1998 News Wrapup December 31st, 1998
- “Bus rider? Light rail may alter route” Salt Lake City Deseret News, 26 December 1998. QUOTE: “Once light rail is part of the mixture, more than 30 of UTA’s 161 bus routes likely will be changed to maximize the efficiency of the overall transit system. The whole point of light rail, after all, is to provide better and more cost-effective transit service to the public.”
- “Amtrak Train Derails in Texas; 13 Are Injured” Los Angeles Times 23 December 1998
- “Will the whistle stop? Amtrak a lifeline for some far-flung communities” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 23 December 1998
- “Warrington Named Amtrak President” Washington Post, 22 December 1998; Page A21
- Toledo Blade editorial: “Keep Amtrak on track” 22 December 1998
- “Amtrak, Facing a Critical Juncture, Plans to Name Warrington to CEO Post” The Wall Street Journal, 21 December 1998
- “Amtrak may name new chief” Philadelphia Inquirer, 21 December 1998. QUOTE: “Amtrak today is expected to name a new president: George D. Warrington, a New Jersey native whose 11-month tenure as acting president has been marked by the railroad’s largest ridership increase in a decade.”
- Andrew Selden’s memo to the All-Aboard mailing list, 21 December 1998
- “Train derails in Arlington: 17 passengers go to hospitals for minor injuries, officials say” 21 December 1998, The Dallas Morning News
- “Amtrak train derails in Arlington” 21 December 1998, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
- “After killing woman, passenger train later derails in Texas” (CNN Interactive)
- “Amtrak Train Derails in Texas” (ABC News)
- “Amtrak train derails in Texas” (MSNBC) QUOTE: “The posted speed limit in the area is 60 mph, but the train was probably traveling much slower at the time it left the tracks, English said. ‘All the damage is just crinkling on the cars.’”
- “15 Injured in Texas train derailment” Washington Post, 21 December 1998
- “Gas Tax Touted to Board as a Route to VRE Link” By Jennifer Ordonez, The Washington Post, December 17, 1998; Page V07. Fauquier County Virginia contemplates a 2% gasoline tax which would finance its joining the Potomac-Rappahannock Transportation Commission, extending VRE commuter trains, and better bus service. QUOTE: “Fredericksburg Mayor Bill Green told the board Tuesday about the benefits of commission membership, saying funds generated by the tax have allowed his city of about 20,000 residents to revitalize its train station and jump-start a new local bus system.”
- VIA consultants name likely site for Metro Center San Antonio Express-News, 17 December 1998. QUOTE: “Consultants for VIA Metropolitan Transit have identified a near West Side location as a preferred site for a multipurpose transportation facility. VIA officials also hope to use it to keep its buses from clogging downtown streets.”
- Amtrak coaxes Kansas to join in: Legislature urged to expand rail service with Oklahoma The Topeka Capital-Journal 16 December 1998. QUOTE:”An Amtrak spokesman Monday urged Kansas legislators to join Oklahoma’s effort to expand rail passenger service in the two states by adding a new route from Fort Worth to Kansas City.”
- “City OKs $8.4 million to purchase 2 miles of rail line near I-10″ by Jon Burstein, The Arizona Daily Star, 15 December 1998. QUOTES: “The Tucson City Council last night authorized spending up to $8.4 million to acquire a two-mile stretch of railroad line that runs alongside Interstate 10… the line currently is in such poor shape that railroad workers have to walk alongside any train that goes down it. The track could be removed by 2000 with several potential development opportunities…”
- “Amtrak price cut derails travel agent commissions” Capital District Business Review, 14 December 1998. QUOTE: “Travel agents are feeling as though they have been hit by a speeding train, now that a 50 percent cut in commissions for selling tickets for Amtrak passenger rail has taken effect.”
- Florida: “Mass transit center may be in future” Jacksonville Business Journal, 14 December 1998. QUOTE: “State officials are proposing a Downtown center to consolidate the Jacksonville area’s transportation services under one roof. Under the plan, Greyhound Bus Lines, Amtrak and the Skyway people mover — as well aslocal buses, taxis and limousines — would be tied into a designated transportation hub.”
