Denver RTD opens ‘A Line’ commuter-rail route to airport

The Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) on Friday opened the 23-mile University of Colorado A Line commuter-rail route, which marks one of the first transit projects built by a public-private partnership in the United States.

The $1.2 billion line, which runs from downtown Denver to Denver International Airport, is part of the $7 billion FasTracks expansion plan that calls for building 122 miles of new rail routes, among several other transit improvements.

Photo: Regional Transportation District of Denver

Trains will make the journey from Union Station to the airport in 37 minutes, or about half the time of driving, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials said in a press release.

The A Line is also part of the $2 billion Eagle Public-Private Partnership (P3) project, which includes the under-construction Gold Line commuter-rail project, a commuter-rail maintenance facility and electric multiple-unit vehicles. The FTA is contributing $1 billion through its capital investment grant program toward that project, while the U.S. Department of Transportation is providing $62 million in other funds.

The remaining costs are covered by state and local sources, including a private contribution.

Under the P3 arrangement, a private team known as Denver Transit Partners agreed to fund a share of the project, assuming much of the risks and allowing RTD to minimize public costs for construction. The team includes Balfour Beatty Rail, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Systra, Wabtec Corp. and others.

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Railway Post Office Key Chains

You need a long chain that will reach from the pants waist to an out-held hand. That would be about 36 inches.

Two Pacific Electric (Los Angeles area interurban) trainmen developed and initially manufactured the spring-loaded key-back to secure their switch keys to a chain that would not get in their way. They did not want to drop (and loose) their keys on a dark, rainy night into a puddle of water and they did not want a long chain that would be in their way.

The Pacific Electric company magazine had a write-up in the late 1940s about the product that was made by the two men and their wives.

See this history page at the Key-Bak website:
http://keybak.com/pages/our-history

Brian Norden

Thanks for sharing the Key-Bak history. I’ve pasted the link content here because sometimes web page links “break” later on.

Kevin Hays “New Day” Trio – live at JazzAhead! 2016

Jazz You Too

Kevin Hays has played with the most important and influential musicians in jazz such as Sonny Rollins, John Scofield, Benny Golson, Roy Haynes, Chris Potter, Al Foster, Joe Henderson, Buster Williams, Art Farmer and Joshua Redman, featured on many recordings, and released 10 albums as bandleader so far. At Jazzahead! 2016  he showcases how to sing and play the piano!

Kevin Hays (p), Chris Mees (b), and Nasheet Waits (dr)

kevin hays_

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BART marks completion of inaugural ‘Fleet of the Future’ rail car

Bay Area Rapid Transit‘s (BART) first “Fleet of the Future” rail car has been completed and is headed from Plattsburgh, N.Y., to the agency’s testing facility in Hayward, Calif.

BART’s first ‘Fleet of the Future’ rail car heads from Bombardier Transit Corp.’s manufacturing facility in Plattsburgh, N.Y., to Hayward, Calif.
Photo: Bay Area Rapid Transit

The car will be followed by nine others throughout the year to make BART’s first 10-car test train, agency officials in a news release.

Upon arrival, the car will undergo several months of testing before being put into passenger service. It’s expected the unit will go into service in December, BART officials said.

The new cars are expected to run more quietly due to “micro-plug” doors that help seal out noise. The units also feature cooling systems that distribute air directly to the ceilings, padded seats, color-coded BART system maps and wider aisles. Bombardier Transit Corp. is building the new cars.

As part of its Fleet of the Future initiative, BART has ordered 775 new cars. The agency is hoping to secure funding to increase that number to 1,081, BART officials said. With that many cars in service, the number of seats in the fleet would increase by almost 50 percent.

The 775 cars will arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area in stages from 2016 through 2021, with the last 10 test cars arriving in 2016 and an additional 54 cars arriving next year. BART will begin retiring the aging cars “when appropriate,” agency officials said

8 Easy Ways to Become Incredibly Self-Motivated

Of the many hats you wear as an entrepreneur, motivator-in-chief may be the one you don the most.

Whether you’re in the trenches with your team as they prepare for a product rollout, or you’re dealing with a potential office disaster, you’re doling out major doses of motivation and inspiration constantly.

But what happens when your own motivation gauge is running near empty? With no one above you to motivate you when your spirits flag, it’s important to have a reserve of inspiration you can call on when you need it most. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to keep your self-motivation running on all cylinders.

