Making Solid Progress

The entire commuter industry has been tirelessly working to develop, test, install, and customize PTC for every single system. To ensure timely completion of the PTC milestones, the commuter railroads are meeting regularly with the Federal Railroad Administration individually and collectively. We have committed billions of dollars and countless hours to getting it done and we are making solid and continuous progress to meet the congressional milestones:  installing PTC by December 31, 2018 and implementing it by December 31, 2020.


We are proud to report that the commuter rail industry is making good progress toward achieving installation milestones. According to the most recent data (as of June 30, 2018) the following industry progress is as follows:

Safety is a national priority that requires the resources and focus from every stakeholder.


One reason that the commuter rail industry has made good progress is because the agencies have had opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other.


In recent months and years, APTA has have brought the commuter rail industry together. We have formed user groups for different types of PTC technology and convened regular meetings for each group. PTC sessions have been available at APTA conferences. In addition, APTA has hosted PTC summits with FRA and congressional staff, representatives from all commuter railroads (even those who are not members), and freight railroads.

A transponder is installed on the Cynwyd Line (SEPTA,

Spotlight on Commuter Rail

Northeast Illinois

Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in northeastern Illinois. The agency provides service to and from downtown Chicago with 242 stations over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles and approximately 1,200 miles of track. Metra operates nearly 700 weekday trains, providing nearly 290,000 passenger trips each weekday.

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Southern California

Metrolink has been providing rail transportation to Southern California since 1992. Nearly 12 million passenger trips are taken on Metrolink trains each year on seven routes across a six-county, 538 route-mile network, which includes a portion of northern San Diego County. As a facet of their continuous efforts to adapt and innovate with technology to provide the safest possible form of surface transportation available, Metrolink began implementing and planning to integrate Positive Train Control – known as PTC – on all their tracks in 2008.

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Philadelphia, PA

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is the sixth largest public transportation system in the nation, providing 1.1 million daily passenger trips on a multimodal network that spans 2,200 square miles in Philadelphia and the four surrounding counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, as well as Trenton and West Trenton, New Jersey and Wilmington and Newark, Delaware.  SEPTA’s Regional Rail (commuter rail) system consists of a radial network of 13 rail lines and 155 stations that provide service to and from Center City Philadelphia.  SEPTA operates 770 weekday Regional Rail trains over 474 track miles.  Annual Regional Rail ridership has increased more than 50 percent in the past 20 years.

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