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Rail News: Security

Coronavirus update: APTA cancels rail events

Pictured, attendees at APTA's Rail Conference in 2019.
Photo – APTA


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) earlier this week canceled its Rail Conference and International Rail Rodeo for 2020, as transit-rail agencies deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their operations.

The events were scheduled to be held June 14-17 and June 11-14, respectively, in San Francisco.

“The cities and transit agencies that had hoped to host these events are busy managing the effects of the pandemic,” said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Skoutelas in a March 26 letter to association members. 

APTA Rail is a technical conference featuring sessions on operations, maintenance, safety and security, planning, finance, capital projects and workforce development for commuter, high-speed and intercity railroads. 

The International Rail Rodeo is a rail operator and maintenance skills competition.

APTA officials will consider delivering the content planned for the events through virtual presentations, or by expanding the association’s TRANSform Conference and EXPO in October, Skoutelas said.

Meanwhile, U.S. and Canadian passenger-rail agencies continued to announce service adjustments in response to the pandemic. Following are the latest announcements:
• Amtrak is no longer accepting cash fare payments on the Capitol Corridor in California.
• Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will operate significantly reduced rail service on March 28 and March 29, providing only twice-hourly service.
• Caltrain on March 30 will further reduce weekday train service.
• Port Authority Transit Corp. tomorrow will temporarily close four trains stations and one station entrance in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
• Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority on March 29 will make additional reductions to its regional rail service based on a 94 percent ridership decline recorded this week.
• Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) will reduce rail service during peak periods by 20 percent on the Orange and Green lines starting March 30. STM has recorded an 80 percent drop in ridership since the coronavirus outbreak.
• Dallas Area Rapid Transit today temporality closed the indoor waiting areas at all transit centers.