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Valley Metro Rail's board recently voted to extend Alternate Concepts Inc.'s (ACI) contract to manage light-rail service in metro Phoenix through Dec. 31, 2016. Over the next two years, ACI will work with Valley Metro to expand and enhance service. Plans include opening the Central Mesa light-rail system extension in 2015 and launching service on the Northwest Phoenix light-rail extension in 2016. ACI also will play a vital role in activities leading up to the Super Bowl that's scheduled to occur in Phoenix in February 2015, according to a press release. ACI has provided transportation services to Valley Metro since 2008. The firm initially won a five-year contract, which has been extended three times since 2012.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced an expanded pilot test of beacon technology in partnership with Titan. A secure, closed network of Gimbal Bluetooth Smart beacons will be installed at some rail stations throughout Chicago, where Titan manages rail media and bus assets. The test will enable the CTA and Titan to better understand how technology can be used in stations to help improve communication with riders, increase consumer engagement, and generate benefits from a way-finding, informational and brand perspective, according to a press release.Elecnor, in a joint venture with Cobra, has been shortlisted for the Peninsula Corridor Electrification project, a key component of Caltrain's modernization program. The project calls for installing new electrical infrastructure and replacing diesel-hauled trains with electrical multiple units for commuter-rail services between the Fourth and King Street Station in San Francisco and the Tamien Station in San Jose. This new system will be prepared for future use as high-speed rail infrastructure.Vossloh AG has named Christian Gerhardus head of corporate communications, investor relations and marketing, starting in 2015. He will succeed Lucia Mathee, who has held the position of investor relations since 2007 and additionally led corporate communications as a freelance consultant since 2011. The company has decided to bundle all three communication areas within one function and to relocate the position to the corporate headquarters in Werdohl, Germany, according to a Vossloh press release. Hatch Mott MacDonald announced Ray Akkawi and Vince Alvino joined the company as senior project manager and senior project controls and technology services manager, respectively. Both will be based in firm's office in Pleasanton, Calif. Akkawi has 17 years of experience with the California Department of Transportation, five years with the Alameda County Transportation Commission and three years as a consulting engineer. Alvino has 20 years of experience as a project controls and technology management consultant, and five years working with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and Bay Area Rapid Transit.Auto Truck Group recently hired Joe Foster as Midwest national sales manager and Jesse Hopperstad, as national sales manager for the western region. In addition, Auto Truck veteran Bill Carey has been promoted to national strategic account manager and Lisa Morales will continue to serve as Northeast national sales manager.