Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Digest: August 17, 2012

The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail (MBTA) has announced the testing of their countdown signs for the subway. Starting this past Wednesday, the MBTA began testing the Red Line countdown sign in South Station and will eventually roll out the countdown signs to the other 51 Red, Orange and Blue Line stations.  Positioned in the subway platforms and station lobbies, these signs will tell riders how many minutes until their train will arrives. Having the signs in station lobbies lets riders know how long they have to wait before they pay their fare, which gives them the option to wait or come back later.  Read more at the Boston Globe.

There are high hopes in Texas for a new rail system by 2020. The proposed high-speed rail would link Dallas – Fort Worth and Houston in less than 90 minutes. Although the project is gaining buzz and the company planning the system says it will not ask for public financing, the people of Texas are worried about the impending costs of this operation. The Texas Central High-Speed Railway seems very confident about their plan, having teamed up with the successful Central Japan Railway Company. They say the relatively flat land between North Texas and Houston makes this project more feasible than other locations like the Northeast or California. Learn more at the Texas Tribune.

This week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) took bike connections to a new level by approving $9.4 million to fund 23 new projects. These projects will add new bike lanes and trails; build bridges and crossings for bikers as well as improved signs and bike racks. Bikes have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation and advocates say it is important that safety measures be implemented. Agencies competed for these grants through OCTA’s Bicycle Corridor Improvement Program, which was developed as a part of the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.   Read more at