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TOD News Briefs

The Week in TOD News September 14-20, 2019

The above ground structure at Pitt Street railway station under construction in July 2018. Image by Nick-D , licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

NJ TOD News

Building Goodwill with Gratitude on NJ Transit
TAPInto.net Staff, Tap Into Newark, September 13, 2019
Customer Advocate and Chief Experience Officer of NJ TRANSIT Stewart Mader steps into customers’ shoes by regularly riding buses, light rail and trains to engage with riders and pinpoint solutions to enhance the customer experience. Mader noted that the Agency’s customers are invested in its transit system and that they often provide some of the best feedback on improving NJ Transit’s operations. The Agency’s updated website, njtransit.com, provides customers with information pertaining to adjusted schedules, including the increased service to Hoboken and Avenel based on rider feedback.

Hospital Rideshare Program Helps Patients Keep Appointments
Lilo H. Stainton, NJ Spotlight, September 16, 2019
As part of an established partnership with Hitch Health, Newark’s University Hospital has partnered with Lyft to provide free rides, or if necessary, medical transport vehicles, to patients with appointments for select services at the hospital. According to University Hospital, the free service is available to patients with appointments at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey’s program and certain outpatient pediatric and internal medicine visits. Officials have noted that they plan to expand the service to help other patients in the future.

NJ TRANSIT 22nd Street Light Rail Station in Bayonne. Image by user Jim.henderson, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
NJ TRANSIT 22nd Street Light Rail Station in Bayonne. Image by user Jim.henderson, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Skye Lofts Apartment Building Opens Beside Bayonne Light Rail Station
Caren Lissner, Jersey Digs, September 17, 2019
This month, Bayonne Mayor James Davis, municipal officials and principals of Skye Development, LLC all attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of Skye Lofts South, the six-story apartment building located adjacent to the light rail station at 22nd Street in Bayonne. The light rail connects residents from Bayonne through Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Union County into North Bergen, and into Manhattan. The 90-unit apartment complex at 250 Avenue E began accepting renters this month.

Raritan Valley Rail Coalition: It’s All about the One-Seat Ride
Robert Ramirez, Tap Into Somerville, September 17, 2019
This week, Chairman of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition (RVRC) Bruce Bergen, Union County Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski, elected officials from numerous municipalities and counties along the Raritan Valley Rail Line, and members of the public attended a RVRC Public Meeting in Cranford to deliberate mass transit improvements. NJ TRANSIT temporarily suspended one-seat rides on its Raritan Valley Line from Somerville to NY Penn Station in fall 2018 due to work on the Agency’s Positive Train Control Project (PTC), and the suspension remains in place a year later. The RVRC has been an advocate for funding the proposed Gateway Tunnel Project as a significant step towards reinstating one-seat rides on the Raritan Valley Line.

NJ Transit: A Capital Plan May Address Ailing Stations, Trains and Buses
Colleen Wilson, North Jersey Record, September 19, 2019
NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett has given orders for a new capital plan aimed to provide additional regular repairs and upgrades for the Agency’s equipment and properties. Corbett also ordered a survey of NJ TRANSIT’s buildings and assets to prioritize what is needed in the five-year capital plan. The plan is anticipated to be announced in March 2020.

Jersey City Unveils New On-Demand Transit System
Patrick Villanova, The Jersey Journal, September 19, 2019
Jersey City has partnered with Via, the ridesharing company, to offer an on-demand bus system. Starting in early 2020, city residents will be able to hail shuttles using the VIA app and pay $2 to ride within the City. Seniors and low-income residents will be able to ride for $1 or less. This will be the first such service in New Jersey and is seen as a travel solution in places with fewer public transportation options.

Regional and National TOD News
A Metrorail train at the Downtown Station in Austin. Image by user Michlavoic, licensed under the Public Domain.
Metrorail train at the Downtown Station in Austin. Image by user Michlavoic, licensed under the Public Domain.

Commission Stresses Need for Better TOD Planning Along Green Line
Ryan Thornton, Austin Monitor, September 16, 2019
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is exploring the possibility of situating TOD districts alongside Project Connect’s rail commuter Green Line in Austin, TX. The TOD study is analyzing eight possible rail stations along approximately 15 miles of track. According to the study’s Project Manager Jacob Calhoun, the transit agency is working with the cities of Austin and Manor to develop and refine TOD guidelines. Upon completion of the study, recommendations for explicit transit-oriented developments will be presented to the City for public hearing and deliberation of City Council.

