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LA Metro Honored with Prestigious COMTO Agency of the Year Award

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the second largest transit agency in the nation, was honored with the prestigious 2023 COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials) Agency of the Year Award. This award recognizes Metro’s achievements in expanding Los Angeles’ transit system while promoting equity and driving job growth and economic development across the region.  

COMTO awards are highly regarded in the transportation industry, recognizing organizations and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovation, and commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion within the field.  

Metro has one of the nation’s most ambitious transit expansion programs underway.  In October 2022, the agency opened seven of the nine K Line stations in South Los Angeles and Inglewood.  Metro also opened the Regional Connector in June, adding three new stations in Downtown Los Angeles and connecting the L, A, E, B and D rail lines and in doing so transforming the way people travel around the county.  This new connection provides customers a one-seat ride from Azusa to Long Beach and East Los Angeles to Santa Monica and increases access to jobs, education, essential services and arts and cultural destinations.    

Along with expanding Metro’s transit system, these projects have created thousands of jobs and opportunities for local businesses. Metro has an ambitious plan to ensure that 48 percent of Metro’s contracts and procurements include small, disadvantaged, and historically under-utilized businesses by 2028.  This aspirational target includes Metro’s signature programs such as the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE), Small Business Prime (SB Prime) and the Local Small Business Preference.  So far, since 2015, Metro has awarded more than $1 billion to small businesses across all programs. 

“I am so proud of the tireless efforts and dedication of our entire team in providing exceptional transportation services to our communities said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins.  “We are grateful to be recognized by COMTO and inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of excellence in public transportation.” 

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s Next Generation Transbay Bus has Arrived 

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) is excited to announce the launch of the all-new Transbay MCI D45 CRT LE, a game changing bus designed by Motor Coach Industries (MCI). 

This cutting-edge bus dubbed the "Transbay MCI", showcases a remarkable blend of sustainability, advanced technology, and passenger comfort. 

"The Transbay MCI represents a departure from the norm, and by launching this revolutionary new fleet of buses, our transit district is seamlessly combining safety measures with captivating design elements. This bus was years in development and, unfortunately, delayed by COVID-induced supply chain issues. Now that it is here, I am confident the Transbay MCI will transform how we commute across San Francisco Bay and chart a new path for an inclusive experience for all riders," says Joel Young, AC Transit Board President.

The General Manager's Access Committee thoroughly examined every aspect of the Transbay MCI Prototype, including hip-to-knee room and narrow seats; excessively reclining seats; a narrow aisle with potential risks at the second set of stairs; inadequate space for luggage and roll bags; and the need for handrails along the top and both sides of the rear staircase, especially for individuals with visual impairments or limited arm mobility.

Another groundbreaking onboard ADA innovation is the Q'Straint: Quantum Wheelchair Securement Station. This intelligent technology gives mobility riders complete independence to secure themselves. 

The new Transbay MCI emerges as a stellar example of meeting and surpassing California's rigorous Vehicle Omnibus Regulation (Omnibus Regulation). The Omnibus Regulation, adopted to cut smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) from conventional heavy-duty engines, became effective in December 2021. By drastically reducing NOx, this innovative bus produces less emissions than most hybrid cars.

San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency: Innovation to Icon: 150 Years of Cable Cars Exhibit Opens

SFMTA is happy to announce the opening of a special history exhibit at the San Francisco Public Library, as part of the ongoing celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the cable cars. The “Innovation to Icon: 150 Years of Cable Cars” exhibit runs from July 1 to September 30 on the 6th floor of the public library’s main branch library at 100 Larkin Street.

"Innovation to Icon: 150 Years of Cable Cars" takes a visual journey through time that brings the incredible history of San Francisco’s beloved cable cars to life. Combining photographs, original documents, and unique memorabilia from the San Francisco History Center and the SFMTA Photo Archive, this exhibit showcases the spirit, ingenuity and timeless allure of a city icon. 

Invented in 1873 to conquer the city’s challenging topography, cable cars evolved from a groundbreaking transportation mode to a symbol of San Francisco. The cars have endured multiple boom-bust cycles, nearly becoming extinct more than once thanks to natural, political and economic turmoil. During the post-war era, they rose in popularity locally and nationally and became a “must-see” attraction for visitors.

Years of use and deferred maintenance in the 1970s left the system battered and unsafe. From 1982-1984, the entire system was shut down and rebuilt from the ground up. Reengineered for improved safety and structural integrity, the new system held onto its 19th century roots. 

Today, San Francisco’s cable cars are landmarks of American history and culture. Rather than being static relics from the past, they are living and moving museums, reminding us of what makes San Francisco such an extraordinary place. 

Books on the Bus Returns on all Golden Empire Transit Buses

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit along with the Kern Literacy Council is excited to announce the return of GET’s Reading Express. The Kern Literacy Council provided all the books to allow GET to return the Books on the Bus after the COVID Pandemic. Sometimes riding the bus can be hard with busy children, but not on the GET bus! All GET fixed route buses offer The Reading Express. The Reading Express is an on-board library geared for children from infants to 3rd grade.

Currently all GET buses are stocked with a selection of children’s books for kids to read while commuting with their parents.

“The Reading Express has many benefits. It exposes kids to books and the world of literacy. The program also offers busy parents an opportunity to interact positively with their children during their daily commute. And, above all, this program gives children who may not have books in the home easy access to them while going about their everyday life” said Karen King, CEO of GET Bus.

GET is privileged to receive an abundant supply of books from the Kern County Literacy Council. According to Ian Anderson with the Kern Literacy Council, “we are excited to partner with GET to bring the Councils mission to empower individuals to improve the quality of their lives through literacy education.” Enjoy a book while riding the GET Bus.

North County Transit District Awarded $29.3 Million for Zero-Emission Bus Transition

Funds to purchase 23 zero-emission buses and implement a robust workforce training program with Palomar College

Oceanside, CA – The North County Transit District (NCTD) today announced the award of $29,330,243 from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Low or No Emission Vehicle grant program to purchase 23 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses (FCEB). The award includes funding to train the existing NCTD workforce and develop an innovative apprenticeship program in collaboration with Palomar College.

“This funding is critical to ensuring NCTD meets federal, state, and local goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also create good-paying jobs in the community,” said NCTD Board Chair Jewel Edson. “The purchase of 23 additional hydrogen buses will transform NCTD’s fleet and further our transition to 100 percent zero-emission operations.”

The award from the FTA will complement funding NCTD has already received to purchase six battery electric buses and 12 additional hydrogen FCEBs. Following the procurement of the 23 FCEBs funded by this award, NCTD will have 41 zero-emission buses in operation by 2025. This represents over a quarter of NCTD’s 152-bus fleet.

In addition to providing funding for hydrogen FCEBs, the FTA grant will fund an innovative new apprenticeship program at Palomar College. This apprenticeship program will train current and future workers to be competitive in the rapidly expanding hydrogen FCEB and battery electric bus industry. 

Construction will begin this year on a hydrogen fueling station at NCTD’s West Division facility in Oceanside to support the future deployment of 50 hydrogen buses. 

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