Trains News Wire Digest for Wednesday, March 25

Worker shortages lead to New York cuts; schedules to be reduced for Metrolink, Denver RTD
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MTA

Wednesday morning rail news, with three of the last commuter rail and transit agencies still on regular schedules announcing coronavirus-related cuts:

— New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will cut service on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad as of Friday, while cuts to subway service that begin today reflect an increasing shortage of transit workers as well as a sharp drop in ridership. LIRR service will be cut by about a third, with capacity reduced by 68%, while Metro-North will see cuts of about 50%, although there will be some additional trains during peak hours. On the subway, service has been suspended on the the B, W, and Z lines — all of which have other services along the same routes — while the 4, 5, 6, 7, J and D express lines will run local on all or part of their routes. A total of 52 MTA workers have now tested positive for the Coronavirus; Politico reports that more than 800 trains were delayed Monday because of crew shortages.

— LA-area commuter railroad Metrolink will move to a reduced schedule as of Thursday, balancing a ridership drop that had reached 80% as of last week with the need to continue to provide service for essential workers during California’s stay-at-home orders. The new schedules, effective until further notice, are available here. Ongoing coronavirus measures include addition of more hand sanitizers on trains and additional porters who board trains to provide touchpoint cleaning throughout the day.

— The board of the Denver-area Regional Transportation District has approved significant service reductions in April in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as previously considered cuts because of operator shortages. The Denver Post reports that the board approved the changes by a 14-1 vote, reflecting a systemwide ridership drop from 347,000 passengers per day to about 100,000 per day since mid-March. The new schedules, starting April 19, will see light rail operate on Sunday schedules, with no service on the C and F lines and 30-minute frequencies on the R Line, and a modified Saturday schedule for buses. The three commuter rail lines will remain on normal schedules, pending discussions between the RTD and its contract operator.

 

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