Digest: Tucson extends free transit, will consider making it permanent

News Wire Digest second section for Sept. 23: Honolulu may replace head of rail agency; Metra makes minor schedule changes on two lines
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Wednesday midday rail news:

Tucson votes against resumption of fare collection, may pursue free transit

The Tucson, Ariz., city council has voted against resuming fare collection on city light rail and buses for the remainder of the year, and may pursue providing universal free transit. KOLD-TV reports the council voted unanimously to continue suspension of Sun Tran fare collection — which began because of the COVID-19 pandemic — at least for the remainder of 2020. The council will revisit the issue, including the possibility of free service, in three months. It is already in talks with the University of Arizona to provide free transit for students.

Head of Honolulu rail transit project likely to be ousted
The director of Honolulu’s rail transit project, running well behind schedule and over budget, is likely to be replaced, following a recommendation to do so from the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s human resources committee. The Associated Press reports the three-year contract of executive director and CEO Andrew Robbins expired Sept. 4, and his employment agreement expires at the end of the year. The authority’s board will meet to discuss the matter in closed session on Thursday.

Metra makes changes to UP North, Northwest schedules
Metra will make minor adjustments to its UP North and UP Northwest commuter schedules beginning Monday, Sept. 28. Changes on the North line are to accommodate replacement of 11 bridges on the inbound track on Chicago’s North side, which will require temporarily reducing the route to single track as work begins to shift the line to new bridge bays. One inbound train and one outbound train will have their schedules adjusted; the changes are expected to last through Oct. 12 but could be extended if more time is needed to complete the work. On the Northwest line, train No. 658 will depart Harvard 15 minutes later than the current schedule to better reflect actual operating conditions. The revised schedules are available here.


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