March People & Places

March 7, 2016

Kevin Desmond
The TransLink Board of Directors has selected Kevin Desmond as its chief executive officer. Desmond is currently the general manager of King County Metro Transit, overseeing a large regional transit system with strong parallels to Metro Vancouver. He’s been with King County since 2004, which serves the Seattle metropolitan region with a mix of transit modes, including buses, trains, vanpools and paratransit service. During his tenure, Metro Transit launched light rail and streetcar service, several bus rapid transit lines, grew transit ridership by 44 per cent, and rolled out the ORCA Card.

Michael Barletta
Metropolitan Transit System
The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) has hired Michael Barletta to oversee all field security and enforcement operations. He will supervise 200 transit officers. Prior to joining MTS, Barletta served in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for 30 years. During his tenure, Barletta led the department in multiple areas including Sheriff’s Rural Division where he oversaw law enforcement efforts for 2,200 square miles of San Diego County, the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s Station, the Investigations Division and the Human Resources Bureau.

Donna DeMartino
San Joaquin Regional Transit District
The Sacramento Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) selected San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) General Manager/CEO Donna DeMartino as its Woman of the Year award recipient. The Woman of the Year award recognizes leadership in transportation and contributions toward the advancement of women and minorities in transportation. DeMartino began her nearly 30-year transit career as a parttime coach operator, was appointed RTD’s first female General Manager/CEO in 2001. Under her leadership, RTD has established a bus rapid transit system, adopted new hybrid and electric bus technologies, and completed significant transit improvements and infrastructure investments.

Kimberly Cella
Missouri Public Transit Association
The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) announced the selection of its new executive director, Kimberly Cella, of the St. Louis-based transit advocacy organization Citizens for Modern Transit. Cella and her team at Citizens for Modern Transit will partner with Michael G. Winter Consultants to lead efforts on behalf of the statewide transit provider association to ensure the goals of the organization, which include elevating the status of transit in Missouri, building new coalitions to expand the advocacy base and promoting and supporting MPTA members.

Odessa Trinkle
Rabbittransit announced Odessa Trinkle as its new operations manager for its central operations location in York. Trinkle will oversee the day-to-day operations for both the fixed-route bus system as well as the shared ride program in York and Adams counties, which provides nearly 200,000 curb-to-curb trips a day for area residents. Prior to this, she worked for 10 years with the Transportation Department of Franklin County serving as its director since 2013, in which she managed the shared ride program in that area.

Swift College Station Opens
Community Transit’s new Swift bus rapid transit (BRT) College Station opened, two blocks from Edmonds Community College.
“We are constantly seeking ways to expand and improve our transit network,” said Community Transit CEO Emmett Heath. “This new Swift College Station will have an immediate benefit for college students and staff, as well as all 5,500 people who ride Swift every day.”
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Community Transit,” said Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez. “We’re hopeful that the new Swift bus stop will allow our students, employees, and the community quicker and safer access to campus.”

Transit Agencies Testing Collision Avoidance System
Eight transit agencies across Washington are working together on a pilot project to test and analyze a collision avoidance system that could help bus drivers reduce the number and severity of collisions with pedestrian, cyclists and vehicles.
The system will be deployed on 38 buses statewide, with three buses in operation for Metro Transit, and five buses each for Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Intercity Transit, C-Tran, Kitsap, Ben Franklin and Spokane Transit.
The pilot project is jointly funded by the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool, its member transit agencies, King County Risk Management, and insurance companies serving the transit industry.

STM Introduces Azur Metro Cars into Service
The Bombardier-Alstom Consortium celebrated with the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) the entry into service of the new Azur metro cars.
Raymond Bachant, resident of Bombardier Transportation — Americas, stated, “We wish to congratulate our customer, the Société de Transport de Montréal, with whom we inaugurated today the Azur metro cars. We have spared no efforts in carrying out this project and helping shape the city’s vision: offering Montrealers cutting-edge metro cars that will provide STM passengers with the reliable, comfortable and rapid service to meet the high expectations of Québec’s metropolis."
“AZUR has undergone strict and extensive qualification testing on the STM network, validating the metro transit in its operating environment and confirming its performance,” said Angelo Guercioni, president of Alstom Canada. “With today’s entry into service, passengers can be assured of comfortable, enjoyable and safe journeys.”

City of McAllen Receives Electric Buses
Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification (WAVE) has completed a project with the city of McAllen’s Transit Department, Metro McAllen (McAllen), to install WAVE technology on two buses that include an all-electric, Zero-Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS) provided by Complete Coach Works (CCW).
WAVE technology transfers power through the air, from embedded charging pad placed in the pavement to the vehicle's undercarriage 7 to 8 inches above, minimizing the need for onboard power storage.
An embedded charging pad has been placed in the asphalt at one of the McAllen stops so that the bus route will be unchanged. The embedded pads will measure about three feet square. The pads are flat and seamlessly blend with the asphalt causing no harm to anyone/anything that pass over it.

First Brightline Coach Shell Completed
Brightline and Siemens announced that the first stainless steel passenger coach car shell for the new train service has been completed, reaching a major milestone in the construction of the trains.
Siemens says it is employing innovative spot-welding technology to build the stainless steel coach car shells and these will be the only carbody with a flat sidewall of this type in the U.S. market. The completed coach shell will now go through a finishing process, preparing it for final assembly.
This coach shell is part of the first of Brightline’s initial five four-car train sets that will each carry 240 passengers with more train sets to follow as the service expands.
Construction is also underway on Brightline’s train stations in Miami at Miami Central, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.

Dumb Ways to Die Partners with RTD
In 2012, Metro Trains Melbourne launched Dumb Ways to Die, a safety awareness campaign that uses humor to create a serious conversation about safety. By pairing colorful cartoon “beans,” implausible death scenarios, and acts of impulsiveness around trains, the campaign brought global attention to very avoidable things that people do to put them in harm’s way.
Through a partnership, RTD brings this program to Denver to raise awareness, educate, and create discussion about the very real dangers of RTD's very fast, very big buses and trains.

Metra Debuts New Seats
Metra announced plans to launch into service the first of 30 railcars featuring a new style of seats with armrests, built-in cup holders and better head, neck and lumbar support. Railcar 7437 is the first to be equipped with the new seating and will be put in service this week on the Milwaukee District lines.
“These new seats offer amenities our customers have never had before — cup holders, armrests and higher backs,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We will be asking our customers to give us feedback about the new seats, and we hope they like them and find them to be more comfortable than the current seating.”

Parsons Lead Designer for Marseille Metro Expansion
Parsons was recently named lead designer and project/construction manager for Marseille Metro’s 10-year plan to improve and expand its 2‑line passenger rail system, including implementation of a new rolling stock fleet and communications-based train control system (CBTC) for unmanned train operation.
In addition to CBTC installation, Parsons will be responsible for project engineering and management of infrastructure improvements, including 14 additional train stations, signaling, a new fleet of rail cars, platform improvements, and depot area design modifications for full automated train operation.