- “Mass., Maine railroad link on fast track: Rail, state officials sign deal for construction to start in March” Boston Business Journal, 14 December 1998
- Ardmore [Oklahoma] All Aboard For Depot Renovation The Daily Oklahoman, 13 December 1998.
- “Chandler OKs advisory vote on transit tax”, by Janie Magruder, The Arizona Republic, 12 December 1998, page EV1. QUOTE: “The [tax] would raise nearly $54 million over the next five years to buy 26 new buses, add more bus routes, expand service to evenings and weekends, establish service every 15 minutes on certain routes and every 30 minutes on others, and hire more staff.”
- ACE’d out of parking: Popularity of commuter express trains creates space crunch at lots San Jose Mercury News, 11 December 1998. QUOTE: “When Fremont started improving its Amtrak train station a few years back, no one expected riders of the Altamont Commuter Express to gobble up all 49 spaces in the new parking lot every morning. But since the ACE trains started running in October, that’s exactly what has happened. Now in its second month of service, the ACE is so popular that parking has become a problem at Alameda County stations along the Stockton-to-San Jose run.”
- “Chandler council orders election on sales tax for transit”, by Janie Magruder, The Arizona Republic, 11 December 1998. QUOTE: “The tax would expire in 10 years, sooner if revenues exceeded projections, but the council could extend it. It also could be reduced or repealed if a regional transit tax was passed.”
- “Chandler transit-tax plan a realistic, first big step” Editorial, The Arizona Republic, 10 December 1998, page 6EV. QUOTE: “An efficient transprotation system in Chandler and the East Valley is vitally important to its economic future. To do nothing would be to embrace the status quo — congestion, accidents, longer delays in goods and service, worsening air quality, keeping people from their jobs.”
- [Canada] “Charting Via’s future: Options for railway include privatization” Montreal Gazette, 9 December 1998
- [San Antonio's] “VIA 2025 vision considers wider scope for transit” San Antonio Express-News, 9 December 1998. Discusses an expanded network of buses with “a crisscrossing spine of fixed guideways â€” such as rails and/or dedicated busways â€” that connect to a commuter rail line proposed by regional leaders to link San Antonio and Austin.”
- “Bechtel Infrastructure/Adtranz Team Low Bidder on Southern New Jersey Light Rail Transit System” Business Wire, 7 December 1998. QUOTE: “A Bechtel and Adtranz-led consortium has been named low bidder by the New Jersey Transit Corporation to design, build, operate and maintain a 34-mile diesel light rail transit system extending from Trenton to Camden, N.J.”
- “Chandler council to weigh $54 million transit sales tax: Plan includes road improvements, more buses.” by Janie Magruder, The Arizona Republic, 6 December 1998, page 1EV.
- “Train depot enters new station in life: Officials envision restored Gilroy (Calif.) landmark as an `intermodal transportation hub’; a tenant is sought” San Jose Mercury News, 3 December 1998. QUOTE: “The South County elected officials and transportation authorities who gathered Wednesday in Gilroy to dedicate a restored Southern Pacific Railroad depot believe the structure will revolutionize surface travel as much as the original station did 128 years ago.”
- “VRE Plans 3 Tourist Trains For Manassas: Noncommuter Trips Aim To Make City Destination.” The Washington Post, 2 December 1998; By Josh White, Staff Writer; Page V03
- “Amtrak said to face $300M-plus deficit in 2003″ (New Jersey’s Bergen Record, 2 December 1998) QUOTE: “Amtrak is on pace toward a cash deficit of more than $300 million in 2003, the year by which it must wean itself from federal subsidies, a new government report concludes.”
- “Feds planning high-speed Virginia-to-Florida rail line” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2 December 1998. QUOTE: “The booming Southeast will flourish in the 21st century with a new network of passenger trains capable of reaching speeds of 110 mph, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ronald Slater said Tuesday.”)
- Blaze destroys Chicago Pullman-Standard plant (Chicago Sun-Times, 2 December 1998)
- “DASHed hopes? Downtown [Phoenix] shuttles empty; critics call for end of line” by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 1 December 1998, page B1.
- Tilting train of future glides into Northwest (Oregonian, 1 December 1998) QUOTE: “SEATTLE — The Amtrak Cascades, America’s newest passenger train, kicked off service from Seattle’s King Street Station on Monday, bound for Eugene and the future.”
