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D.C. Metro Escalator Availability Hits Five-Year Peak

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) 588 escalators are in better working order than they have been in five years, authority officials said, at-tributing the changes to the “Metro Forward” rehabilita-tion project started two years ago.  More than nine out of 10 WMATA escalators were in service during the second quarter of 2013, WMATA reported, adding that 89 escala-tors have been rehabilitated — a process that includes motor, step, control system, handrail and drive-chain re-placement — since 2011. Over the past several months, WMATA’s plans included full replacement of another 128 escalators. “Metro has taken a number of steps to im-prove the safety and reliability of its escalator fleet, which is the largest of any transit agency in North America and includes the longest escalators in the Western Hemi-sphere,” the authority stated.

Hawaii Launches Online Elevator Permit, Fee Service

Hawaii has brought its elevator permit application and fee payment system online, part of an overall effort to “provide more convenience to the public and to transform the way government operates,” Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations Director Dwight Takamine said in August. Like similar applications Hawaii has im-plemented, the elevator service was developed and will be managed by a public/private partnership between the state of Hawaii and Hawaii Information Consortium LLC. To use the application, visit website: hiosh.ehawaii.gov/hip.

Patco Awards Contract To  Fujitec America

The board of PATCO, the beleaguered high-speed com-muter rail service between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden County, New Jersey, awarded a US$1.39-million, three-year maintenance contract to Fujitec America Inc. of Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania, in September. The board had previously approved US$50,000 in emergency repair funds after it let its maintenance contract with Otis expire in July, when it also approved a US$15-million overhaul that includes eight elevators (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2013). PATCO’s elevators and escalators have a notoriously low service rating, and the line is in the midst of a federal investigation into whether it violated any handicapped-access laws.

Day Now Supplying Cambridge Lifts

 DAY Elevator and Lift Inc. announced it is now a sup-plier of Cambridge Elevating Inc.’s custom accessibility products. Serving homeowners, architects and builders in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, DAY is headquar-tered in West Hempstead, New York. Cambridge is based in Cambridge, Canada. Cambridge products include cus-tomizable residential lifts; commercial lifts for schools, churches, libraries and multifamily housing; and weather-resistant, battery-powered deck lifts. “These products fea-ture the latest in technology and design and offer various cab configurations,” DAY noted.

Kone Acquires Denver-Based Advanced Elevator

KONE has acquired Denver-based Advanced Elevator Corp., an independent company established in 2002 by husband and wife Frank and Chris McTarsney. KONE’s Executive Vice President and Area Director for the Ameri-cas Larry Wash said Advanced will be integrated into KONE over the next few months. According to KONE, Frank McTarsney will join the company “in a key role.”

Eklund’s Executive Resigns

Randy Richenberger has announced his resignation from Eklund’s, Inc. Richenberger has been vice president of Business Development and Marketing for the company for more than 10 years. He will pursue an executive role with a laminate component manufacturing company, where he will work alongside his son. Eklund’s President Beth Cunningham said of Richenberger, “We are sad to see [him] go. . . but we are happy for the new opportunity he’s been presented with. We wish him the best in his new endeavor! Upon Randy’s departure, there will be no disruption to our customers.”

Schindler Gets Hudson Yards South Tower

Schindler has been awarded what it calls “a multimil-lion-dollar contract” by Related Cos. to provide and install 32 elevators and four escalators at Hudson Yards South Tower. The 52-story, 1.7-million-sq.-ft. office tower is to reside at the 26-acre site planned for a new business dis-trict in Manhattan, New York’s “New West Side” (ELEVA-TOR WORLD, October 2012). “The Hudson Yards project is the future of New York City, and we are proud to be a part of this transformational venture,” commented Greg Er-genbright, Schindler president.

Twenty-seven of the units will be energy-efficient Schindler 7000 custom passenger elevators equipped with the company’s Personal Occupant Requirement Ter-minal (PORT) destination-dispatching system. In this in-stallation, PORT will allow occupants to use preprogrammed access cards to generate an automatic elevator assignment, allowing advanced access control and cus-tomized mobility throughout the building. The system of-fers a building security system integrated with elevator access control at every floor.

Schindler 7000 elevators use permanent-magnet mo-tors with Power Factor 1 drives that reduce energy con-sumption by up to 35% compared to that of standard drives and regenerate energy back into the building’s electrical system. They also generate less heat, providing additional savings through reduced machine-room cooling requirements. In addition to en-ergy-saving features built into the PORT installation, these drives aid the expectation that the tower will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmen-tal Design Gold certification upon its completion in 2015.