Map of the New York City Subway system. Image by user CountZ at English Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Map of the New York City Subway system. Image by user CountZ at English Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

MTA Announces $51.5 Billion Plan to Save the Subway, Treat NYC’s Transit Sickness
Clayton Guse, New York Daily News, September 16, 2019
On Monday, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials unveiled a $51.5 billion, five-year capital plan. The plan aims to quickly update New York’s subway system, make an additional 70 subway stations accessible and modernize the way people travel throughout the region. New York City Transit will receive $40 billion, of which $37.3 billion will be allotted to fund subway projects. However, transit officials have warned that the aggressive construction plan will lead to extended shutdowns of service on nights and weekends across select areas of the subway.

LA Metro’s Gold Line at Atlantic Station. Image by user METRO96, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
LA Metro’s Gold Line at Atlantic Station. Image by user METRO96, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

USC Launches New Public Transit Subsidy Program for Employees
USC News Staff, USC News, September 17, 2019
The University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles will incentivize taking the bus or rail to work for its employees. The program offers employees a 50% transit subsidy to not drive to campus as an attempt to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the road during peak hours. USC Transportation will also offer L.A. Metro Employer Passes (E-Passes) that allow for the use of all Metro rail, Metro local buses and Metro Rapid buses, as well as LADOT DASH, Culver City and Pasadena Transit municipal buses.

Nassau to Offer $1M for Transit-Oriented Projects
David Winzelberg, Long Island Business News, September 17, 2019
Nassau County’s Office of Community Development will allocate $1 million from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program to help municipalities fund transit-oriented development. County Executive Laura Curran has stated that numerous county villages are working to revitalize walkable downtowns in proximity to transit with the hope of attracting young people and growing the tax base. To support these efforts, Nassau County’s initiative allows qualifying municipalities to receive up to $400,000 and aims to help fund at least three TOD projects.

California to Assist Financing of Private California-Vegas Train
Associated Press, East Bay Times, September 19, 2019
California officials could potentially provide Virgin Trains USA access to billions of dollars in private financing for their high-speed train connecting Las Vegas and Southern California. A committee chaired by State Treasurer Fiona Ma will likely approve $300 million in tax-exempt private activity bonds to Virgin Trains USA both this year and next year, providing the company with approximately half of the funding needed to construct the project. Construction is expected to take three years with the ground breaking slated for 2020.

International TOD News
The above ground structure at Pitt Street railway station under construction in July 2018
The above ground structure at Pitt Street railway station under construction in July 2018. Image by user Nick-D , licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Oxford Properties Leads Pitt Street Metro Station Development
Dinah Lewis Boucher, The Urban Developer, September 17, 2019
Oxford Properties is leading a TOD project that will result in two 39-story, build-to-rent towers located atop the new Pitt Street Metro Station in Sydney’s CBD. CPB Contractors will work with Oxford Properties to construct the towers as well as to build the new Southwest Pitt Street Station. Completion of the station development and the project’s residential building is anticipated for 2023, while completion of the commercial office tower is slated for 2024.

Bhubaneswar’s current Railway Station. Image by user Anubhav2010, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Bhubaneswar’s current Railway Station. Image by user Anubhav2010, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Bhubaneswar Railway Station to Get Major Makeover. Details with Pics Here
Odisha Sun Times Bureau, Odisha Sun Times, September 19, 2019
This week, the Odisha Government and Indian Railways are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) approving a makeover to Smart City Bhubaneswar’s Railway Station that will transform the station into a world class multimodal hub. The Government of Odisha will undertake the project, the Railway Station Multimodal Hub (RSMH), through the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA). The redevelopment will include a new terminal building for the Railway Station, two new railway lines with platforms, a city bus terminal, a mixed-use development, and a concourse connecting both sides of the station.

MPs Demand More Train Services, Facilities in Malabar
Special Correspondent, The Hindu, September 19, 2019
Parliament Members in north Kerala have pressed Southern Railway General Manager Rahul Jain to implement additional train services and initiate development projects to benefit Malabar’s rail commuters. Kozhikode MP and chairman of the advisory committee in Palakkad Division M.K Raghavan has stated that the development of Kozhikode’s rail station should be the highest priority to improve railway connectivity in the Malabar Region. Raghavan has also called for the implementation of new trains in the Kozhikode-Madurai and Kozhikode-Bengaluru sectors while extending the existing services to other stations as well, among various other improvements.