- “Light-rail plan would connect Phoenix, Glendale downtowns” by Brent Whiting, The Arizona Republic, 26 November 1998, page EV9. QUOTES: “Valley Connections, a group of cities and agencies, envisions the Chris-Town area in central Phoenix as the hub for a Valley-wide rail system, stretching from Tempe to the West Valley, that might lessen traffic in the metropolitan area.” “The estimated construction cost of the 5-mile [Glendale] route is $111.9 million; …the 4.7-mile [Metrocenter] route… is $114.2 million.”
- ARPA member Doug Martin, other tourists endure vacation terror on Mexican train ride: Story by Susie Steckner, The Arizona Republic, 13 November 1998, page A1.
- New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman Resigns from Amtrak Reform Council Washington Post, 11 November 1998
- “Grand Canyon Village’s only gas station to be removed,” Valley News/Update, The Arizona Republic, 9 November 1998, page B1. QUOTE: “In a move highlighting the switch from private cars to mass transit, the only gas station at historic Grand Canyon Village… will be removed Dec. 21… A light-rail system… plus additional buses and a new bike rail should be completed by 2002…”
- “We’re number what? Execs take umbrage at ‘low’ rating” by Jonathan Sidener, The Arizona Republic, 8 November 1998, page D1. CHART: Five top Phoenix business leaders surveyed, when asked “What does the metro area need?” answered: “Mass transit,” “Freeways,” “Transportation,” “Transportation,” and “Educaction/Transportation.”
- from the UTU News, Online Edition, November 1998:
Clues found in Sunset Limited derailment
Three years after saboteurs derailed Amtrak’s Sunset Limited near Phoenix, Ariz., killing a porter and injuring 78, the FBI said its painstaking search for the perpetrators could be nearing an end.
With help from Arizona law enforcement authorities, FBI agents recently pulled several vehicles from an 800- foot vertical mine shaft, about 35 miles north of the crash site. One of the vehicles, a rusted, twisted dune buggy suited for desert travel, may be linked to the derailment.
Then agents found something perhaps even more crucial: a long tool called a “J-hook,” shaped like the letter. Experts say it’s possible such a tool could be used to extract railroad spikes.
In addition, the FBI increased an outstanding reward offer to $320,000, up from $120,000.
- October 1998 ARPA UPDATE
- 25 October: According to the recently released December 1998 TRAINS magazine, Amtrak has a new Postal Service contract to haul mail between Chicago and Phoenix. Apparently the mail is being hauled in trucks south of Winslow, where a long “express” stop is scheduled. (There is triple-track at the Winslow station; the Flagstaff station, which is closer to Interstate 17, lacks a passing track or siding.)
- Amtrak clues elusive” by Mark Shaffer, The Arizona Republic, 12 October 1998, page A1.
- “Break in Amtrak Case? Mine shaft may hold clues to 1995 derailment” by Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic, 11 October 1998, page A1.
- “Officials hike reward in train crash case” by Jill Jorden Spitz, The Arizona Daily Star, 11 October 1998
- “High-rises for along train route suggested” by Richard Dyer, East Mesa Independent, 7-13 October 1998, page 1. QUOTES: “If a light-rail system is constructed to connect Mesa with Tempe and Phoenix, high-rise apartment building in downtown Mesa should follow, city officials said.” … “Tracks for the electric trains could be in the outside lanes, to the side, or in the center of Main Street.” “‘…I think we, as a council, need to be forward-thinking enough that we address our General Plan and increase the density levels that are allowed along those areas’, Councilman Keno Hawker said Sept. 22.”
- “Tempe defers finding a home for transit center” by Bob Petrie, The Arizona Republic, 3 October 1998, page EV1. QUOTE: “‘It’s better to defer (building) it than build it in the wrong place,’ said Mary O’Connor, Tempe’s transit manager… Tempe is starting a light-rail study, which will take at least 18 months to complete. O’Connor says if light rail happens, the city would like to locate the transit center on the rail line.”
