Downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland Rapid Bus Route Urged

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Backers of a proposed Bus Rapid Transit corridor connecting Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland have adopted an ambitious timetable to advance the project.

Wendy Stern, Port Authority assistant general manager for planning and development, told a board committee recently that project supporters hope to apply for federal funding next fall. That would require completion of preliminary engineering and environmental review before then, and securing all of the non-federal funding needed for construction.

That would keep the project on track for a start of service in 2017.

A preliminary estimate of the overall cost is $200 million and the project would have to prevail in a highly competitive federal grant program to move ahead, Ms. Stern said. A federal grant likely would cover only 50 percent of the cost.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/12/02/Port-Authority-pushes-Downtown-Oakland-rapid-yyy-Downtown-to-Oakland-rapid-bus-route-urged/stories/201312020059#ixzz2mL8hxINw

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Cocalico Police Go Regional

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The process of establishing a Cocalico-area regional police force got underway officially on Nov. 26 when the East Cocalico Police Board held its organizational meeting.

The nine-member board — two representatives each from East and West Cocalico townships and Denver and Adamstown boroughs, plus one member-at-large — met in the East Cocalico Township municipal building.

The four municipalities agreed to regionalize over cost concerns regarding their current coverage, which is provided by East Cocalico Township.

West Cocalico, Adamstown and Denver were considering dropping East Cocalico’s police coverage. All had sought bids from Northern Lancaster County Regional Police, which is headquartered in Clay Township.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/926265_Cocalico-police-go-regional.html#ixzz2mL1NFZQy

Long-Planned Scranton Transit Center Makes Progress

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The transportation hub planned for downtown Scranton is making solid progress after years of delays and false starts.

The County of Lackawanna Transit System has received the go-ahead from the Federal Transit Administration to open negotiations for the acquisition of two properties needed as part of the $12.6 million intermodal transit center project, COLTS Executive Director Robert Fiume said.

In addition, the project design by Sowinski Sullivan Architects, Sparta, N.J., is 60 percent complete.

“Should things stay on track – and I don’t even know if I want to say this – but if they stay on track, it looks like we can break ground in April or May,” Mr. Fiume said.

His hesitation is understandable, given the project’s history.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/long-planned-transit-center-makes-progress-1.1593946

Strong ‘Turnout’ Expected For Cyber Monday

As interest in Black Friday shopping wanes among consumers, Cyber Monday is still expected to attract holiday deal hunters.

If Black Friday was too busy or too cold, shopping from home is a option being embraced by more people every year.

Anthony Liuzzo, Ph.D., professor of business and economics at Wilkes University, said even while holiday shopping tends to be blending together and retailers and e-tailers try to capture shoppers earlier, Cyber Monday will continue as a event – albeit a virtual one.

“Cyber Monday will hold up,” he said. “When people get back the office on Monday and get to their computers, they will be shopping.”

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/strong-turnout-expected-for-cyber-monday-1.1593893

Governor: 4 Dead, 63 Hurt In NYC Train Derailment

Map of New York Highlighting New York City

Map of New York Highlighting New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW YORK — A Metro-North train derailed on a curved section of track in the Bronx on Sunday morning, coming to rest just inches from the water and leaving four people dead and 63 injured, authorities said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the deaths at a news conference at the site of the crash near the Spuyten Duyvil station. He said authorities believe everyone at the site has been accounted for and that the National Transportation Safety Board is en route.

Eleven people are believed to be in critical condition, authorities said. The train operator was among the injured, Cuomo said.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the big curve where the derailment occurred is in a slow speed area. The black box should be able to tell how fast the train was traveling, Anders said.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/news/1023495/Governor:-4-dead-63-hurt-in-NYC-train-derailment

US Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 2½ Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. manufacturing grew in November at the fastest pace in 2½ years as factories ramped up production, stepped up hiring and received orders at a healthy clip.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its index of manufacturing activity rose to 57.3. That was up from 56.4 in October and was the highest since April 2011. A reading above 50 signals growth.

One component of the index, a measure of hiring, rose to its highest level in nearly 18 months. And a gauge of export orders reached its highest level in nearly two years. Overseas demand is benefiting from modest recoveries in Europe, Japan and China.

Manufacturing activity has now expanded for six straight months after hitting a rough patch in the spring. The steady gains suggest that growth is remaining healthy in the current October-December quarter.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20131202_ap_4978c48d3b504648b48b0acc2f267984.html#flx0Btf732s7obLS.99