April-May Industry News

April 21, 2014

CATA to Switch to Natural Gas

The Central Arkansas Transit Authority Board of Directors has approved the development of a compressed natural gas fueling station and the purchase of 15 new CNG heavy-duty transit buses.

The approximately $2.1 million contract with Trillium CNG is for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a CNG fueling station for CATA buses. The station is funded from numerous sources including the CATA municipal and county funding partners and grants from Southwestern Energy, the Arkansas Energy Office, and the Federal Transit Administration.

“This is a great opportunity for CATA to continue to meet the needs of our customers with the fleet they deserve. The transition to CNG reflects our commitment to remain environmentally conscious as we enhance our fleet,” stated Jarod Varner, CATA executive director. “We continue to pursue grant opportunities that strengthen our financial position, leverage limited resources and promote economic benefits to the central Arkansas community.”


Gentex Funds Zeeland Bus Shelter for MAX Transit

Gentex Corp. has purchased a bus shelter for use by the Macatawa Area Express Transportation Authority. The project includes the installation of a cement pad with sidewalk extensions and a bus shelter. 

“On behalf of the MAX Board of Directors and our passengers, I would like to extend our gratitude to Gentex for its generosity and initiative to take it upon itself to make improvements for the betterment of the community, and to the city of Zeeland for providing guidance and support throughout each phase of this project,” said MAX Executive Director Linda LeFebre. 

"This particular MAX bus stop is right in front of our Riley Street facilities and so it's heavily used by our employees and the community in general," said Bruce Los, Gentex senior vice president.  "We thought it would be nice to donate the construction of an actual bus shelter to protect users during inclement weather."


Commuter Advertising Renews 5-Year Contract with Greater Dayton RTA

Commuter Advertising announced its continued partnership with the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority with a 5-year digital advertising contract. CA was founded on a contract with GDRTA five years ago when they were the first transit company to take a chance on the new idea.

"We look forward to our renewed contract with Commuter Advertising," said Frank Ecklar, director of planning and marketing at GDRTA. "As Commuter Advertising's first transit agency partner, they have proven to be very creative in generating revenue for our transit operations." 

With this contract renewal, CA is expanding its portfolio to include onboard digital signage allowing advertisers to reach commuters at relevant locations and times with digital display advertising via onboard video screens.


Quechan and Cocopah Indian Tribe Awarded Funding for YCAT

The Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority received notification from the Federal Transit Administration that the Quechan Indian Tribe was awarded $150,000 in discretionary funding as well as $15,324 in formula funding to continue public transit services on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation connecting Yuma, Winterhaven and Andrade; and the Cocopah Indian Tribe was  awarded $37,772 in formula funding to continue public transit services connecting the three Cocopah Indian Reservations with the cities of Yuma and Somerton.

“The Obama Administration is proud to partner with tribal governments throughout the United States to create new ladders of opportunity for hard-working families and seniors hoping to improve their quality of life,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Access to affordable transportation goes hand-in-hand with ensuring that American Indians, Alaskan natives and other rural residents have a chance to succeed and pursue their goals.”

"With the participation of the Cocopah and Quechan Indian Tribes in the YCAT system, YCIPTA has been able to provide quality service to these tribal members as well as Yuma County population without increasing local government subsidies" said John Andoh, transit director. "These grants from FTA has expanded mobility to El Centro, Andrade, Paradise Casino, Quechan Casino Resort and improved the frequency of transit service on the Cocopah Reservations from 2 hours to 1 hour." 


GTA Celebrates LEED Gold

Greensboro Transit Authority celebrated achievement of the first municipal building to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Status with its new 66,000-square-foot Operations/Maintenance Facility and Administrative Offices.

Vapor Electric Door Equipment on Buses for Metro

Vapor Bus International is supplying high-performance door actuation equipment on 550 buses for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The ETO is an advanced technology door actuation system that combines a rugged, high-torque electric motor and a smart controller that provides precise motion and door speed control. The non-back-drivable mechanism secures and maintains door panel position without power consumption. Vapor’s complete door equipment scope includes Ameriview door panels and driver’s door controller handle.


Cincinnati Metro Unveils First Ticket Vending Machine

Cincinnati Metro’s quest to make riding more convenient continues with the addition of its first ticket vending machine, installed downtown at Metro’s largest transit hub, Government Square. The machine provides 24/7 access to Metro passes and stored-value cards.

The SPX Corp.’s GFI Genfare machine provides easy-to-use convenience for Metro riders. It offers all Metro 30-day rolling passes including Metro/TANK passes, and $10, $20 and $30 stored-value cards.

It is also specially designed to offer Spanish language translation, and braille and audio-translations for our visually and hearing impaired customers.

More ticket vending machines will soon be available in other areas and at other high-traffic transit hubs.


Siemens $225M Contact to Manufacture Cleaner, Diesel-Electric Rail Cars in California

The California Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation, announced signing a contract with Siemens to manufacture 32 high-performance, diesel-electric locomotives in Sacramento. The next-generation locomotives will comply with strict federal emissions standards and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent.

“California continues to lead the way in offering robust and sustainable alternative transportation choices, which is especially important given the record-setting ridership that we’ve experienced over the last several years,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “This agreement will help boost our transportation infrastructure, strengthen the local economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The joint procurement contract has an estimated value of $225 million, supporting skilled and high-wage jobs in California. The locomotives, known as Chargers, will be built at the Siemens rail manufacturing facility in Sacramento.