- ARPA Board Endorses Andrew C. Selden for Amtrak President: 26 September
- “Amtrak rider, 73, left behind after stop in desert” Tucson Daily Star, 29 September
- “Light-rail impact study has shortcoming for Mesa”, by Robbie Sherwood, The Arizona Republic, 18 September 1998, page EV1. QUOTES: “The corridor running from north-central Phoenix through Tempe would be a swell place for a light-rail line… The Mesa City Council will vote Tuesday (22 Sept.) to approve its $300,000 portion of the $4 million in matching funds for the study… The study… ends at Dobson Road in Mesa rather than the proposed end of line at Mesa Drive in downtown…”
- “Widening U.S. 60 brouhaha” Editorial, Mesa Tribune, September 3, 1998, page A14. QUOTE: “And another important but often forgotten option is rail transit, which is our best hope for accommodating the thousands of additional commuters as the East Valley continues to sprout rooftops… Rather than getting locked in a pointless flap over widening the Superstition [Highway US 60], East Valley cities should concentrate on getting our other freeway links built and launching a commuter rail project.”
- “$1.7 million transit windfall” by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 22 August 1998, page B1. QUOTES: “Valley transit has finally struck a jackpot, thanks to record-setting Powerball sales in recent months. The regional transit aggency has recevied $1.7 million from its hsare of Powerball proceeds in Arizona… [for] the first – and last – time. the regular Lottery games generate about $23 million a year for transit and transportation purposes statewide.”
- “Tempe buses hit streets: New routes include Broadway, Baseline” by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 15 August 1998, page B1. QUOTE: “The Tempe changes are the result of a half-cent transit tax that Tempe voters approved in 1996. ‘It’s the first real tangible product from the sales tax becuase we now have new buses,’ said Rich Nola, chairman of Tempe’s Transportation Commission.”
- “Amtrak wants state, Kingman, county to pay in derailment,” The Arizona Republic, 12 August 1998, page B1.
- “Rapid transit mark of great metropolis” Letter, Brent D. Yonkovich, The Arizona Republic, 24 July 1998, page 6EV. QUOTES: Regarding the comment that a light-rail system along Apache Blvd. in Tempe would average ‘only’ 13mph: “The residents along Apache Boulevard must not have realized that the ‘average’ speed of a car traveling on a congested Apache Boulevard is much slower than 13mph… A rail system is a much better alternative than the wiping out of whole neighborhoods to lay more blacktop.”
- “Rail proposal deserves a chance” Editorial, Mesa Tribune, 18 July 1998, page A18. QUOTE: “Tempe is floating a plan for what could be the first link of a regional rapid transit system. If the Valley is to launch a rail system – and at some point we should – this may be the best way to go about it.”
- “Light-rail proposal takes flak: Tempe officials, residents debate mass-transit issue” The Arizona Republic, 17 July 1998, page 1EV. QUOTE: “So far, Tempe has shelled out $125,000 of the $800,000 study. The entire light-rail project would cost $360 million.”
- June 1998 ARPA UPDATE
- “2-mile rail link is proposed from Tempe to stadium” by Bob Petrie and Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, June 20, 1998, page A1. QUOTES: “If Mesa and Tempe taxpayers agree in November, a two-mile, $49 million, light-rail system would run from downtown Tempe to the proposed centerpiece of Rio Salado Crossing, a $476 million multipurpose retractable domed stadium and convention center.” “‘I think this project will help drive light rail,’ said Dave Spaur, Mesa’s economic development director.”
- More on the East Valley stadium issue
- “Firm to study future of NW Valley travel,” by Brent Whiting, The Arizona Republic, June 10, 1998. QUOTES: “A Phoenix firm has been hired to determine transportation needs in the northwest Valley for the next 20 years. The $135,000 contract to BRW Inc., a Phoenix consultant, was awarded last week by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. …The study will look at many forms of transportation, including bicycle, pedestrian and rail options, said Teresa Verbout, a spokeswoman for the county agency. “
- “Japan’s Magnetic Train May Not Float” Los Angeles Times, Monday, June 1, 1998. The future of a high-tech railway system is growing dimmer as costs soar. QUOTE: “‘Rail technology has advanced to the stage at which it can do most of what maglev was intended to do,’ said Tony R. Eastham, an engineering professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. ‘It’s not quite as fast, but it’s more affordable, and it’s a proven technology.’”
