Buffalo to reexamine desire for light-rail extension at FTA request

News Wire Digest second section for April 4: San Diego's MTS using chemical fog to fight virus; Mississippi rail museum closes
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More Monday morning rail news:

— Buffalo’s effort to extend its 6.4-mile light rail system by 7 miles from downtown to the Universty of Buffalo’s north campus could be sidelined in favor of bus rapid transit. The Buffalo News reports that the Federal Transit Administration has directed the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to revisit the possibility of bus rapid transit, which would have a much lower price tag than the estimated $1 billion to extend Metro Rail. While the local agency says rail remains a viable option, it also says the cost of the project in a post COVID-19 competition for funding could be an obstacle.

— San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System has introduced a new element to its efforts to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a disinfectant “chemical fog.” City News Service reports a device sprays a fine mist of chloride dioxide, which kills viruses on contact, and can disinfect seat fabrics and hard-to-reach locations, freeing workers to spend more time sanitizing high-touch areas. MTS has also begun checking the temperature of approxmitely 500 bus and trolley operators before each shift, as well as administrative workers. Employees with temperatures of 100 or higher will be required to go home.

— A railroad museum in Jackson, Miss., has closed, done in by a lack of visitors. WBBJ-TV reports the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Depot and Museum has shut down. Jackson Mayor Scott Conger told the station that the city had been performing cost-benefit analyses of different departments and attractions, “and looking at our railroad [depot] we saw an average attendance of less than 10 a week, and a cost of roughly $109,000 a year.” The closure was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor said. He indicated items from the museum will be moved to the Casey Jones Railroad Museum, also in Jackson.


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