The Charger locomotives will be powered by a 4400 horsepower rated diesel-electric engine that complies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s strict, Tier 4 emissions standards, reducing greenhouse gas emissions approximately 85 percent compared with some existing locomotives. The locomotives will also meet performance requirements for diesel-electric passenger locomotives set by the Next-Generation Equipment Committee, a coalition of government and industry experts promoting safe and efficient passenger rail in the United States.

California and Illinois forged the multistate procurement using grant funds from the Federal Railroad Administration. Caltrans will purchase six of the locomotives for use on state-supported intercity passenger rail corridors within California. The rest of the locomotives will be purchased by states including Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Washington. Caltrans’ locomotives will cost approximately $45 million, with 80 percent of the funding provided by the federal government and 20 percent coming from Proposition 1B bond funds. 


MARTA Exercises Options for 80 Additional Xcelsior Buses

New Flyer Industries Inc. announced that the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has exercised options for 89 additional New Flyer 40-foot Xcelsior heavy-duty buses powered by compressed natural gas.

The contract included 88 firm orders and options for an additional 177 40-foot Xcelsior buses. Once this second order is complete, 88 options will remain on the contract and will remain recorded in New Flyer total backlog.

“We continue to offer, safe, affordable and reliable transit service to our customers throughout Atlanta and surrounding cities,” said MARTA Chief Operations Officer Rich Krisak. “Having transported more than 3.5 billion people in the last 25 years, MARTA is committed to our customers and understands the need for sustainable transportation. We are excited for these additional New Flyer buses and look forward to putting them into active service.”

“MARTA’s commitment to environmentally friendly natural gas and their aggressive bus fleet renewal efforts proves why they are amongst the leading transit agencies in the United States, providing more than 62 million passenger trips per year,” said Paul Soubry, president and CEO of New Flyer.

The 89 buses are anticipated to begin production in the first quarter of 2014. All buses are expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2014.


Veolia Transportation Awarded Its First State-Wide Medicaid Contract

Veolia has been awarded the company’s first state-wide Medicaid brokerage contract. Veolia’s management of Medicaid focuses on great customer service, adherence to compliance of CMS requirements and a commitment to providing service to eligible recipients. In addition, Veolia has entered into an agreement with Metro Transit in Omaha to repurpose space in the transit facility with a focus toward continued transit coordination in the future reinforcing Veolia IntelliRide’s Smart Mobility Management approach.

The contract is for a three-year term and includes a possible 2-year extension. The contract is scheduled to take effect on May 1, 2014. Under the terms, Veolia will be the contract agent for state’s estimated 1,300 Medicaid providers and 125,000 Medicaid members, setting standards, and overseeing and verifying program compliance.  In addition, Veolia will oversee customer service, the call center, and all dispatch services. There are currently 500,000 projected trips annually.

“This is a great opportunity for Veolia,” said Ryan Larsen, President for Veolia’s IntelliRide Division. “We are introducing new technology and processes in partnership with Ecolane which will enable us to take service to a level that has not yet been achieved in a Medicaid brokerage contract. This will greatly improve the experience for customers and at the same time, allow us to utilize resources efficiently.”


Keolis North American Wins 8-Year $2.6B Commuter Rail Contract

Keolis North America has been awarded a $2.6 billion, 8-year contract to manage, operate and maintain the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail service.

The MBTA contract awarded to Keolis Commuter Services, a division of Keolis North America, includes the option for two additional 2-year extensions.  If the extensions are granted, the total contract value would rise to $4.2 billion over 12 years.

“The MBTA is looking forward to this partnership as we launch an exciting new era in Commuter Rail service,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly A. Scott.  “The new commuter rail contract will lead to an enhanced customer experience, more effective management and greater operator accountability.”  Scott said customer benefits will be realized in a number of key areas including on-time performance, vehicle reliability, cleanliness, fare collection and communications.

 “We are extremely proud to be selected to manage the MBTA, one of the premiere commuter rail systems in the country,” said Keolis North America President Steve Townsend. 

Keolis North America will begin operating the MBTA commuter rail line on July 1, 2014.


Sentry360 Announces 360-degree Camera Deployment

Sentry360 announced the successful deployment of a 360-degree surveillance camera with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).  

In 2010, Sentry360 cameras were implemented under a pilot program funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant to retrofit the existing rail car fleet with an on-board video surveillance system.  The success of the pilot enabled CTA to retro-fit the Sentry360 solution to the remainder of the fleet. 

The final project included 3,600 cameras on nearly 900 rail cars.

The cameras are integrated into the CTA’s existing video management system platform, made by Teleste Corp.


DB and Bombardier Sign Contract for 29 Trains for Commuter Service in Central Germany

Deutsche Bahn  ordered 29 Talent 2 multiple units from Bombardier Transportation for the S-BahnMitteldeutschland commuter rail service in central Germany.

The contract between the Deutsche Bahn subsidiary DB Regio and Bombardier is valued at approximately €146 million. The order marks the 13th call-off from a framework agreement concluded in 2007 with a volume of more than €1 billion euro.

"This investment is contributing to our continued modernization of rolling stock for the benefit of our customers. We are preparing the company for the future while improving our competitive position," said Rudiger Grube, the CEO of DeutscheBahn.