electric’s earnings in a recent six-month period, and asks Shoup “for the real translation of these figures.”

Shoup responds by stating:

They mean that the peak of the competition of the automobile, publicly or privately owned or operated, has been reached out here — and passed. Not only is the rapidly rising cost of cars and tires and gasoline and oil beginning to deter the overenthusiastic motorists, but I think that the novelty of excessive motor riding also is rather wearing off. The hazards of driving on crowded highways are becoming more apparent and parking spaces in towns and cities more a question of doubt.

In addition to our great numbers of motor stage routes in every direction, we now have some 500,000 automobiles in California licensed for pleasure purposes, to which should be added the cars owned and operated by the 100,000 Easterners who come out here every winter. The competitive effect of all these cars has been, and still is, vast indeed. But we already can see in it a declining curve.

Yes, you read that right, Shoup declared that personal vehicle usage had peaked and that it was on the decline.

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Shoup explains that Los Angeles Railway profits were consistent with those of Pacific Electric, but acknowledges that “increases in both operating cost and taxes had gone ahead a little more than proportionately.” But he intimates that the rising cost of automobile operation (gas, tires) means that cars will cease their encroachment into transit’s share of mobility.

MetroDigital Resource Librarian:

This statement was part of an interview published in a national journal. Was he telling industry professionals what they wanted to hear? Did he want to assuage fears of rail employees that their jobs were going to disappear as more people purchased and used automobiles? Was he hoping that his perspective would turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy so he could remain atop Pacific Electric and Southern Pacific?

You can read the full article here: https://metroprimaryresources.info/when-los-angeles-was-declared-to-have-hit-peak-car-in-1920/15665/

https://stmdailynews.com/category/stm-blog/blog/

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art, culture and humanities

Enter the Design a Transit Wrap Contest

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Phoenix, AZ – Valley Metro’s Design a Transit Wrap Contest has begun! Now in its 23rd year, the contest is open to high school students in Maricopa County. The winning artwork will be featured on a Valley Metro bus and light rail train for one year.

The contest provides an opportunity for students to promote public transit from their unique perspectives. It also allows Valley Metro to showcase an up-and-coming artist alongside the other public art that exists along the transit system.

Students may create their art digitally or by drawing or painting. Submit contest entries at valleymetro.org/wrapcontest by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Source: Valley Metro

https://www.valleymetro.org/news/agency/2023/01/enter-design-transit-wrap-contest

Transit Wrap Contest

https://stmdailynews.com/category/lifestyle/

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infrastructure

BRIGHTLINE REVEALS FIRST LOOK INSIDE ITS ORLANDO STATION

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ORLANDO, FL – Brightline, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity rail in America, is pulling back the curtain on Central Florida’s latest attraction, Brightline’s Orlando Station. Today, Brightline released a video and renderings of the future station, located at Orlando International Airport, that will connect millions and regionalize the state. The station spans three-stories, featuring groundbreaking design and a unique synthesis of luxury amenities that meet the demand of today’s modern traveler. Opening this year, Brightline’s Orlando Station will revolutionize train travel in America and continue Brightline’s vision of offering a guest-first travel experience.

The guest journey begins at the main entrance, located off the airport’s expansive two-story glass atrium. Once inside the station, passengers can purchase tickets from guest services or one of several self-service kiosks, and check luggage before proceeding through touchless turnstiles into the security screening area. Brightline is currently the only rail system in America that screens all passengers and bags prior to boarding. 

“This world-class train station continues our mission of transforming train travel in America,” said Patrick Goddard, president at Brightline. “We have carefully thought through each detail of this station to ensure that it exceeds the expectations of the modern traveler.”

The station takes the luxury amenities Brightline is known for to new heights featuring an upscale retail experience with convenient in-station shopping and its Mary Mary Bar, serving hand-crafted cocktails and lite bites. The signature sit-down bar is positioned at the far end of the station with a stunning panoramic view overlooking the train platform where guests can leisurely watch as trains arrive and depart the platform. 

Located above the Mary Mary bar is an iconic, flip-flap message board that can rotate alphanumeric text and/or graphics to form a message. A nostalgic nod to historic train stations, the flip-flap will provide updated train schedules, boarding times, news of the day and other announcements complete with the flip-flap sound reminiscent of the first passenger train stations in America.

Passengers will access trains by escalator or elevators to the first level platform and board from one of two new track platforms. These platforms are 1,000 feet long and will accommodate a train with four coaches and two locomotives that will transport guests on the Orlando to Miami route in just over three hours.

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Brightline offers two classes of service, SMART and PREMIUM. Brightline’s PREMIUM service, will provide complimentary drinks and snacks in a dedicated lounge and train coach. Throughout the station, all guests will have access to free high-speed Wi-Fi, charging stations at every seat, 87 big screen televisions and a children’s play area located in the SMART lounge.

The 37,350 square foot station is located in the heart of Orlando International Airport’s new 80,000 sq. ft. Terminal C and connects directly to the airport’s parking deck C, which will have more than 350 parking spaces reserved for Brightline guests. An automated people mover connects the terminal to the rest of the airport facilities including Terminal A and B in under five minutes.

Brightline’s Orlando station is designed by Bigtime Design Studios, an architecture firm based out of Miami, Florida, that also designed the newly opened Brightline stations in Boca Raton and Aventura, alongside the architect of record Sonny Fornoles of Borrelli + Partner. The buildout of the station is led by Orlando-based contractor Gomez Construction Co., a minority owned business whose headquarters are based in Orlando, Florida, and employs more than 100 workers on this project.

For more information about Brightline’s Orlando station, visit www.gobrightline.com/orlando.

Source: Brightline

Link: https://stmdailynews.com/blog/

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