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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York's MTA, San Diego's NCTD land 'green' TIGGER grants


The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently received $2 million through the federal Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program to install 350 wireless control points linked to third-rail heaters.

The TIGGER program funds projects designed to reduce a transit system's greenhouse-gas emissions or decrease energy usage. Proceeds will cover a portion of labor costs for the $8.3 million project, which will enable MTA New York City Transit to remotely monitor and control third-rail heaters from a central location. The devices will reduce energy consumption and save $1.6 million annually, MTA said.

To prevent icing of ground-level exposed third rail in the subway system, NYCT currently activates about 1,000 heaters manually in fall. Heaters then continue to operate throughout the fall, winter and early spring, regardless of whether ice forms. NYCT expects to install the wireless control points by January 2012.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s North County Transit District (NCTD) received a $2 million TIGGER grant to install solar-power generation devices throughout its service area. The agency, which operates the COASTER commuter-rail and SPRINTER light-rail systems, plans to demonstrate the feasibility of deploying solar technology.

NCTD will install rooftop solar panels at maintenance and administrative facilities. In addition, parking spaces at select transit centers will provide solar-powered charging units for plug-in vehicles, and solar carports will be installed at some parking lots to provide power and shade.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/12/2009