More Monday morning rail news:
MTA, mayor say no plans exist to restore 24-hour subway service, even with 24-hour vaccination sites
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has no current plans to restore 24-hour subway service, a policy Mayor Bill de Blasio says is one where “the state and city were on the same page.” Streetsblog NY reports de Blasio was asked if, in light of plans for the city to operate COVID-19 vaccination sites 24 hours a day, if around-the-clock subway service would be restored to make it easier for health workers and those receiving the vaccine to reach those sites. The mayor told reporters the current overnight cleaning regimen was too important, and an MTA representative agreed: “It is not the time to make compromises or take risks on health and safety.” Subway service between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. was halted in May to allow for deep cleaning of stations and equipment, ending 107 years of around-the-clock service.
Toronto light rail project sees 28 diagnosed with COVID-19, 70 in isolation
Twenty-eight workers helping build Toronto’s Eglington light rail transit line have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 70 others were in self-isolation because of possible exposure as of late last week. CTV News reports the 28 people, who worked for construction consortium Crosslinx or its subcontractors, tested positive over the preceding two weeks. Ten are believed to have been infected at work; 17 others are believed to be community-acquired and one is undetermined. Crosslinx sued Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto-area transit agency Metrolinx in October over “their refusal to declare COVID-19 an emergency” and acknowledge the impacts of the pandemic. A spokeswoman for the builders said “there is no doubt” COVID-19 has had an impact on the project but Metrolinx disagrees. About 1,500 people are working on the project at any one time.
Caltrain board discusses regional rail link with BART
Caltrain’s board of directors has discussed the possibility of forming a regional rail alliance with Bay Area Rapid Transit as part of an effort to create better regional transit coordination in the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Mateo Daily Journal reports board member Steve Heminger, a former executive director of the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, said there had been discussions of “a regional rail enterprise” between BART and Caltrain, “and I would encourage continued discussion and continued coordination” about the possibility. The MTC, which represents 27 regional transit agencies, is seeking better coordination between those organizations.