News Wire Digest Second Section for Thursday, April 2

MBTA taking workers' temperatures; Denver-area commuter rail project could be sidelined; Metro-North replaces trains with buses on Waterbury Branch
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More Thursday rail news:

— The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has begun taking temperatures of its employees in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. WCVB-TV reports that MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak told employees in an email that the procedure was to begin Wednesday with those involved in bus operations and will be rolled out to other operating departments. Any employee with a temperature under 100 will be allowed to work; those with temperatures over 100 will be asked to immediately leave the property and take other actions including notifying managers, work partners, and medical providers. As of Monday, 10 of the 18 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus involve bus operators; five involve rail-related positions.

— Expansion of the Denver-area Regional Transportation District’s commuter rail service could be sidelined by more immediate and pressing needs. Colorado Public Radio reports that the agency could face a 5% service cut, in addition to the 3% cuts approved last week, unless it redirects money currently being set aside for its Denver-Boulder-Longmont B Line commuter train. Chief Financial Officer Heather McKillop told a Tuesday board meeting that by using a portion of the money set aside for the FastTrack program,  not even the whole thing, you could not only eliminate the need for additional reductions … but you could also start adding service back.”

— The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Metro-North Railroad will replace trains with buses on its Waterbury Branch beginning Monday, April 6. Local and express buses will operate between Waterbury and Bridgeport, Conn., until further notice. The change is to allow work on a $116 million signalizatin project.


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