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  1. rickycourtney

    Amtrak to be audited for cost-sharing on state-supported routes, Inspector General says

    Amtrak's Office of Inspector General announced Thursday that it is beginning an audit into Amtrak’s processes for managing cost-sharing on state-supported routes. The OIG says it's objective is to "evaluate the company’s actions to address longstanding concerns with the PRIIA 209 cost-sharing...
  2. rickycourtney

    WSDOT retiring, selling Talgo trainsets, not acquiring "Wisconsin" trainsets yet

    WSDOT has made it official... they are selling the Talgo Series VI trainsets and spare cars this summer. Here's the page advertising the competitive bid process: Trainsets for sale | WSDOT In a blog post, WSDOT made it clear that they intend to use Amtrak-owned Horizon train cars on the...
  3. rickycourtney

    San Joaquins now one of the busiest Amtrak routes, considering FY21 cuts

    So while COVID-19 has decimated train ridership there has been one surprising bright spot (or maybe it's just a not so dark spot): the San Joaquins trains. The route now has some of the highest ridership of any Amtrak route. As of late May, ridership on the San Joaquins has been 21% of normal...
  4. rickycourtney

    Amtrak teases upgraded bedding/amenities for sleeping cars

    In a short video posted to Instagram, Amtrak shows off what appears to be a Viewliner II bedroom (because of the maroon fabric on the headrest) with new bedding and amenities. Lots to dissect in the few seconds of video... On the bed is a new blue/grey comforter. There's a tray with several...
  5. rickycourtney

    FirstGroup weighs sale of US school bus and public transit units (in addition to Greyhound)

    Financial Times: FirstGroup weighs sale US school bus and public transit units FirstGroup also put Greyhound up for sale earlier this year, citing competition from low-cost airlines and a drop in demand. The sale of these groups would be a big change in the bus landscape in the US and Canada.
  6. rickycourtney

    Disneyland Express bus to end service

    LA Times: Disneyland Express bus to end at LAX and John Wayne Airport
  7. rickycourtney

    Kalamazoo station's ticket window to close in 2020

    Full story: https://wwmt.com/news/local/kalamazoos-amtrak-ticket-window-to-close-in-2020
  8. rickycourtney

    The toiletries war heats up at hotels

    USA Today: The toiletries war heats up at hotels Hotels looking to outdo each other when it comes to providing bathroom toiletries. And to think... Amtrak can't even provide me with a tube of Shampoo.
  9. rickycourtney

    New Flyer to Buy Motor Coach Industries

    From CBC: New Flyer buys Motor Coach Industries for $455M US This seems like a logical move to me. New Flyer is the biggest transit bus builder in North America and MCI has seen a big portion of its business shift in recent years to building motorcoaches for transit agencies.
  10. rickycourtney

    Pacific Surfliner & San Joaquin Transfer to Local Control

    It's a bit inside baseball, but I've been closely following this for years now... As of July 1st, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has transferred control of the Pacific Surfliner and the San Joaquin to a pair of separate joint powers authorities. The Pacific Surfliner will...
  11. rickycourtney

    Fire, Explosion on BoltBus

    Click the link below and watch the video... it's intense. The fire appears to have started when the engine overheated. As the news helicopters hovered overhead there was an explosion in the passenger area that knocked out the windows and that an intense fire burned out the passenger area. Full...
  12. rickycourtney

    Greyhound Passengers Endure Bitter Cold Ride to Chicago

    If the part about Greyhound driving the bus away and bringing it right back to cover up the fact that it was the same bus is true... that's shameful. Full article at NBC Chicago.
  13. rickycourtney

    Amtrak Blankets to be Sealed for your Protection

    Fun and gross fact: Amtrak's blue blankets in the sleeping cars aren't washed after every trip. As a matter of fact, I believe that Amtrak only requires that blankets be replaced when they are soiled or when the car is stripped of all linens when it is sent into the shop for inspection (2-3...
  14. rickycourtney

    Amtrak California's Comet Cars (removed from regular service)

    Browsing through the board packet for today's San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority meeting and I found some really interesting information in the minutes from the last board meeting... Very interesting that the Comet cars are coming off of regular service on the San Joaquin and equally interesting...
  15. rickycourtney

    Trailways Bus Crash

    A Pine Hill Trailways bus slammed into the back of a semi truck near Syracuse early this morning. Driver was seriously injured. At least 25 of 52 passengers onboard were also injured. It appears that a drunk driver wrecked his Corolla on I-81, the truck driver pulled completely off the highway...
  16. rickycourtney

    Greyhound Now Offering Premium Upgrade

    Greyhound Now Offering Premium Upgrade To Slightly Less Disgusting Seats From America's Finest News Source: Full (hilarious) article here. Apologies to Swadian and Happy Halloween everyone!
  17. rickycourtney

    New Electric Trolleybuses for Seattle

    The first of Seattle's new trolleybuses (buses powered by overhead electric wires) arrived this week. For the bus geeks out there, it's a New Flyer Xcelsior XT40. It's King County Metro's first trolleybus to be low floor, have air conditioning and operate "off-wire" (thanks to special...
  18. rickycourtney

    New Restaurant for Harvey House in LA Union Station

    I want to share some good news about a topic that's near and dear to my heart... the space in Los Angeles Union Station that once housed the Harvey House Restaurant may soon have a new tenant. If you've never seen the space before, you're missing out. Like many Harvey Houses of the era was...
  19. rickycourtney

    The End of an Era for Los Angeles Metro

    On August 30th LA Metro will retire the last high floor bus remaining in the fleet. Here's the announcement: http://thesource.metro.net/2014/08/26/end-of-an-era-metro-to-retire-its-last-high-floor-buses-on-august-30/ That leaves the agency with a 100% low floor and natural gas powered fleet...
  20. rickycourtney

    Taking Transit to Tacoma

    As many of you know, I recently moved to Seattle for my job. I'm slowly getting to know the area better and decided to take a short trip down to Tacoma. Puget Sound area has a regional transit provider called Sound Transit. They operate Sounder commuter rail trains, two light rail systems and a...
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