The Southwest Chief is a passenger train operated by Amtrak on a 2,265-mile route through the Midwestern and Southwestern United States. It runs between Chicago and Los Angeles, passing through Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico and California. During fiscal year 2015, the Southwest Chief carried 367,267 passengers, up 4.3 percent from FY 2014. The route grossed $44,904,314 in revenue during FY 2015, a 0.6 percent increase from FY 2014. Amtrak had plans for replacing the route between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dodge City, Kansas with bus service, but as of October 2018, these are shelved; the Southwest Chief is the successor to the Super Chief, along with the Chief and El Capitan, were notable Chicago-Los Angeles trains operated by the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway. The Super Chief name was retained after Amtrak took over passenger rail service in 1971. In March 1974, the Santa Fe forced Amtrak to drop the name because of a perceived decline in quality after the Amtrak takeover; the train was renamed the Southwest Limited.
After subsequent improvements, the Santa Fe allowed Amtrak to change its name to the Southwest Chief on October 28, 1984. Amtrak operated the Southwest Chief in conjunction with the Capitol Limited, a daily Washington DC-Chicago service, in 1997 and 1998; the two trains used the same Superliner equipment sets, passengers traveling on both trains could remain aboard during the layover in Chicago. Announced in 1996, Amtrak planned to call this through service the "National Chief" with its own numbers, although the name and numbers were never used. Amtrak dropped the practice with the May 1998 timetable. On October 2, 1979, the Southwest Limited derailed at Kansas. Of the 30 crew and 147 passengers on board, two people were killed and 69 were injured; the cause was excessive speed on a curve. Underlying causes were that the engineer was unfamiliar with the route, that signage indicating the speed restriction had been removed during track repairs. On August 9, 1997, the eastbound Southwest Chief derailed about 5 miles northeast of Kingman, when a bridge, its undergirding washed out by a flash flood, collapsed under the weight of the train, traveling close to 90 miles per hour.
While the lead locomotive stayed on the track, the three trailing locomotives, nine passenger cars, seven baggage and mail cars derailed. All stayed upright. Of the 325 passengers and crew aboard, 154 people were injured and none were killed. On October 16, 1999, the westbound Southwest Chief suffered a minor derailment near Ludlow, following the Hector Mine earthquake. All the cars stayed upright, four passengers were injured. On March 14, 2016, the Southwest Chief derailed 3 miles from Kansas. Of 14 crew and 128 passengers, 20 were injured. Investigators determined the train derailed after the tracks were knocked out of alignment by a runaway truck from a nearby farm operation; the vehicle had rolled down a hill and struck the tracks after the owners had failed to secure the parking brake. Unique among all long-distance Superliner trains, the Southwest Chief is permitted to run up to a maximum of 90 mph along significant portions of the route because of automatic train stop installed by the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway.
Given Amtrak's projected 41-hour travel time, the average speed is in excess of 55 mph, including stops. During the spring and summer, Volunteer Rangers with the Trails and Rails program from the National Park Service travel onboard and provide a narrative between La Junta and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Starting in May 2013, Volunteer Rangers with Trails and Rails will be onboard providing a narrative between Chicago and La Plata, Missouri. From June through August, the Southwest Chief is used by Boy Scouts traveling to and from Philmont Scout Ranch via the Raton station. During those months, Raton station handles checked baggage; this route was one of five studied for possible performance improvements by Amtrak in FY 2012. No BNSF freight service is offered between La Junta and Lamy, New Mexico, the railroad informed Amtrak that all maintenance costs are to be paid by the passenger carrier if it wished to continue to use the route. BNSF declared it will maintain trackage between Hutchinson, La Junta, at a Class III speed instead of Class IV.
