Transit Briefs: BART, Calgary Transit

BART’s new sustainability report (download below) outlines its top “green” initiatives in 2020. Among them:

• Opening the Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations in June 2020. “The two new stations help connect BART to San Jose, the most populous city in the Bay Area, and work as transit hubs to local bus service to help shorten travel times, reduce local congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions from cars,” BART said. The stations are also equipped with bio-retention facilities and low-flow pumps to help mitigate flooding during large rain events; escalator motion sensors to conserve energy; and a tire-derived aggregate (a 100%-recycled material) underneath the tracks to reduce vibration and saved the equivalent of 300,800 tires from being sent to waste.

• Publishing the first annual Power Content Label (PCL) under the California Energy Commission’s Power Source Disclosure (PSD) program, which profiles the supply sources comprising BART’s 2019 wholesale electric portfolio. “Upwards of 92% of BART’s 2019 power supply was sourced from greenhouse gas-free (GHG-free) energy sources,” BART said. “In 2020, 100% of BART’s contracted electricity supply was GHG-free. BART has plans to bring in solar and wind energy to serve approximately 50% of BART’s annual electricity requirements starting in calendar-year 2022.”

• Converting to sales of only contactless, reloadable Clipper tickets at stations, and eliminating sales of magnetic-stripe tickets at fare machines.

• Using goats to graze and cut firebreaks on about 45 acres of BART’s properties to mitigate future wildfire risks.

In addition, the sustainability report detailed changes to BART’s “Welcome Back Plan” for riders, including “revamping daily cleaning procedures across the system, running long trains to ensure riders can socially distance, making facemasks available for free at agent booths at stations, and collaborating with local partners to open COVID testing sites on BART station property.”

BART also reported that it had accepted 280 new Fleet of the Future railcars out of a planned total of 775 as of January 2020; entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for a $1.17 billion Capital Investment Grant to help fund the Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project; executed a $798 million contract for new Communications-Based Train Control system to Hitachi Rail and issued notice to proceed on Nov. 2, 2020; and opened, with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, the Berryessa Extension, finishing the first phase of the BART Silicon Valley Extension Program.

The Calgary Herald has reported that the city of Calgary is seeking a replacement for Russell Davies, who left Calgary Transit last month following service as acting Transit Director since 2019. Davies served previously as Fleet Chief. He succeeded Doug Morgan, who took over the city’s General Manager of Transportation position. The agency has more than 3,000 employees.

Calgary Transit celebrated 40 years of light rail service on May 25, and on July 7, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, confirmed the government’s investment of C$1.53 billion (US$1.22 billion) for Calgary’s Green Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project, making good on the commitment that was announced in May 2018.

In February 2020, Siemens Mobility reported it would continue to update Calgary’s current light rail vehicle fleet with 15 additional S200 LRVs. The vehicles are replacing Siemens’ original U2s.

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