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Alstom delivers the first two metros built in Asia for LTA in Singapore

July 24, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Subway

Alstom Transport JV SATCO1 has delivered the first two driverless metros of 42 new metros ordered by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) in February 2012 (the company’s largest contract in Asia Pacific).

Photo courtesy of Alstom

Photo courtesy of Alstom

These are the first metros to be manufactured in Asia for LTA in Singapore – proximity being of key importance to Alstom – but also SATCO’s first involvement in the detailed and 3D design of the trains and production for export. The metros are estimated to be in operation by mid 2015.

The new trains, which belong to Alstom’s Metropolis range, are part of LTA’s efforts to enhance existing rail capacity for the coming years. Out of the 42 trains, 18 trains are aimed at the North East Line (NEL) of the network while the Circle Line (CCL) will receive the 24 trains. This will  improve fleet capacity by 60-70% on both lines.

Alstom’s world-class facilities in France and Shanghai ensure that these trains are made to the highest quality standards and expertise. We are proud to play a part in Singapore’s world-class rail infrastructure and look forward to collaborating further with LTA in the future,” said Filippo Scotti, Alstom Managing Director East Asia Pacific.

Alstom’s sites in Valenciennes, France and Shanghai Alstom Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd (SATEE) were also involved in the design and production of the trains.

Alstom’s Metropolis range, currently in use around the world, is based on a proven technology which offers efficiency, flexibility and reliability. One in four metros worldwide is an Alstom metro.

1 – Shanghai Alstom Transport Co. Ltd, located in China

This article is a repost, credit: Alstom.

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Mayor Lee and SFMTA Celebrate Central Subway Milestone

June 16, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, San Francisco, Subway, Sustainable San Francisco

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

Photo courtesy of SFMTA

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today celebrated the completion of tunneling work for the Central Subway Project, the major extension of the Muni Metro T Third Line. The two 350-foot-long tunnel boring machines (TBMs) each tunneled 8,500 feet to construct two Central Subway tunnels, which will allow the T Third Line trains to travel quickly beneath SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown when the Central Subway opens in 2019, cutting travel times by more than half along the busy corridor.

“The Central Subway project invests in building a much-needed world-class 21st century transportation system for our world-class city,” said Mayor Lee. “The significance of the Central Subway tunneling work completed today cannot be overstated. Today we move forward on executing our City’s vision of a reliable, modern public transportation system that better connects and better serves our residents, visitors and businesses.”

The 750 ton, identical TBMs are named “Mom Chung” after Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung, the country’s first female Chinese-American physician and a surrogate mother to thousands of veterans in World War II, and “Big Alma” after 19th century San Francisco philanthropist and socialite “Big Alma” de Bretteville Spreckels. Mom Chung launched in June 2013 and Big Alma followed in November 2013, traveling beneath 4th Street, Stockton Street and Columbus Avenue to excavate and construct San Francisco’s first new subway tunnel in more than 30 years.

“The milestone we reach today is the latest example of how the City of San Francisco is coming together to get big projects done,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu “The Central Subway project is a symbol of our commitment to invest in the infrastructure that will empower our city to grow and prosper for generations to come.”

“The tunnels that Mom Chung and Big Alma have built will provide a much-needed connection between major employment, retail, cultural and residential areas of the city,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “Opening in 2019, the Central Subway will ease the congestion we experience on the 4th and Stockton corridors, replacing it with fast, efficient transit that gets people where they need to go.”

“As San Francisco grows, it is imperative that we prepare for that growth by providing fast and reliable transit in areas that otherwise face future gridlock and congestion,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation, Edward D. Reiskin. “The tunneling work we complete today highlights how San Francisco is leading the way in preparing for the future by strategically investing in our infrastructure and prioritizing the transportation needs of our evolving city.”

The TBMs excavated and constructed the Central Subway’s 1.5 mile-long tunnels at an average pace of 40 feet per day and will be retrieved in North Beach at the site of the former Pagoda Palace Theatre on Powell Street. Over the next few months, both Big Alma and Mom Chung will be dismantled and removed from the tunnels to be reused in tunneling efforts in other cities around the world.

The Central Subway is expected to open to the public in 2019 and will significantly decrease travel times along 4th and Stockton streets, two of San Francisco’s most congested corridors, while accommodating job and population growth anticipated in SoMa, downtown, Chinatown and along the existing T Third Line in eastern and southeastern San Francisco. Three subway stations will be built along the route the TBMs will follow:

  • The Chinatown Station, a subway station with an entrance at Stockton and Washington streets;
  • The Union Square/Market Street Station, a subway station with entrances at Stockton and Geary streets and Stockton and Ellis streets;
  • The Yerba Buena/Moscone Station, a subway station with an entrance at 4th and Clementina streets.

