Digest: Report says Miami, Brightline are closing in on commuter-rail agreement

News Wire Digest for Sept. 25: Honolulu transit CEO in limbo after board fails to act; plan for new Ogden commuter station moves forward
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A Brightline train awaits passengers at MiamiCentral station. Brightline is closer to operating commuter trains between Miami and Aventura, Fla., according to a published report.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Friday morning rail transit news:

Brightline, Miami-Dade move closer to commuter rail agreement

Brightline and Miami-Dade County are closer to an agreement on commuter rail operation on the southern portion of Brightline’s route, and a competition is planned to decide where to build stations for the service. The Miami Herald reports a memo from Mayor Carlos Gimenez outlines a plan that would see trains every 30 minutes on weekdays and indicates Brightline would operate the service, although commuter operator Tri-Rail is officially still a possibility, having been asked to present a cost proposal to county commissioners. The memo also says developers and others along the route will be invited to make a  priority locations for stations on the route between Brighline’s MiamiCentral station and Aventura, Fla., which is drawing protests from a group in Miami’s Wynwood district which has already indicated its willingness to fund a station [see “Digest: Business group to help pay for Miami neighborhood commuter station,” Aug. 28, 2020].

Honolulu transit board fails to act on future of CEO
The future of the CEO of Honolulu’s under-construction rail transit system is in limbo after the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit failed on Thursday to act on a recommendation to let the executive’s contract expire at the end of the year — which it will anyway if no action is taken. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports a majority of the board failed to vote in favor of the recommendation by the agency’s human resources committee to let the 3-year contract of CEO Andrew Robbins expire on Dec. 31. Robbins is the sixth leader of the agency in nine years and Honolulu’s highest-paid employee, with a $317,000 salary, $55,000 annual housing allowance, and $7,200 annual transportation allowance.

Utah Transit Authority OKs agreement setting stage for new Ogden station
The Utah Transit Authority board has approved an agreement paving the way for the extension of FrontRunner commuter rail service and the addition of a station at Business Depot Ogden, a former military facility turned business park. The Ogden Standard-Examiner reports the agreement will reimburse the city of Ogden and Weber County for right-of-way acquisition needed for a station at the north end of the park, plus 3 miles of track to connect to the current Ogden station. There is no current timeline for the project to reach the  business park, which has more than 125 business and 6,000 employees, along with more than 200 acres of land still to be developed.   




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