Keep Tri-Rail on track all the way to downtown Miami

A transportation link crucial to easing South Florida’s gridlock is in danger of being derailed if the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority — the powerful, but little-known entity that runs Tri-Rail — fails to approve important agreements and give the project its final green light. Needless to say, too stall such an important project would be shortsighted.

In jeopardy is the highly anticipated public/private $48.5 million project to extend the southern route of Tri-Rail’s commuter trains from their final stop in Hialeah to a platform in downtown Miami. They would glide into All Aboard Florida’s Miami Central Station, where commuters could connect with trains and travel, car-free, between Jupiter and downtown Miami.

County officials told the Editorial Board that the project — brought to life two years ago by an impressive coalition of elected officials, among them Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, transportation honchos and community leaders responding to public outcry over gridlock — needs final approval from the SFRTA, which oversees Tri-Rail.

The authority is scheduled to vote on Friday on four components of the commuter rail project — and the $5.6 million that the authority itself would contribute. A Yes vote would give a green light for funding partners’ money to flow to the project to keep construction of the Tri-Rail platforms going.

A delay of the vote — or worse, a No vote — means trouble for a project that recently took a blow from the Florida Legislature and a governor who for some odd reason doesn’t like fast trains.

“We need to meet these funding commitments so construction can continue,” Miami-Dade’s Transportation and Public Works Director Alice Bravo told the Board on Thursday. “It’s impossible to move forward if the (transportation authority) doesn’t approve this project on Friday.”

The All Aboard Miami Central Station, being built across the street from the county’s Government Center, is scheduled to open in June 2017.

Money for the Tri-Rail platforms has come from varied sources: $13.9 million from Miami-Dade; $6.9 million from Miami; $17.6 million from the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency — which will guarantee Overtown residents free ridership; $3.7 million from the Omni CRA; $1.3 million from the Downtown Development Authority; and $250,000 from the Bayfront Park Trust.

Unfortunately, the project lost $20 million from the Department of Transportation when state lawmakers failed to pass legislation crucial to run passenger trains along the Florida East Coast Railway and into a terminal for All Aboard Florida’s express Brightline cars.

Lawmakers’ action was needed to clarify who is liable should a crash occur on rail lines shared by public and private passenger cars. All Aboard and Tri-Rail worried they might be held liable for a crash in which they had no involvement.

The legislation died — talk about irresponsible! — and so did the $20 million from FDOT. Bravo to Tri-Rail for coming to the rescue with needed funds.

Now, the SFRTA should give its blessing to Miami-Dade’s team effort to get cars off the road and facilitate the kind of smart commute that passengers in New York, New Jersey and other forward-looking regions have had for decades. None of the funding agreements is valid until the authority agrees.

Of all the master transportation plans on the drawing board, the Tri-Rail extension brings relief the quickest. The authority must ensure that this game-changing project stays on track.


Sanders Catches Clinton in California!!!!!

new California poll shows Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders locked in a dead heat, while likely Republican nominee Donald Trump trails both Democrats in general elections matchups in the blue state.

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll, released Thursday, finds Clinton ahead of Sanders 46%-44% among likely Democratic primary voters — within the poll’s margin of error.

Clinton and Sanders supporters, according to the poll, match up with other states: Clinton is favored by registered Democrats and older voters, while Sanders leads among independents and younger voters. More women back Clinton and more men back Sanders, but the gender divide is small.

The potentially critical California Democratic primary is June 7. Clinton is going up with ads there starting Friday, with spots targeting Hispanic and Asian-American voters, campaign aides told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, including ads that will be aired in Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese and other languages. Throughout the Democratic primary contest, Clinton has performed far better in states with diverse populations like California.

Sanders has also been running advertising in California.

With fewer than 100 delegates needed before clinching the Democratic nomination — counting both pledged and superdelegates — Clinton hopes to sprint to the finish line so she can fully pivot to the general election.

In California, Clinton leads Trump 49%-39% among likely voters in a general election matchup, with 11% saying they are undecided, according to the poll. Sanders also leads Trump in California, 53% to 36%, with 11% undecided.

The PPIC poll also reported that California voters are unhappy with their choices for president in 2016. Just 42% of likely voters said they are satisfied with their options, compared to 57% in May of 2012. Slightly more than half (53%) of Democrats say they are satisfied, but just over a third of Republicans (36%) and independents (35%) say the same.

And the poll found significant opposition to some of Trump’s signature policy proposals, which include building a border wall with Mexico and deporting as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Sixty-five percent of likely voters say they oppose the border wall, and 75% favor allowing undocumented immigrants to stay.

The PPIC poll was conducted from May 13 through May 22 through interviews with 1,704 California adult residents. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 points for all adults, plus or minus 3.8 points for the 1,338 registered voters, and plus or minus 4.3 points for the 996 likely voters. It is plus or minus 5.7 points for the 552 Democratic primary likely voters.


David Wright, CNN

New York Jazzed Out: Mark Guiliana, Mike Severson, Nir Felder & Chris Morrissey

Jazz You Too

It’s not easy to choose which short live performance pleases me the most – the New York Jazzed Out Mezzo Channel programme is full of happy encounters – this quartet confirms the rule and the excellence of Mark Guiliana.

Musicians : Mark Guiliana (drums) – Mike Severson & Nir Felder (guitars) – Chris Morrissey (Bass)

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Prepare for takeoff with a supply chain control tower

Supply chain executives are facing unprecedented challenges of managing highly complex supply chains and addressing the volatility of a global business environment. The difficulties of managing supply chain in these circumstances continue to impact companies’ financials significantly.

In addition, executives face new demands to make supply chain more profitable, nimble and flexible; manage security and risks; meet increasing customer needs; and support growth opportunities.

We believe that a control tower can act as a centralized hub that uses real-time data from a company’s existing, integrated data management and transactional systems to integrate processes and tools across the end-to-end supply chain and drive business outcomes.

It’s Official: MTA Adds Second Avenue Subway Line to its Maps

Take a look, it’s actually there, the Second Avenue subway appears on the latest incarnation of the New York City subway map.

It’s right there, they can’t take it back.

This is the first map showing the long delayed Q-line extension.

The MTA has set a December deadline to get the first phase of the line going, and now it looks like they mean it.

The new Q will run from 96th Street in Manhattan to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in Brooklyn.

And along with that, the W train is being dusted off to resume service, ahead of the Q line hitting the rails.

NY1 News

Toronto Transit Commission logged record ridership in 2015

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) logged a ridership of 537 million passenger trips in 2015, an all-time record.

The figure surpassed the previous year’s record total of 534.8 million, agency officials announced Tuesday. The TTC’s ridership has increased each year for the past 12 years.

Additionally, the agency’s subway system logged 229 million customer trips in 2015. The Line 1 Yonge-University Station in Toronto was the agency’s busiest, serving an estimated 216,200 customers each day.

In 2015, the TTC’s highest single-day ridership occurred on Nov. 27, when the agency served 1.86 million customers.

For 2016, TTC is projecting an annual ridership of 553 million.