Federal Agency Investigates Home Elevator Safety

A federal agency has launched an investigation into home elevators based on estimates that approximately 1,600 injuries reported by hospital emergency rooms in 2011 and 2012 in-volved the machines, found in some single-family homes and many apart-ment complexes. In a statement issued August 27, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it launched the inquiry after it received reports of “chil-dren becoming entrapped in the gap of residential elevators, tragically leading to fatalities and serious injuries.” How-ever, in a later interview, agency spokesman Scott Wolfson told the nonprofit publication fairwarning.org he did not know how many of the 1,600 reported injuries involved children, how severe the reported injuries were or whether there had been one or mul-tiple fatalities.

Texas Tower Developer Wants City To Invest

Citing tax-revenue generation, the developer of the proposed Energy Tower in Midland, Texas, wants the city to kick in US$75 million on its US$475-million, 56-story skyscraper, worldarchitecturenews.com reports. The request was made on August 20 during a public meeting about the mixed-use tower. William Meyer, president of develop-ment firm Energy Related properties, maintains the proj-ect will generate “hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.” Meyer said the US$75 million would be used to construct a five-floor underground parking facility. Energy Tower would include 555,768 sq. ft. of office space and sky lobbies, 132 residential units, a 200-room hotel, 67,387 sq. ft. of retail space, movie theaters and a ball-room/convention center for 5,000 people.

NYC Tech Firm Hits Elevator Compliance-Tracking Milestone

New York City (NYC)-based technology provider Site-Compli announced in August that, thanks to its Elevator Edition software, it now tracks complaints, violations, in-spections and applications for approximately 70% of the city’s elevators, or 40,000 units. According to SiteCompli, “elevator violations represent the vast majority of all [NYC] Department of Building violations issued in a given year, and fines have increased exponentially. . . .” The company’s software is marketed to property owners and managers to help them comply with department regula-tions and vertical-transportation codes.

Maxton Releases Tasks And Procedures Document

Maxton Manufacturing Co. has compiled its elevator control valve maintenance tasks and procedures into a single document that may be accessed online at website: maxtonvalve.com. “As states, municipalities and govern-ing bodies begin to adopt more and more of the latest el-evator codes, including a [Maintenance Control Program] for each elevator, manufacturers will need to provide written product-specific maintenance direction,” Maxton stated. Based in Minden, Nevada, Maxton produces ele-vator control valves for OEMs, as well as for new con-struction, modernization and replacement/repair proj-ects.

Emergency Patco Escalator/Elevator Repairs Approved

The board of PATCO, the high-speed commuter rail line between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden County, New Jersey, approved US$50,000 in emergency funds in August to repair the system’s elevators and escalators, many of which are out of service, philly.com reported. The move came after PATCO staff let the system’s mainte-nance contract with Otis lapse in July, and on the heels of approving a US$15-million, eight-elevator overhaul that will be in place by 2017 (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2013). There are 13 stations within the system; in mid Au-gust, units at seven of them were broken. PATCO is likely to contract with Otis for the emergency repairs.

New Lerch Bates Las Vegas Office, Manager

Lerch Bates Inc. announced in August it had opened a new office in Las Vegas and hired industry veteran Ken Dietz as project manager for the  region. The new office increases the total number of domestic Lerch Bates offices to 20. Internationally, the number rises to 32. Dietz manages vertical-transportation-system studies, performs maintenance evaluations, designs and oversees construction services for vertical-transportation equip-ment and supports design and construction services for façade access and materials-management handling sys-tems. He has served as a vertical-transportation project manager on several Las Vegas projects, including City-Center, McCarran Airport Terminal 3 and The Linq. 

Lerch Bates President and CEO Bart Stephan remarked that Deitz “was an obvious choice for joining our excep-tional team of product managers around the world and for launching a new office. We greatly welcome the ex-pertise he brings to our firm.”

Dietz has more than 13 years of experience in the  vertical-transportation industry, including a position with Otis and as a project manager for various modernization and construction projects in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Dietz earned a BA from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, and a JD from Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Elevator Systems Moves

Elevator Systems Inc., which has been celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, moved to a new, 21,000-sq.-ft. facility in October. Its new address is 465 Endo Boulevard, Garden City, New York 11530. Other contact information remains the same at phone: (516) 239-4044, fax: (516) 239-5793 and e-mail: info@elevatorsystems.com.

Naesa Receives Ansi Accreditation

Tumwater, Washington-based NAESA International received formal notification of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation in September. The ANSI Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee approved its assessors’ recommendation to grant NAESA accreditation under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024:2003 for QEIs.

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