In addition, the project includes a surface-level station at 4th and Brannan streets.

This article is a repost, credit: SFMTA.

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Second Avenue Subway CIC Debuts New Exhibit

May 23, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Subway

Community Information Center Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Community Information Center
Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Have you ever wondered how a complex project like building a new subway is done?  Now you can find out by visiting the MTA Second Avenue Subway Community Information Center (CIC), which just unveiled its new exhibit – En Route: The Techniques and Technologies Used to Build the Second Avenue Subway. The exhibit opened to the general public on Friday, May 23. The CIC is located at 1628 Second Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets.

The second of the CIC’s biannual exhibits will utilize interactive and static displays to demonstrate 13 of the construction technologies used to build the Second Avenue Subway, the first major expansion of the New York City subway system in 70 years.

“For those of you who have tried to get on one of my Saturday tours of the cavern just to find that it was already fully subscribed, we’ve added a virtual tour of the underground cavern to the new exhibit,” said, MTA Capital Construction President Michael Horodniceanu. “And it really is the next best thing to being there.”

Techniques such as tunnel boring, controlled blasting, cut and cover excavation, air scrubbers, ground freezing and more are explained through photos, videos, and animations in an interactive exhibit using iPads to control the display on a wide screen TV. An entire wall of the CIC will display a cross section of the project from 63rd Street to 104th Street to illustrate the juxtaposition of the bedrock profile under the surface and the techniques used to cut through it and excavate above it.

The exhibit shows how creative the project team needed to be when they encountered an obstruction that prevented them from excavating. After trying just about every normal technique known in the industry to remove it, a large diameter pipe was driven into the slurry next to the obstruction. A diver then went into the pipe and used an underwater blow torch to cut it into pieces through holes in the pipe so the obstruction could be removed.

A virtual tour of the 86th Street cavern and tunnel is included in the new exhibit. Also part of the exhibit, the CIC will showcase two new models: a replica of the tunnel boring machine and a scale model of the 96th Street station.

The CIC is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and the second Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Admission is free.

About the CIC

A first-of-its-kind facility, the CIC offers rotating exhibits and programming about the construction of the Second Avenue Subway. Located at 1628 Second Avenue, the center serves as a one-stop shop where Second Avenue residents, businesses, stakeholders and the general public can learn more about the project. Community liaisons are available to answer questions and address concerns. Since opening in July 2013, the CIC has welcomed more than 5,100 visitors, including neighborhood residents, tourists, and school groups from around the city.

About the Second Avenue Subway

Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway will serve more than 200,000 people per day, reducing overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line and restoring a transit link to a neighborhood that lost the Second Avenue Elevated in 1940.

When Phase I is complete, it will decrease crowding on the adjacent Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer riders on an average weekday.  It will also reduce travel times by up to 10 minutes or more (up to 27%) for those on the far east side or those traveling from the east side to west midtown.

The line is being built in phases, with the Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway providing service from 96th Street to 63rd Street as an extension of the Q train, three new ADA-accessible stations along Second Avenue at 96th, 86th and 72nd Streets, and new entrances to the existing Lexington Av/63 Street Station at 63rd Street and Third Avenue.  Further phases of the project will extend the line from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in the Financial District.

This article is a repost, credit: NYMTA.

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Hop on board—and go almost anywhere—with public transit on Google Maps

May 14, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Streetcar, Subway

By David Tattersall, Product Manager, Public Transit

More than 70 percent of the world’s population doesn’t own a car1—a surprising fact for anyone who’s sat for what seems like hours on end in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Millions of people rely on public transit to get around. That’s why, since 2007, we’ve worked to include public transit routes and schedules in Google Maps. In fact, buses, trains, trams and subways included in Google Maps travel 200 million kilometers every day—that’s the equivalent of driving every single road in the world three times!2

Infographic courtesy of Google

Infographic courtesy of Google

Today, Google Maps is helping you get around on public transit even more easily with these additions:

  • We’ve added every single transit route in Great Britain to Google Maps—making it easier to get anywhere from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
  • On the other side of the globe, Vancouverites looking for sun can now get real-time updates on whether a bus to Kits is faster than one to Third Beach.
  • In Chicago, Cubs fans can now zip to and from Wrigley Field, armed with the real-time information they need to hop on a bus and avoid congestion on Lake Shore Drive.
  • And finally, just in time for the games, we’ve recently added transit information for every host city in Brazil. Can you say “GOOOAAALLLLL?!”
Infographic courtesy of Google

Infographic courtesy of Google

Our transit data spans six continents, 64 countries and more than 15,000 towns and cities worldwide. And we’re not done yet: Google Maps will continue to improve—serving people the information they need to get around town when and where they need it.

