Digest: South Shore president expects little impact from Chicago quarantine rule

News Wire Digest second section for Oct. 15: Honolulu rail deficit more than $1 billion; cities excluded from FTA program because of 'anarchist' designation
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A South Shore train arrives in downtown Chicago. The head of the transit agency that operates the South Shore says he foresees little impact from Chicago's 14-day quarantine rule, which will include Indiana as of Friday.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Thursday morning rail transit news:

NICTD president foresees little impact on South Shore commuter operations from Chicago quarantine rule

Indiana has been added to the city of Chicago’s pandemic quarantine list, but South Shore Line commuter trains aren’t likely to be effected. WSBT-TV reports Mike Noland, president of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates South Shore commuter trains, says the commuter schedule will remain the same and that ridership — already down 20% — is not likely to be affected. “Our riders … probably already fit into the exceptions that are contained in the Chicago travel ban,” Noland told the station. The Chicago order requires travelers to quarantine for 14 days when entering the city, if they are coming from states where the rate of new COVID-19 cases is higher than 15 per 100,000 residents. As of Friday, Indiana will be one of 25 states on the quarantine list, but there are exception for essential workers, those requiring medical care, and several other reasons.

Honolulu rail system's budget hole exceeds $1 billion
Honolulu’s rail transit project is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion, according to figures released by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. Honolulu Civil Beat reports the cost to build the 20-mile, 21-station automated light rail system has increased by $832 million to $9.13 billion, while there is also a revenue shortfall of $450 million related to COVID-19. Among problems in building the mostly elevated system: an inability to provide city officials with designs for relocation of utility lines along busy Dillingham Boulevard, which recently shut down and delayed construction by at least nine months

Cities to be excluded from FTA grant program because of 'anarchist' designation
New York City, Seattle, and Portland will not be considered for a Federal Transit Administration grant program to fund programs to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus because of President Donald Trump’s declaration that the three cities are “anarchist jurisdictions” and would not be eligible for federal funds. Streetsblog NYC reports the FTA grant program [see “Digest: Watco to develop storage-in-transit yard …,” Trains News Wire, Oct. 5, 2020], as published in the Federal Register on Oct. 8, includes a note that applications will be considered “in accordance with the President’s Sept. 2, 2020 memorandium, entitled Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients of Federal Funds that are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities” — the document singling out those cities as ineligible.

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