BNSF offered to host the Southwest Chief over its Southern Transcon via Wichita and Wellington, Amarillo and Clovis, New Mexico, once used by the San Francisco Chief. Amtrak sought help from the states involved to retain existing service on the train's historic route; the states of Kansas and New Mexico have since contributed money toward rebuilding the tracks and keeping the Chief on its current routing. Much of the funding for the rehabilitation projects has come from federal transportation grants. In 2018, the Southwest Chief became the focal point of a struggle to determine whether to continue Amtrak as a national network or to operate regional stand-alone networks; the issue was provoked by Amtrak introducing new requirements for the third renewal grant and raising undiscussed technical issues regarding the midsection of the route. A letter dated May 31, 2018, co-signed by 11 Senators condemned the action and urged providing the match. Former Amtrak President and CEO Joseph H. Boardman in an open letter stated, "The Southwest Chief issue is the battleground whose outcome will determine the fate of American’s national interconnected rail passenger network."In June, Amtrak announced that it was consid
Pasadena Transit known as Pasadena Area Rapid Transit System, is a city-operated local bus service in Pasadena, United States. It was formed in 1994 coinciding with the kickoff of the World Cup at the Rose Bowl as a free service of the City of Pasadena. In 2003, fares were introduced. In December 2015, the agency changed its name to Pasadena Transit. Pasadena Transit consists of 8 routes in the City of Pasadena. All routes connect with the Metro Gold Line. Effective July 1, 2018, service is operated seven days a week, with the exception of six major holidays; the Pasadena-Altadena Regional Trolley System is a proposed heritage streetcar system that would connect Altadena and Pasadena City College. No dates for this proposal have been set. Gold Line
The Sunset Limited is an Amtrak passenger train that for most of its history has run between New Orleans and Los Angeles, over the nation's second transcontinental route. However, up until Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it ran between Los Angeles, it is the oldest named train in the United States. This train is one of only two of Amtrak's 15 long-distance services which run only three days a week; the Sunset Limited carried the fewest passengers of any Amtrak train in fiscal year 2016, 98,079, a 2.6% decrease over FY2015. It had a total revenue of $10,769,179, giving it a 7.5% decrease over FY2015. For most of its existence, the Sunset Limited route was owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad; the name Sunset Limited traces its origins to the Galveston and San Antonio Railway, a Southern Pacific subsidiary, known as the Sunset Route as early as 1874. Most of the current route from New Orleans westward is now owned by the Union Pacific Railroad, which acquired Southern Pacific in 1996. However, most of the route within Louisiana itself was sold to BNSF Railway in 1995 in return for BNSF not objecting to the UP-SP merger.
On the portion of the route east of New Orleans, service was suspended after Hurricane Katrina. Those tracks, between New Orleans and Florida, include parts of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad—all now owned by CSX Transportation; the segment of the former Atlantic Coast Line Railroad between DeLand and Orlando is owned by Orlando's commuter service SunRail. The train uses the following route segments, identified here by the names of their original owners: Service on the Sunset Limited between New Orleans and Florida has been suspended since August 29, 2005 because the rail line in the path of Hurricane Katrina east of New Orleans was washed out; the operating railroad CSX restored the line itself between New Jacksonville. However, in 2006, Amtrak said it was deemed too expensive to rebuild to modern passenger rail standards. In 2016 Amtrak proposed to return the Sunset Limited service to Florida in the near future. Eastbound trains leave Los Angeles on Sunday and Friday.
Westbound trains leave New Orleans on Monday and Saturday. The journey takes two days to complete in each direction. At San Antonio, thru-cars from the Texas Eagle are combined with the Sunset Limited for the journey westward and split eastward; when combined with the Sunset Limited, the Texas Eagle is numbered as 421 westbound and 422 eastbound. A highlight of the trip is the crossing of the Huey P. Long Bridge just west of New Orleans; the bridge is one of the longest railroad bridges in the United States, at 4.5 miles. In its present form, the eastbound Sunset Limited leaves Los Angeles in the middle of the night, traveling overnight through Arizona before arriving at breakfast time in Tucson and mid-afternoon in El Paso. After traveling through west Texas overnight, it separates from the Texas Eagle in San Antonio. Resuming the second day of the trip, it arrives in Houston at lunchtime, Lafayette at rush hour, the middle of the night in New Orleans; the westbound train leaves New Orleans just after rush hour, arriving in Lafayette at lunchtime and just after the afternoon rush in Houston.