Infographic courtesy of Google

Infographic courtesy of Google

1 This estimate is based on the most recent World Bank data on the number of passenger cars per 1,000 people throughout 100 countries and territories. Passenger cars refer to road motor vehicles, other than two-wheelers, intended for the carriage of passengers and designed to seat no more than nine people (including the driver).
2 CIA World Factbook

This article is a repost, credit: Google.

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Hop on NYC Transit’s Nostalgia Train to the Yankees Opener on Monday

April 4, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Subway

Yankee fans riding the subway to Opening Day on Monday against the Baltimore Orioles can head up to Yankee Stadium riding aboard MTA New York City Transit’s special “Nostalgia Train.” First pitch is at 1:05 pm.

The four-car “Nostalgia Special” (photo attached below) will depart from Grand Central on the 4, uptown express platform at 11:00 a.m. and run non-stop to 161 St-Yankee Stadium. The cars on the train will be the 1917 vintage Lo-V (low voltage) cars, which were removed from regular passenger service in 1969.

Yankee nostalgia subway Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Yankee nostalgia subway
Photo courtesy of NYMTA

Additional trains and crews will be on hand with capacity crowds of more than 52,000 fans expected to attend opening day. As a reminder during the season, fans can always take the D, D or 4 train to 161 St-Yankee Stadium (B during rush hours only). After all games, trains are queued along the center track of the Jerome and Concourse Lines and then called into 161 St-Yankee Stadium and filled one by one until the last Manhattan-bound customers are on their way.

Yankee Stadium is also served by the Bx6 and Bx13 local buses. The Bx1, Bx2, and BxM4 stop at 161 St and the Grand Concourse, a short three-block walk to the stadium.

Metro-North Railroad will offer plenty of direct, fast and convenient “Train to the Game” service on the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven Lines as well as frequent shuttle service from Grand Central Terminal/Harlem-125 St Stations throughout the season. Post-game direct trains are timed to depart 20- to 45-minutes after the last out.

This article is a repost, credit: NYMTA.

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A new metro for Kuala Lumpur

March 26, 2014 in BMW, Electric Vehicles, Subway

BMW Group DesignworksUSA designs new Siemens metro for Kuala Lumpur. Train head with modern light concept. (03/2014) Image courtesy of BMW

BMW Group DesignworksUSA designs new Siemens metro for Kuala Lumpur. Train head with modern light concept.
Image courtesy of BMW

Munich/ Kuala Lumpur. Klang Valley, the metropolitan region around Malaysia`s capital Kuala Lumpur, is home to around four million people. In order to strengthen the appeal of this fast growing region and to prepare for the urban transit challenges of the future Kuala Lumpur will rely on the innovative Metro Inspiro by German train manufacturer Siemens. Being built by Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd a total of 58 trains will be in service as of 2017 on one of the most frequented lines of the city. BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA developed the design for the new underground passenger trains.

Identity through Design

A metropolis’ identity is notably determined by the quality and visual impression of its local public transport system. Identity also was a key driver in the design development of the new Metro Inspiro for Kuala Lumpur: The cityscape is characterized by a mixture of cultures and religions manifested in a rich architectural diversity. Tradition and progress are at the heart of the people’s pride and self confidence and also inspired the design concept for the new metro. Under the name “Guiding Light” the design of the Metro Inspiro takes a bow to the rich heritage of Kuala Lumpur and makes a strong statement towards the future.

“The exterior design is a bold statement of dynamism and strength. It symbolizes self confidence, technological leadership, progress and safety,” says Laurenz Schaffer, President of BMW Group DesignworksUSA. The light concept in the front of the train bears a strong graphical character. It is a reference to the facetted architecture of the capital. In the train interior the interplay of past and future continues: The lively colour concept with varying shades of blue and traditional symmetrical patterns is a fresh interpretation of the vitality and cultural diversity of Kuala Lumpur. Color contrasts in the door areas help guide passengers and enable an easy entrance or exit. The train interior features an LED lighting system. The use of indirect light beneath the seats creates a feeling of spaciousness and safety and enables easy maintenance of the trains.

Metro Inspiro for people and environment

When operational a total of 58 driverless trains will be in service allowing a frequency of one train every 3.5 minutes during peak hours. With a spacious layout each four-car trainset will have a capacity of 1.200 passengers improving the daily ridership target of the operator. The train design also takes into consideration the needs of disabled people: Six specific areas in each train are equipped with hand-rails which offer sufficient space to allow wheelchair-bound passengers to be seated in their rides. The doors will emit a beeping sound and light to guide disabled passengers when the train doors are closing and opening.

