Digest: Utah agency scraps plan for light rail extension, now eyes bus rapid transit route

News Wire Digest second section for Jan. 21: Head of California transit agency departs for federal DOT position; order for New York subway cars falls behind schedule
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Thursday morning rail transit news:

Utah Transit Authority looks to build bus line, rather than light rail, to serve Draper project

The Utah Transit Authority has scrapped plans for a light rail line between Draper and Lehi, Utah, opting instead to pursue construction of a bus rapid transit line. The Salt Lake Tribune reports the proposed 12-mile light rail project, which could have cost as much as $1.2 billion, $1 billion would have served new development at a soon-to-be-vacated prison site in Draper, but the 8-mile bus rapid transit route connecting to light rail, commuter rail, and other bus routes can be built for $300 million to $400 million. The decision comes after an $800,000 study funded in early 2019 [see “Utah agency eyes expansion of TRAX light rail,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 22, 2019].

Santa Clara Valley Transportation CEO Fernandez resigns, will join U.S. DOT
Nuria Fernandez, general manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in the San Jose, Calif., area, has resigned to accept a position with the U.S. Department of Transportation. KPIX-TV reports Valley Transportation Authority general counsel Evelynn Tran will serve as interim general manager and CEO while the agency conducts a national search to replace Fernandez. Fernandez’ new position has not yet been announced, but a Politico transportation reporter says on Twitter that Fernandez will be named deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, with the goal of eventually being named to the FTA’s top job.

Delivery of first New York subway cars falls a year behind schedule
Production of New York City Transit’s new R211 subway cars has fallen well behind schedule, with the first test trains now expected to arrive in April 2022 — 13 months behind schedule. WPIX-TV reports manufacturer Kawasaki says the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the delays in filling the $1.75 billion, 535-car order, placed in 2018. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is scheduled to hear a presentation on the order at a meeting today, along with information on an order for Long Island Rail Road equipment.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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