It joins the Texas Eagle just after midnight, travels overnight through west Texas before arriving in El Paso at lunchtime the following afternoon and dinner time in Tucson and Maricopa. After traveling overnight through Arizona and California, it arrives in Los Angeles before breakfast. Before the start of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, the Sunset Limited was operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad; the Sunset Limited is the oldest named train in the United States, operating since November 1894 along the Sunset Route. The Sunset Route is the southernmost of the three gateways to the West Coast envisioned through the Pacific Railroad Acts; the other two embarked from St. Louis. However, the Sunset Route had two major advantages over the other two routes, it was an all-weather, year-round route that didn’t face the crippling snows of the Wasatch or Sierra mountain ranges to reach the Pacific Coast. Additionally, the other two routes had to assault the front range of the Rockies. In addition, opened 20 years before the Panama Canal, the Sunset Route vastly shortened the time to reach the West Coast from the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, as New Orleans was an established seaport for Atlantic shipping lines’ passengers, seeking to reach the US interior.
The Sunset Limited allowed passengers to reach the West Coast in a few days, not weeks. The Sunset Limited was Southern Pacific's premier train; the Sunset Limited was an all-Pullman train, with sleeping cars and no coaches, running from New Orleans to San Francisco via Los Angeles. From its beginning in 1894, until streamlining in 1950, all the train's cars had 6-wheel trucks and dark olive green paint, with black roofs and trucks. In the summer of 1926, it was scheduled at 71 hr 40 min New Orleans to San Francisco. An 1895 consist included: A 4-4-0 American steam locomotiveComposite Baggage car with barber shop and buffet smoker lounge El Indio 7 Drawing Room Sleeper with ladies´ parlor lounge El Piloto 10 Section 2 Drawing Room Sleeper El Dorado Dining Car Gourmet 6 Section 1 Drawing Room 3 Compartment Sleeper Cliola 14 Section 1 Drawing Room Sleeper Los AngelesA 1929 consist included: A 4-6-2 P
Metrolink is a commuter rail system in Southern California consisting of seven lines and 62 stations operating on 534 miles of rail network. The system operates in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura counties, as well as to Oceanside in San Diego County, it connects with the Los Angeles County Metro Rail and Metro Busway system, the San Diego Coaster commuter rail and Sprinter light rail services, with Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited intercity rail services. The system, founded in 1991 as the Southern California Regional Rail Authority and adopting "Metrolink" as its moniker, started operation in 1992. Average weekday ridership was 39,838 as of 2017. In addition to suburban communities and cities, Metrolink serves several points of interest such as Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood Burbank Airport, California State University, Los Angeles, Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the San Clemente Pier. Special service has been extended to the Pomona Fairplex, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, the Auto Club Speedway for certain events.
Metrolink's fare structure is based on a flat fee for boarding the train and an additional cost for distance with fares being calculated in 25-cent increments between stations. Metrolink tickets are valid fare for most connecting trains. Fare increases occur annually in July, to coincide with increased fuel and labor expenses, have averaged between 3.5% and 5% per year. The oil price increases since 2003 are to blame for increasing fares, as Metrolink trains are powered by diesel fuel; the member agencies of the SCRRA purchased 175 miles of track, maintenance yards, stations and other property from Southern Pacific for $450 million in 1990. The rights to use Los Angeles Union Station were purchased from Union Pacific, the station's owner at the time, for $17 million in the same year; the Authority was formally founded in 1991. Amtrak began operation of the Ventura, Santa Clarita, San Bernardino lines on October 26, 1992 under contract to the SCRRA. In 1993, service was expanded to include the Orange County Lines.
