Trains News Wire Digest for Sunday, March 29 (updated)

Canada issues domestic travel restrictions; Rhode Island uses National Guard to seek travelers from New York; MTA head has virus; Florida's Tri-Rail cuts service
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Sunday morning rail news:

— Canada is restricting domestic travel by passengers showing signs of the COVID-19 virus, such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the rules Saturday; they go into effect Monday at noon. The Canadian Press reports that under the order issued by Transport Canada, VIA Rail Canada, other intercity rail operators, and airlines will have to screen passengers for symptoms, asking health questions and looking for visible signs of illness. Anyone showing symptoms will be barred from travel for 14 days or until they can present a medical certificate confirming the symptoms are not related to COVID-19. Commuter rail and bus operations are not included.

— In Rhode Island, members of the National Guard are now questioning travelers arriving on Amtrak trains, and by airplanes and car, to enforce a 14-day quarantine on individuals arriving in that state from New York, a COVID-19 hot spot. Police are pulling over cars with New York license plates or commercial certification, and along with National Guard forces, will go door-to-door seeking arriving New Yorkers to inform them of the quarantine, the Westerly Sun reports. The Hill reports New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sue if the restrictions are not lifted, but said he believed he and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo could work the issue out. Both are Democrats.

— Patrick Foye, CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and is now isolated at home. A statement from the MTA says Foye was last in the MTA offices on Wednesday and was asymptomatic, then worked at home Thursday and Friday. The agency says he is “feeling good and maintaining his full schedule.” With New York a hot spot for virus cases, the MTA has been hit hard. Two of its workers died of the virus last week, and the number of employees who have tested positive jumped from 52 to 156 between Tuesday and Thursday, the New York Daily News reports. The agency says another 1,181 workers had been quarantined as of Thursday because of exposure to people who tested positive or displayed symptoms of the virus.

— South Florida’s Tri-Rail, one of the few remaining commuter railroads which had been operating on regular schedules, has reduced service as of Saturday and has also suspended fare collection. Weekday operations will see nine round trips operating at 2-hour intervals; weekend service includes six round trips on 3-hour intervals. New schedules are available here.

— Updated at 11:25 a.m. CDT with MTA information.

 

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