Center Update

Signals Training Consortium Holds First Set of Courseware Development Team Meetings

Signals Courseware Development Teams in New Jersey Transit's Signals Training Lab in Newark, NJ. 
From July 16-18, signal maintenance Subject Matter Experts from all over the country came together as part of the Signals Training Consortium to work on courseware on three different topics:

*    Switches
*    Train Stops
*    Grade Crossings

The group worked with instructional designers from the Center to create content on these topic areas, ranging from introduction and overview to inspection and maintenance and even started working on troubleshooting of grade crossing systems.  Being able to use New Jersey Transit's training facility made the meeting more efficient as the groups were able to operate the mechanisms at the training center to demonstrate instructional concepts. The Signals training materials will be supplemented with photos and videos of the equipment in use as well as animated sequence of operations related to real world electrical prints.  The final training program will include a suite of instruction-ready materials including coursebooks, PowerPoint presentations, Instructor Guides, On-the-Job Learning Task sheets and assessment tools.

For more information on the Signals Training Consortium, contact Program Director Mark Dysart. 
International Transportation News
Huffington Post - July 21, 2013
Some are easy to identify and others... not so much. Most of us can find the sign pointing us in the direction of mass transit that is common to our most familiar cities, but when we're traveling to foreign lands, what exactly are we looking for?  The Paris Metro sign, the NYC subway and London's Underground symbol (arguably the most notable one of all) are pretty easy to identify, but when you're in a lesser known city, how do you know what you're looking for? For a little guide to all things mass transit, click through the gallery below so you know what you're looking for next time you find yourself in a foreign land.
Public Transportation
The Atlantic Cities - July 18, 2013
While it may look like one of those nuclear blast-radius maps, with its array of alarming red blobs over major cities, this model carries a much less threatening, even heartening message: In the past decade, urban America has fallen in love with public transportation, with nearly universal ridership increases on buses, light rail and other forms of shared transit.  The visualization is part of an ongoing series called "Transit Patterns" made by Schema Design, a Seattle creative firm that dabbles in mapping things like rush-hour commuters and grocery shoppers.  
Transit System/Partners
Progressive Railroading - July 22, 2013
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will set up a full-scale mock-up of its new "Fleet of the Future" rail cars for the public to view this week at the MacArthur Station in Oakland, California.  The agency built a plywood model to provide riders a sense of proportion of the new cars and the possible configuration of seats, and placement of bike racks and handholds. Those touring the model will be asked to fill out a survey to submit opinions, BART officials said in a press release.
PR Web - July 22, 2013
Transit Screen officially announces the launch of the first multimodal transportation information display in the San Francisco Bay Area. Transit Screen displays communicate aggregated, real-time transit feeds at any location with a single, cloud-based display.  Transit Screen displays feature all major transit agencies within the San Francisco Bay Area, including: San Francisco Muni (Buses and Muni Metro), AC Transit (Oakland, Alameda County) and BART. Transit Screen also includes minor agencies, such as Emery Go Round and Dumbarton Express. 
New York Times - July 22, 2013
They travel at odd hours. They disdain cars. They are "really adept" with technology.  And they are, according to a presentation by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday, the answer to the riddle of how to invest in transportation for the coming decades.   "We call them the millennials," William Wheeler, the authority's director of special project development and planning, told the agency's finance committee. "They are embracing transit. But they have certain demands."
Labor News
Portland Tribune - July 19, 2013
TriMet said Saturday that the Employment Relations Board has upheld the current labor contract imposed by a state-approved arbitrator. But the union representing most TriMet employees emphasized the ruling also said the agency was guilty of unfair labor practices. Shortly after the ruling was released Friday evening, Amalgamated Transit Union 757 released a statement that quoted President Bruce Hansen as saying, "[T]he Union was completely cleared of any wrongdoing by the Board. On the other hand, the Board found that TriMet violated its legal duty to bargain in good faith."  
Workforce Development
SmartPlanet - July 18, 2013
Cultural analysts like to call the millennial generation lazy narcissists. But there's a better adjective to use on the generation: compassionate.  Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and San Diego State University analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future survey, a yearly U.S. survey of 12th graders, and found millennials to be increasingly socially conscious. The study focuses on the changes in how young people view issues relating to concern for others and the environment from the time the survey was first conducted in 1976.
Building Transportation Infrastructure
Progressive Railroading - July 19, 2013
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joined Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), state transportation and city officials earlier this week to mark the opening of three new stations and other recent improvements along the Fairmont Commuter Rail Line.  The officials celebrated the openings of the Four Corners, Talbot Avenue and New Market stations. Construction on a fourth station, Blue Hill, is expected to begin on the Fairmount Line later this summer.
Bethesda Now - July 19, 2013
Planners on Monday will present their plan for encouraging redevelopment of the Apex Building, in order to allow for an agreement on a preferred Purple Line station design before the end of the year.  The Bethesda Purple Line Station Minor Master Plan Amendment will seek to convince residents and the owners of the Apex Building (7272 Wisconsin Ave.) that razing the building in exchange for more density will allow for a better Purple Line station below it.  And planners have a very short timeframe to do it.
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