The Inland Empire-Orange County Line opened in 1995. In 1995, more trains on the Orange County service were funded; the 91 Line opened in 2002. From July 2004, Metrolink fares were changed from zone based to one based on distance. In 2005 a five-year operational contract was awarded to Connex Railroad/Veolia Transport. In 2005, the Orange County Transportation Authority approved a plan to increase frequencies to 76 trains daily on the Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County Lines by 2009, funding for increased Metrolink service was included in the renewal of the Measure M sales tax for transportation approved by voters in November 2006. A proposed station in Yorba Linda was canceled in 2005 due to local opposition. In July 2008, it was announced. Following the 2008 Chatsworth train collision in which 25 people died and 135 were injured a number of safety measures were taken. In 2010, the first of 117 energy absorbing passenger carriages were received by the operator. Amtrak regained the contract to operate Metrolink beginning in July 2010.
Average weekday ridership for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 38,400. In 2010, to save money in the face of funding cuts, the Metrolink board voted to reduce mid-day service on the Inland Empire–Orange County Line, as well as weekend service on both the Orange County and Inland Empire–Orange County lines. Average weekday ridership was 41,000 during May 2011. A survey found that 90% of users during a typical weekday in 2009 would have driven alone or carpooled and that the system replaced an estimated 25,000 vehicle trips. During a weekend closure of Interstate 405 in July 2011, the system recorded its highest-ever weekend ridership of 20,000 boardings, 50% higher than the same weekend in 2010 and 10% higher than the previous weekend ridership record which occurred during U2 360° Tour in June 2011. Ridership continued to rise in 2012, when average weekday ridership reached 42,265. Although 2013 annual boardings were 12.07 million, ridership dropped to 11.74 million by fall 2014, contrary to projections.
Blaming the decrease on the worst recession since World War II, Metrolink said it found itself caught between cutting service and boosting fares, both of which would further decrease ridership. Metrolink began offering mobile ticketing in early 2016; the Riverside County Transportation Commission extended the 91 Line southeast 24 miles to Perris, using the existing San Jacinto Branch Line, which it purchased in 1993. Initial plans were for construction/renovation of the line to begin in 2012, but these were delayed by a lawsuit filed by homeowners in the affected area, who challenged the RCTC's environmental report; the lawsuit was settled in late July 2013. Construction on the $248.3 million extension began in October 2013. In mid-February 2016, the extension's opening was planned in March of that year; the extension opened in June 2016
Public transport is transport of passengers by group travel systems available for use by the general public managed on a schedule, operated on established routes, that charge a posted fee for each trip. Examples of public transport include city buses, trolleybuses and passenger trains, rapid transit and ferries. Public transport between cities is dominated by airlines and intercity rail. High-speed rail networks are being developed in many parts of the world. Most public transport systems run along fixed routes with set embarkation/disembarkation points to a prearranged timetable, with the most frequent services running to a headway. However, most public transport trips include other modes of travel, such as passengers walking or catching bus services to access train stations. Share taxis offer on-demand services in many parts of the world, which may compete with fixed public transport lines, or compliment them, by bringing passengers to interchanges. Paratransit is sometimes used for people who need a door-to-door service.
Urban public transit differs distinctly among Asia, North America, Europe. In Asia, profit-driven, privately-owned and publicly traded mass transit and real estate conglomerates predominantly operate public transit systems In North America, municipal transit authorities most run mass transit operations. In Europe, both state-owned and private companies predominantly operate mass transit systems, Public transport services can be profit-driven by use of pay-by-the-distance fares or funded by government subsidies in which flat rate fares are charged to each passenger. Services can be profitable through high usership numbers and high farebox recovery ratios, or can be regulated and subsidised from local or national tax revenue. Subsidised, free of charge services operate in some towns and cities. For geographical and economic reasons, differences exist internationally regarding use and extent of public transport. While countries in the Old World tend to have extensive and frequent systems serving their old and dense cities, many cities of the New World have more sprawl and much less comprehensive public transport.