- “Labor shortage hurts downtown” Business Journal of Phoenix, May 25, 1998. QUOTES: Margaret Mullen, executive director of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership Inc.: “‘When they compare us to another downtown, we’re in trouble.’ …Mullen said companies often pick downtown areas in Dallas, Denver or Portland because they have a better public transportation system with weekend rail or bus service.”
- “Downtown ballpark shuttle bus going into private firm’s hands” The Arizona Republic May 13, 1998, page B1. Southwest Charter Lines will run the baseball shuttles through the end of this season. Shuttles will be offered from Park Central Mall, the State Capitol, and Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Fare will be $3.
- “Tempe OKs site for transit center” Bob Petrie, The Arizona Republic May 9, 1998, page EV3. QUOTE: “The City Council reluctantly agreed to build the center on a parking lot the city owns on Fifth Street near Forest Avenue.” (This is adjacent to the “Creamery Branch” but about 1/2 mile from the Tempe Depot.)
- “Lesson in LA transit failure” Letter, David M. Sadler, The Arizona Republic May 5, 1998, page B4. Referring to Fleeman’s April 26 article (see below), Mr. Sadler concludes that transit just doesn’t work. See the ARPA response: Los Angeles: 100,000 People Can’t be Wrong
- “Treatment proposed for growing pains” By Joe Farnsworth, The Arizona Republic May 5, 1998, page 6EV. QUOTE: “The city needs to be part of a comprehensive, regional plan to move people efficiently between cities, as well as from place to place within Mesa. When that system is in place, it will be time to seriously consider light rail.”
See also: Diamondbacks Express
- April 1998 ARPA UPDATE
- “Transit system primed to drive people bonkers” by Tom Freestone, The Arizona Republic April 26, 1998, page 8EV. Senator Freestone (R-Gilbert) discusses transportation problems but does not actually mention transit.
- “LA stops subway construction to cut its sizable losses: Years, billions result in a partial commuter system” by Michael Fleeman (AP), The Arizona Republic April 26, 1998, page A23. Overbuilding, mismanagement costs Los Angeles.
- “Around the world by rail” The Arizona Republic April 26, 1998, page T1 (Travel). Four articles:
- “Iron horses maintain hold on all of us” by Richard Nilsen
- “Europe: Mountains, rivers, castles, quaint villages” (Newsday)
- “Mexico: Copper Canyon, Indians, ghost towns” (Newsday)
- “US/Canada: Just train thoughts on scenery” by Barbara Shea (Newsday)
- “Fans get to ride the rails to BOB — Trying out a train” by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic April 19, 1998, page B1. QUOTES: “One thousand train tickets sold out in seven hours.” “Gil Mallery, president of Amtrak West, was in town Saturday morning to brainstorm possibilities with [ARPA] … He said Amtrak is interested in exploring corridor travel — such as between the Valley and Los Angeles, the Valley and Tucson, and the Valley and San Diego — as well as local commuter travel…”
- “All Aboard the 1st D-Backs Express” by Vivi Stenberg,Mesa Tribune, April 19, 1998, page A5. QUOTE: “And although it was meant as a one-time promotional event on the Diamondbacks’ behalf, passenger said they would eagerly catch another ride with the express if it’s offered again.”
- “Transit needs a green light” Letter to the Editor, The Arizona Republic April 19, 1998, page 6EV. Tempe Chamber of Commerce stands behind the city’s transit program
- “Bumper to Bumper: Milwaukee discovers trains are ‘the way to go’” Column, Bob Petrie, The Arizona Republic April 19, 1998, page EV1. QUOTE: “The quick sellout of the Diamondbacks Tempe-to-Phoenix train commuter package for this weekend’s games with the Florida Marlins makes me wonder why rail wouldn’t be a nice alternative to being stuck in rush hour traffic, day after day.” “Rail is now working in Milwaukee, where a masstive freeway paving project on Interstate 94 sparked the creation of a temporary passenger train service between the west suburbs and downtown…”
- “Central Ave. events throw fans curveball: Mall bus won’t run Sunday” The Arizona Republic April 17, 1998, page A1. QUOTES: The baseball shuttle bus “was more successful than transit officials had dreamed of. More than 20,000 people rode the shuttles during their first week of operation.” “…transit officials said the huge response has been encouraging, especially because so many of the riders apparently had not used a bus before.”
