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Weekend round-up

Some stories you may have missed last week: MBTA unveils new weather alerts for commuter rail, BART may become a sanctuary transit system, and Arlington County nixes gondola.

With Boston digging out after a couple of snowstorms, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority introduced a new messaging system to address weather-related delays for its commuter rail services.  Color-coded signs will be displayed at the three Boston terminals and on the  MBTA website with the following information:

  • Purple — Regular daily service
  • Blue — About one third of trains will  not run
  • Orange — About half of trains will not run
  • Gray — All service cancelled

“Our intention is to operate the commuter rail system according to the published schedule every day of the year, regardless of weather conditions,” said David Scorey, general manager of Keolis Commuter Services, in a statement.  “But should a weather event be so severe that schedule adjustments are necessary, we want our passengers to know what to expect so they can plan their travel accordingly.” Keolis runs MBTA commuter rail services.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (CA) will consider a proposal to make BART a sanctuary transit system.  “Recent studies indicate that there are over 500,000 undocumented immigrants living in the Bay Area. Many of these immigrants ride BART every day,” said BART director Nick Josefowitz, who introduced the measure with fellow board member Lateefah Simon.  More details of the proposal were not available because the item was not on the board meeting agenda, but it likely addresses how BART police communicate with federal immigration officials regarding transit riders who are undocumented immigrants. Link to full story in SF Gate.

Arlington County (VA) has put the kibosh on a proposal to build a gondola between the Georgetown section of Washington  (DC) and the Rosslyn Metrorail station. In a letter to the project study committee, county board chairman Jay Fisette wrote that the county will not continue to explore the gondola.

Instead the county will focus on its current set of projects. “Arlington already has a large number of transportation projects in the County’s Master Transportation Plan, including several in Rosslyn that will require substantial resources and attention over the next several years,” Fisette wrote. “The biggest issue is really funding. It’s that the board is not in favor of further funding this project,” said board vice chairwoman Katie Cristol. “If it goes forward with private funding, we’ll look forward to continued conversations.” The feasibility study estimated project costs of $80-$90 million. Link to full story in WTOP.

Photo credit: Susan Mara Bregman

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