Industry News - July/August 2013

Hiring Our Heroes

A veteran’s job fair hosted by the American Public Transportation Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was held on June 4, 2013 in conjunction with the APTA Rail Conference.

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy said, “The U.S. Chamber has held over 400 of these job fairs in the last two years and we’re proud to join with them for this offer today. In Washington, D.C., we’ve been working with our industry partners, such as our federal partners at the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies in a proactive initiative approach of hiring veterans.”

Alstom Unveils Citadis Spirit

Alstom recently unveiled its Citadis Spirit light-rail vehicle for the North American market. Features include a 100 percent low-floor design and the ability to operate at speeds up to 65 mph. The vehicle is modular in length and can be expanded as a city’s transportation needs grow over time.

The Citadis Spirit can be paired with one of Alstom’s off-wire power supply systems to preserve historic cityscapes and minimize the impacts on the environment.

Sun Metro Breaks Ground on Brio BRT

Brio will have uniquely branded 60-foot articulated buses in mixed traffic; free Wi-Fi at the stations and on the buses; a frequency of 10 minutes (peak service) to 15 minutes (off-peak service); stations that are about a mile apart; branded and landscaped stations with improved pedestrian amenities and signal prioritization, to name a few system amenities.

Construction along the Mesa corridor — the first of four corridors — begins this month and is expected to last about 12 months. The construction consists of the installment of 22 Brio stations.

The total project cost for the Brio Mesa corridor is $27.1 million, of which $13.5 million is funded by the Federal Transit Administration.

Attaining an Accurate Count

At the APTA Rail Conference, Init, Innovations in Transportation Inc., highlighted its automatic passenger counting system Mobile-APC and the IRMA (InfraRed Motion Analyzer) Matrix sensor, based on a matrix of 500 pixels with which it measures the distance to the object and detects it three-dimensionally. The presence and movement of persons or objects can be determined with very high accuracy, irrespective of the environmental conditions.

Init’s Andreas Rakebrandt, director business development, North America automatic passenger counting said, “It can separate between passengers, wheelchairs and bikes which is very important for engineer reporting for accurate data. People are switching over to the matrix technology for really accurate data.”

New Flyer acquires NABI

New Flyer Industries Inc. announced the acquisition of North American Bus Industries Inc. (NABI) from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management for cash consideration of approximately $80 million, virtually all for the satisfaction of affiliate debt. The acquisition excludes discontinued operations in Hungary and substantially all related assets and liabilities.

New Flyer President & CEO Paul Soubry said, “The company plans to operate the NABI bus and NABI parts operations under the names NABI Bus LLC and NABI Parts LLC, respectively, within the New Flyer group ...”

Foothill Transit Transitions to In-House Management

Foothill Transit’s Executive Board voted 5-0 in favor of establishing the agency’s first-ever in-house management team and voting to amend the agency’s contract with Veolia Transportation to transition most of the current management team to Foothill Transit’s employ.

The agency’s first employee will be Doran J. Barnes, the current executive director under the Veolia Transportation contract who has served in that role for the past decade.

BART Celebrates anniversary

Bay Area Rapid Transit is marking 10 years of service on the SFO extension, which has served more than 30 million passengers since opening in 2003.

The five-station extension provides a direct train-to-plane connection.

Personal Ticketing Technology

NextAgent from Cubic Transportation Systems utilizes high-speed video links to let passengers interact with ticketing staff in real time, any time. Cubic Product Manager Jason Kenward said It was developed in response to two things: operators saying they wanted to move staff out of the ticket window on to platforms and passengers feeling uncomfortable using a normal TVM for high-value transactions or difficult journeys.

New Design Functions for Intelligent Rail Systems

Transoft Solutions recently launched its new AutoturnRail 3D passenger rail design software. The design functions include recreating various vehicle configurations from manufacturer’s specifications to be used to check design, generating preliminary information for station and platform design, anticipating maintenance yard impacts with other vehicles and structures, and refining design for pedestrian walkways.