- SIDEBAR: “Private firms bid to run buses” (ibid, page A12). QUOTES: “The city-run baseball shuttle buses have been a roaring success… the shuttles generated nearly enough money from the $2 round-trip fare to cover costs…”
- All aboard for tickets on D-Backs’ shuttle train The Arizona Republic April 7, 1998
- “Fans can go to 2 games by train from Tempe,” The Arizona Republic April 3, 1998
- “D-Backs Express keeps fans on track: Team touting 2-game train rides from Tempe.” Mesa Tribune, 3 April 1998, page A1. QUOTES: “A train dubbed the ‘Diamondbacks Express’ will take fans from downtown Tempe to the Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix for the April 18 and 19 games… The Diamondbacks might repeat the event if the idea proves successful, but as of now, no additional trips are planned.”
- “Electric train is ludicrous” Letter by Stanley E. Rulapaugh, The Arizona Republic, March 30, 1998, page B4. Mr. Rulapaugh raises some interesting points. He mentions using automobiles but misses the fact that I-10 will be at or over capacity in a few years. He mentions using airplanes, but Sky Harbor too is nearing capacity. He does ask, why not “just put an… Amtrak train together and run it on the Union Pacific once or twice a day to see if anyone showed up?”
- “Phoenix still a second-class city?” Lloyd Clark, column: “As time goes by,” Daily News-Sun, March 24, 1998.
- “Bus passes let newcomers see Tempe” The Arizona Republic, March 17, 1998, page EV1. QUOTES:
- “The city is giving out 500 passes a month through August to renters and new homeowners, hoping they will hop on the bus instead of using their cars.”
- “A new transit center… will be recommended… to be built on a city-owned parking lot along Fifth Street west of College Avenue… The parking lot [site] has the best proximity to activity centers, is most convenient for passengers, is the best site for safety and is the most accessible for rail, bike, and walking traffic…”
- “Tucson train: $3.8 billion and years off, study says” The Arizona Republic, March 17, 1998, page B1. The report of the High Speed Rail Task Force “recommended that rail service start using the Union Pacific tracks and conventional diesel engines. This would cost $379 million and allow train travel at a top speed of 79 mph. Over time, the report calls for further improvements… a better signal system and straightening some curves could improve diesel speeds to 100mph.”
- “Scottsdale Airport plans new terminal, flights to railway” Mesa Tribune, March 10, 1998, page B2. QUOTE: “Entrepreneur Max Biegert, owner of the Grand Canyon Railway, wants to add scheduled daily flights to Williams Airport and to Grand Canyon airport to link up with his train service to the Grand Canyon.”
- February 1998 ARPA UPDATE
- “City may put transit tax to vote” The Arizona Republic, Feb. 27, 1998, page EV1. As part of a proposed “quality of life” tax, Mesa would finance “40 bus pullout bays… 90 bus stop shelters and $4 million worth of park and ride lots.”
- “Regional rail plan will leave Mesa out. Mayor, officials say they can hop aboard in future” Mesa Tribune, Feb. 26, 1998, page A1. Includes map of light rail on Apache Blvd./Main Street from McClintock to Mesa Drive which is possible should the city approve funding.
- Sacramento, California: “Buses, trains report record ridership” Sacramento Business Journal, Feb. 23, 1998. QUOTE: “Overall, [RT] ridership is 20 percent higher than it was in 1994 — and light rail has reached passenger levels originally projected for 2000.”
- “D-Backs plan Tempe-ballpark train run” Valley & State Watch, The Arizona Republic, Feb. 14, 1998, page B2
- [Team owner Jerry] Colangelo seeks train service to Diamondbacks games AP News Report, 10 February 1998
- “[Tucson City] Council may bid $1.6 million for downtown train depot” Arizona Daily Star, 9 February 1998, page B1.