The International Association of Public Transport is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It has 3,400 members from 92 countries from all over the globe. Conveyances designed for public hire are as old as the first ferries, the earliest public transport was water transport: on land people walked or rode an animal. Ferries appear in Greek mythology—corpses in ancient Greece were buried with a coin underneath their tongue to pay the ferryman Charon to take them to Hades; some historical forms of public transport include the stagecoach, traveling a fixed route between coaching inns, the horse-drawn boat carrying paying passengers, a feature of European canals from their 17th-century origins. The canal itself as a form of infrastructure dates back to antiquity – ancient Egyptians used a canal for freight transportation to bypass the Aswan cataract – and the Chinese built canals for water transportation as far back as the Warring States period which began in the 5th century BCE.
Whether or not those canals were used for for-hire public transport remains unknown. The omnibus, the first organized public transit system within a city, appears to have originated in Paris, France, in 1662, although the service in question failed a few months after its founder, Blaise Pascal, died in August 1662; the omnibus was introduced to London in July 1829. The first passenger horse-drawn railway opened in 1806: it ran between Swansea and Mumbles in southwest Wales in the United Kingdom. In 1825 George Stephenson built the Locomotion for the Stockton and Darlington Railway in northeast England, the first public steam railway in the world; the first successful electric streetcar was built for 12 miles of track for the Union Passenger Railway in Richmond, Virginia in 1888. Electric streetcars could carry heavier passenger loads than predecessors, which reduced fares and stimulated greater transit use. Two years after the Richmond success, over thirty two thousand electric streetcars were operating in America.
Electric streetcars paved the way for the first subway system in America. Before electric streetcars, steam powered subways were considered. However, most people believed that riders would avoid the smoke filled subway tunnels from the steam engines. In 1894, Boston built the first subway in the United States, an electric streetcar line in a 1.5 mile tunnel under Tremont Street’s retail district. Other cities such as New York followed, constructing hundreds of miles of subway in the following decades. Aerial lift Aerial tramway Funifor Chairlift Detachable chairlift Funitel Gondola lift Maritime transport Ferry Cable ferry Reaction ferry Water taxi Land transport Personal public transport Bicycle-sharing system Carsharing Personal rapid transit Rail transport Inter-city rail High-speed rail Maglev Urban rail transit Airport rail link Atmospheric railway Automated guideway transit Cable car Cable railway Commuter rail Elevated railway Funicular Inclined elevator Light rail Medium-capacity rail system Mono
Big Blue Bus
The Santa Monica Big Blue Bus is a municipal bus operator in the Westside region of Los Angeles County, that provides local and bus rapid transit service in Santa Monica and adjacent neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Express service is provided to Downtown Los Angeles and Union Station; the impetus for the creation was a fare increase on the Pacific Electric interurban trains between Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines was founded on 14 April 1928, launched its first route, choosing a blue livery. Culver CityBus was founded in 4 March 1928, making it the second oldest municipal bus line in California and the oldest public transit bus system still operating in Los Angeles County. San Francisco Municipal Railway began streetcar service 28 December 1912. Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines kept its base fare at 10 cents for a long time; the Santa Monica bus connected with the Los Angeles Railway streetcars at Pico and Rimpau Boulevards in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles. That historic terminus point has become an important transit center in Los Angeles because it is the point where thousands of bus riders along Pico Boulevard must transfer to continue their trips eastward to Downtown Los Angeles or westward to the Westside.
The Big Blue Bus is considered one of the best bus services in the Los Angeles area. The system won the American Public Transportation Association’s Outstanding Transportation System award in 1987, 1992, 1997, 2000 and 2011; the Big Blue Bus did not raise its regular fare above 50 cents until 2002. In contrast, most public bus lines in California were charging fares of a dollar or more well before 2000. There was no monthly pass until August 2010 except for the EZ Pass, unlike other EZ Pass agencies, Metrolink fare media are not accepted. However, allowing for the inevitability of traffic delays on weekday afternoons, the Big Blue Bus system provides frequent and convenient service to most neighborhoods in its service area. Many routes serve UCLA; the Big Blue Bus was one of the last transit agencies using the GMC New Look buses. Big Blue Bus received the last New Looks built; the last one built, #5180, was driven off the property in May 2013 after being donated to the Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, which preserves the bus.
