Florida's Tri-Rail extends trainsets, prepares to add frequencies

News Wire Digest for May 22: Metra introduces $10 all-day pass; SMART board approves freight rail purchase
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TriRail_BoyntonBeach_Lassen
A Miami-bound Tri-Rail train departs Boynton Beach, Fla. Tri-Rail is adding a car to its consists to aid in social distancing and plans to add four trains a day on June 1.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Friday morning rail news in brief:

Tri-Rail prepares for more passengers
South Florida commuter railroad Tri-Rail will expand its trainsets by one car as it prepares to increase service as businesses begin to reopen in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties following coronavirus shutdowns. Steven Abrams, executive director of the Tri-Rail’s parent agency, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, says the agency has seen a slight increase in ridership. “To keep social distancing practices in place, we are adding an extra car to each train starting this Friday,” Abrams said in a press release, “and adding four more trains into the schedule starting June 1.” The system normally operates with three-car trains but had previously expanded those to four cars to accommodate social distancing. Since March 28, Tri-Rail has been operating with trains every two hours on weekdays and every three hours on weekends. The trains added June 1 will allow hourly service during weekday peak periods.

Metra to offer one-day unlimited ride pass
Metra will launch a new $10 all-day, unlimited-ride pass on June 1 to recover riders following the COVID-19 outbreak, calling it a “Touch Less, Pay Less” option when purchased via the Ventra app used by Metra and other Chicago-area transit. The pass will be good for unlimited rides on any day until 3 a.m. the following morning, and will be less than the cost of a regular round trip (two one-way tickets) for anyone traveling downtown from Metra’s C zone or farther. The pass will be available for at least the next two months. Unused passes will expire seven days after purchase.

SMART board approves purchase of Northwestern Pacific
Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit’s board has approved the $4 million acquisition of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad and right-of-way owned by the state’s North Coast Rail Authority, giving the commuter railroad full control of its route. The deal will also dissolve the authority, the Marin Independent Journal reports. If the acquisition is approved by the California state Transportation Agency and the federal Surface Transportation Board, SMART will face a decision whether to operate freight service on the route itself or seek a contract operator. In the interim, Northwestern Pacific is likely to continue as the freight provider.

 

 

 

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