- “ADOT chief resigns, pushed Valley roads. Opposed transit votes in Phoenix, Scottsdale” The Arizona Republic, Jan. 23, 1998, page B1. QUOTES: “Larry Bonine… announced his resignation as ADOT director… Gov. Jane Hull named deputy director Mary Peters as acting director… Bonine also angered Phoenix and Scottsdale officials when he staged a news conference six days before the cities’ transit elections in September. He and DEQE Director Russell Rhoades denounced the proposed transit plans… some pro-transit forces blamed the transportation chief [for the defeat of the Phoenix plan by 126 votes]“
- “Tempe merchants should lead, advocate mass transit in Valley” Letter to the Editor, Brent D. Yonkovich, The Arizona Republic, Jan. 21, 1998, page 8EV
- “Get commuter rail on track” Letter to the Editor, William Lindley, The Arizona Republic, Jan. 19, 1998, page B6
- “Rail dream returns: Valley officials press light-rail studies with new federal aid” By Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Jan. 13, 1998, page B2
- “Turning to light rail transit can solve Tucson’s travel woes” by Tommy Harper, director of high school cirriculum, Tucson Unified School District. Viewpoints, The Arizona Daily Star, Jan. 10, 1998, page A13.
- “Transit goals: Speed, funding. Panel packs big agenda for freeways, toll lanes” by Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, Jan. 9, 1998, page B2. MOVE-IT (Maricopa Oversight and Input on Transportation Legislative Committee) Recommendations do mention rail, but only briefly.
- Committee Recommendations
Road building a dead end for congestion November 14th, 1998
“Road building a dead end for congestion” was the headline in the San Jose Mercury News on November 14. A report by the Texas Transportation Institute says that Silicon Valley would need to add 84 miles of freeways every year just to keep traffic jams from getting worse. The report concludes that adding more highways won’t ease gridlock and that a national approach is needed to ease the country’s worsening traffic.
In the study’s traffic analysis, “Los Angeles again took dubious honors for the 16th straight year as the region with the worst traffic…”
“If you want to add lanes and add lanes, that’s like loosening your belt to cure obesity,” said James Corless of the Surface Transportation Policy Project in San Francisco. “And if you really want to look at the end of that road, it’s called Los Angeles.” (Read the The Texas Transportation Institute report) In response, the Surface Transportation Policy Project issued an analysis of the TTI data that shows that roadbuilding is an ineffective congestion relief strategy. The STPP study compares metro areas that have added extensive new road capacity with those that have not, and finds no difference between the two groups in the rise in traffic congestion.
Describing STPP’s findings on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Roy Kienitz, Executive Director of STPP, said, “We looked at the cities that added a lot of highway capacity and those that did not, and the only difference between the two was that those in the first group spent a lot of money.”
1998 Awards Dinner November 11th, 1998
At the 1998 ARPA Awards Dinner, to be held 11 November,
- Jerry Colangelo will receive the second annual George R. Loulan Award in recognition of his support of Passenger Rail in the Private Sector.
- Mary Peters, ADOT Director, will receive the second annual Byron A. Nordberg Award in recognition of her support of Passenger Rail in the Public Sector.
The public is invited to attend this fund-raising event.
TALGO Regional Rail Demonstration Slated for January 1999 October 21st, 1998
Amtrak West, in conjunction with the Arizona Department of Transportation, is engaged in talks which, if successful, would bring a TALGO trainset to Arizona for a demonstration in early January 1999. ARPA is assisting in the effort.
The TALGO (Spanish for TrÃ©n Articulado Ligero Goicoechea Oriol) is a lightweight articulated trainset with tilt technology, and is especially suited for rail lines with many curves.
Most likely, the TALGO will be displayed at Phoenix and at Tucson, with a journey between those two points to demonstrate the Regional Rail concept. Prior demonstrations, using Superliner and German ICE equipment, similarly highlighted the ability of modern passenger trains to serve Southern Arizona’s transportation needs.
All rail advocates are encouraged to get involved in this demonstration. Let’s get Arizona on Track to the Future!
- Report on the TALGO in Arizona: TRANSPO 2000
ARPA Endorses Andy Selden for Amtrak President September 26th, 1998
26 SEPTEMBER â€“ ARPA’s Board this morning endorsed Andrew C. Selden of Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Amtrak President. In a resolution approved unanimously by the nine Directors present, the ARPA Board affirmed its desire for a revitalized intercity passenger train system, and our belief that Mr. Selden has the qualifications, experience, and desire to lead Amtrak to such a revitalization. Mr. Selden wrote this month’s Guest Commentary.