It was the first transit agency in the State of California to use the Grumman-Flxible Model 870 advanced design transit buses equipped with Lift-U wheelchair lifts beginning in 1978, the third customer after Atlanta's MARTA, the Connecticut's Department of Transportation's CT Transit's order of these buses. These buses never experienced the same chronic structural problems that plagued these early vehicles that were sold to other transit agencies; these were the first production buses built with wheelchair lifts before ADA became law of the land in 1990. For 20 years until December 1999 Santa Monica Bank ran a series of humorous ads on the back of the buses. Examples include "wrinkled is beautiful. In large denominations", "Go invest, young man", "Was it his eyes? His lips? His jumbo CD?" and "After 20 years on the bus, we've reached our stop". The campaign ended as the bank was absorbed by U. S. Bank; the system was started by former Brentwood resident Rudolph F. Brunner, who sold the system thinking it wouldn't amount to any more than a few dollars a week.
On November 20, 2012, a Big Blue Bus turned left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, which resulted in the 25-year-old man's death. The accident occurred at 10:33 a.m. at the triangular intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Marquez in the Pacific Palisades. Only buses are allowed to make the left turn, a maneuver, determined to be too dangerous for other vehicles. On June 7, 2013, Bus 4057 of Big Blue Bus was among several vehicles fired at during a thirteen-minute killing spree that left six people dead, including the gunman, four others wounded. Three women suffered minor injuries aboard the bus, one from shrapnel-type injuries and the other two from injuries unrelated to the gunfire. Two dozen people were inside the bus at the time of the shooting; the attack on Bus 4057 marked the first time a Big Blue Bus came under attack by a gunman in its 85-year service. Big Blue Bus operates 14 local routes, 3 Rapid routes, 1 express route in Los Angeles County; the most famous Big Blue Bus is the one rigged with a bomb in 1994's hit movie Speed.
Driving through Los Angeles at rush hour, the bus has to keep its speed over 50 mph or the bomb on the bus will detonate. Two humorous slogans Santa Monica Bank used on Big Blue Buses appeared in the film; the bus operator in the movie is called the Santa Monica Intercity Bus Lines, a fictionalized version of the Big Blue Bus's official name, the Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines. More tellingly, the bus in the film is a General Motors "New Look" bus, introduced in 1959 but kept in prominent and active service by Santa Monica until early 2005, long after most other American cities had retired the retro-looking bus. In another effort to differentiate the movie's bus from any real-world bus, the headsigns on the Speed bus display: 33 DOWNTOWN | VIA FREEWAYHowever, number 33 buses are operated by Metro, not Big Blue, run on Venice Boulevard, not the Santa Monica Freeway; the closest thing to the movie bus's routing is Santa Monica's number 10 express route. The bus number was 2525, not within any equipment number range operated by the real company at that time.
It should be noted that at the time the movie was released, Santa Monica's GM New Look fleet were the Canadian-built versions with wheelchair lifts.
Anaheim Resort Transportation
Anaheim Resort Transportation, established in 1998 as the Anaheim Transportation Network and known as Anaheim Resort Transit, is a mass transportation provider in the Anaheim Resort area and its environs in Orange County, United States. ART uses a fleet of vehicles, including tourist trolleys, to provide access to hotels and tourist-related enterprises, which are the main destinations connected by the system. In 2005, Citizens Against Government Waste criticized an earmark for ART from the United States Congress as wasteful spending. In 2010, Disney contracted with ART to run shuttles from a Disney-owned parking lot to the Disneyland Resort. ART is owned by the Anaheim Transportation Network, a quasi-government agency organized as a nonprofit corporation, its board of directors is made up of representatives from hotels, local government, tourist attractions, other businesses in the Anaheim Resort and Platinum Triangle. Diana Kotler is the executive director of the organization; as of 2015, ART operates 21 fixed routes with stops in Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Anaheim.
Orange County Transportation Authority Official website