1. Practice humility.

Surprisingly, humility can go a long way toward keeping you motivated. Oprah Winfrey may be one of the world’s most powerful and accomplished women, but she takes the hype surrounding her with a grain of salt. “There’s this part of me that’s afraid of what will happen if I believe it all,” she has said.

Even Oprah has bad press days — so she’s learned that by staying humble she can keep her internal motivation going, no matter what happens.

You too can follow in Winfrey’s footsteps and keep that entrepreneurial flame flickering by keeping your head low and not relying on the validation of others.

2. Remember your strengths.

The inimitable Mary Kay Ash once said, “Within yourself lies everything you ever dreamed of being.”

Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s likely that you jumped in because you had the talent, drive, and enthusiasm to make things happen.

If you’re feeling down on yourself, take some time to examine those fantastic traits that got you where you are. Sometimes, I’ll even write mine down when I feel my motivation falter–and you should consider something similar to highlight those awesome talents you possess.

3. Know what you stand for.

Why did you become an entrepreneur? If you started your business hoping to make a difference in the world, give yourself a high five, and then reflect on that vision to keep your inner-motivation going.

Eileen Fisher found insane success through her line of eco-friendly, organic women’s lounge wear. She said, “When you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.” That commitment to staying green is a motivating factor that’s kept her in business for over three decades.

If your business isn’t making a difference in the world (yet), there’s no need to fret. You can start with tiny steps, like trying to go green, and let it snowball from there, while also watching your motivation skyrocket.

4. Celebrate the little wins.

Like most entrepreneurs, you probably have major — even audacious — long-term goals that you’re tackling. But as you probably know, these huge aspirations won’t get accomplished overnight.

That’s why you should find the time to make a symbolic fist pump every day. As Tech.Co co-founder Frank Gruber put it, “This is a journey–a hard one–and the only way to make it sustainable and bearable is if you actually acknowledge your small successes along the way.”

By celebrating those tiny wins, you’ll find a much-needed daily dose of motivation.

5. Get healthy.

A 2015 survey by Virgin Pulse found that the number one factor affecting employee motivation is health. Those results aren’t surprising: it’s hard–actually downright impossible–to expect employees to be motivated if they’re in poor physical or emotional shape.

The same goes for you. As an entrepreneur, it’s too easy to let your wellbeing get swept under the rug when there are a million and a half other things to do every day.

That’s why you need to take those daily steps to stay healthy and sane very seriously–or all that effort will be for nothing. You can start small–such as walking to work, as I do–and work your way up. The motivation you’ll get from being in tip-top shape, not to mention the physical benefits, is well worth it.

6. Consider how far you’ve come.

When Swiggies water bottles creator Julie Austin started out, she was flat broke and didn’t have a clue how to get a product to market. Success, she has said, “took years of working two jobs to save the money and a very big learning curve of constantly making mistakes.” Nowadays, she’s light years away from where she started, but she still reflects on her humble beginning as a source of self-motivation.

Entrepreneurs who are self-motivated use these initial struggles as a fuel. Personally, the fact that I started with $200 in New York City serves as a motivator to get me through even the toughest of days.

If you’re near the beginning of your journey, or decades into entrepreneurship, thinking about where you are today versus where you were when you started is an excellent way to unleash your inner cheerleader.

7. Think you’re unstoppable.

In the early 20th century, the typical American woman didn’t wear makeup, but that didn’t stop Elizabeth Arden. By sticking with her dream of bringing makeup from the stage into daily life, she built a worldwide empire. While others thought she was crazy, she relied on this unstoppable mentality to rake in the dollars.

When you view yourself as unstoppable and everything as possible, you can stay motivated through both the ups and downs as an entrepreneur.

You’ll be amazed at the doors that open up when you start believing that you can accomplish anything.

8. Reward yourself.

Yes–I’ll admit it’s a no-brainer that rewards will keep you motivated. In fact, studies show that rewards are responsible for three-quarters of the reasons we do things.

But let me ask you this: When’s the last time you rewarded yourself for a job well done? Too often, entrepreneurs will hand out rewards to others–whether they’re in the form of raises, company trips, etc.–but forget to give themselves a pat on the back.

While your company will ultimately see those efforts pay off in the long-run, it’s important to give yourself some short-term treats to provide your day-to-day motivation. So don’t forget to buy that bottle of wine or a nice dinner out.

By Elle Kaplan

CEO, Lexion Capital Management