The new metro for Kuala Lumpur also has a convincing environmental record: The trains which have a 30-year life-cycle are approximately 95 percent recyclable. They consist of light weight stainless steel car bodies, weight-optimized components and employ highly efficient air conditioning and lighting systems which substantially reduce energy costs. The trains have high-efficiency traction and train control systems and due to large wheel diameters they will be substantially quieter than their predecessors. With all these features the new Metro Inspiro will reflect the dynamism, elegance and technological progress of Kuala Lumpur and also take on responsibility for the people of the metropolitan region Klang Valley.

BMW Group DesignworksUSA

BMW Group DesignworksUSA is a creative consultancy that’s been driving innovation for forty years.  Acquired by BMW Group in 1995, DesignworksUSA enables its parent company as well as internationally-renowned clients outside the automotive industry to grow their businesses through design and a portfolio of creative consulting services. With clients including Coca Cola, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, HEAD, HP, Intermarine, John Deere, Microsoft, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Siemens and Varian Medical Systems, DesignworksUSA is deeply immersed in a broad cross-section of industries. Combining cross-fertilized knowledge with strategic long-term perspectives and global context provided by studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai, DesignworksUSA draws upon its unique and vibrant resources to create the future.

The BMW Group

The BMW Group is the leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles in the world with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands. As a global company, the BMW Group operates 28 production and assembly facilities in 13 countries and has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2013, the BMW Group sold around 1.963 million cars and 115,215 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax for the financial year 2012 was euro 7.82 billion on revenues amounting to euro 76.85 billion. At 31 December 2012, the BMW Group had a workforce of 105,876 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been built on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

This article is a repost, credit: BMW.

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2013 Ridership Reaches 65-Year High, New York MTA

March 24, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Subway

Image courtesy of NYMTA

Image courtesy of NYMTA

The NYC Transit ridership pages on have been updated to include 2013 ridership for both buses and subways.

Click here for ridership statistics.

Annual subway ridership of 1.708 billion is now the highest since 1949, and weekday ridership of 5.5 million is the highest since 1950. Weekend subway ridership was 5.8 million and has surpassed the highest ever ridership in 1946. Of note, total annual ridership increased 3.2% from 2012 to 2013, partially due to the five weekdays in 2012 with no service or free fares following Superstorm Sandy. However, even adjusting for Sandy, 2013 ridership increased more than 1.0% over 2012. Average weekday ridership increased 1.6% from 2012, excluding the five weekdays in 2012 with no service or free fares after Sandy. Weekend ridership increased even more at a 2.5% clip.

Some other tidbits include:

Brooklyn had the largest borough-wide average weekday ridership percentage increase (2.4% or more than 27,000 riders per weekday), driven by strong growth on the Canarsie L Crosstown G and Culver F lines, as well as at the Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr station.

The Canarsie L line had the largest percentage increase in the entire system (5.3% or more than 6,000 riders per weekday), continuing an on-going trend of strong growth on the line. Ridership increased at every station on the line, including an 8.1% increase at the Bedford Av station. Weekday ridership has increased at Bedford Av by more than 50% since 2007. Ninety-eight weekly round trips were added to the L line in 2012 and service will be increased again this June.

The Crosstown G line had a 4.7% (more than 2,200 riders) weekday increase. Ridership growth was strong at stations in the Clinton Hill and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods, likely due to new residential development, as well as more travel between northern Brooklyn and activities in downtown Brooklyn (including the Barclays Center cited below). Service on the G line will be added this June.

The Culver F line had a 4.5% (more than 4,200 riders) weekday increase, as riders returned to their normal stations following the reopening of the Smith-9 Sts station in April 2013, and return to normal service at the Fort Hamilton Pkwy and 15 St-Prospect Park stations. In addition, strong ridership growth continued at the York St station with a 10.7% increase in 2013, reflecting continued development in DUMBO.

The Atlantic Ave-Barclays Ctr station had an 11.8% (4,200 riders) weekday increase, reflecting a full year of activities at the Barclays Center which opened in September 2012. Ridership at the nearby Fulton Street G station increased 7.8%.

Ridership was strong in Harlem, including a 4.6% (2,600 riders) weekday increase on the Lenox 2, 3 line segment.

Post-Sandy reconstruction had an adverse effect on ridership on the Rockaway A, S line in Queens (down 17.6%) and the Broadway-60 St N, Q, R line in Manhattan (down 4.5%). Normal Rockway line service was restored on May 30, 2013 after the connection with the mainland was completely rebuilt in the aftermath of Sandy. Service was suspended through the Montague Street tunnel on the R line starting August 3, 2013 for post-Sandy recovery work, affecting ridership on the Broadway-60 St line.

Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr was the busiest station in Brooklyn in total annual and average weekend ridership, even though Jay Street-MetroTech A, C, F, R served more weekday riders. The busiest station in the Bronx was 161st Street-Yankee Stadium B, D, 4 and the busiest station in Queens was Flushing-Main Street 7.

This article is a repost, credit: NYMTA.