APTA | Passenger Transport
January 19, 2009

In This Issue


Stimulus Package Unveiled

The $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, released yesterday by House Democrats, includes $9 billion for public transportation projects and $1.1 billion for Amtrak and high speed rail ready-to-go projects. [More]

Financing Commission Previews Funding Options

What does the future hold for funding transportation infrastructure?
This was at the heart of a presentation by commissioners from the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, held Jan. 11 as part of the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. [More]

Transit: Pivotal to Energy, Environment, InfrastructureNew York MTA Committee Releases Sustainability Report
By Susan Berlin
Senior Editor

Infrastructure renewal and expansion, climate change, and energy policy are three critical issues facing the U.S. and its metropolitan areas, and public transportation stands in the “sweet spot” where they overlap.

Rulemaking: What Can You Expect?
By James LaRusch
APTA Chief Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Affairs

A few weeks back, Passenger Transport published an article highlighting proposed rules at various stages of the regulatory process that were unlikely to be completed during the outgoing administration. What else might be looming on the regulatory front? [More]

New Directions for Public Transit in 2009

With a new Congress and president, a dire economic forecast, and mounting concerns about climate change, 2009 looks to be a challenging year—and public transportation professionals are taking a realistic yet wide-ranging approach to their role in it. [More]


Presidentís Perspective/Looking Ahead: A Year of Promise
By William W. Millar

As I think about what lies ahead for 2009, I’m reminded of the words of the great philosopher, Yogi Berra, who said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Anyway, here are my few thoughts on what is taking shape for the public transportation industry at the federal level.


2009: A Year of Opportunities for Public Transportation
By Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D.
Chair, APTA
General Manager/CEO
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

Happy New Year! I say those words with a deeper sincerity this year than in years past. After the devastating hardship of last year’s economic downturn, I genuinely feel great anticipation and excitement with the arrival of 2009 that I have not felt in a long time over the arrival of a new year. [More]

Dealing with Growing Ridership Despite Tough Economic Times
By Paul Ballard
APTA Bus & Paratransit CEOs Committee
Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and Regional Transportation Authority

Last year may have been our country’s toughest economic time since the Great Depression, but for public transit, the new customers kept coming. [More]

Despite Financial Woes, Keep Building...The Public Transit Customers Will Come!
By Joyce Eleanor
APTA Vice Chair, Bus & Paratransit Operations
Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA

Like many public transit agencies around the country, my own mid-size bus and vanpool operation in northwest Washington State faced serious budget challenges heading into 2009. [More]

Trump the Slump! Top 10 Steps to Fight Back
By Aaron Weinstein
APTA Marketing and Communications Committee
Department Manager, Marketing and Research
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District

OK, financial support is down 15 percent and you have 20 percent more riders to accommodate. If you’re a public transit manager facing this kind of scenario, you’re not alone. [More]

Getting into the Race on Procurement Issues
By Michael P. Melaniphy
APTA BMBG Procurement Committee
Vice President Public Sector
Motor Coach Industries Inc.
Schaumburg, IL

In auto racing, when the cars approach the starting line, the crew chiefs will usually call over the radio and tell the driver to “Tighten your belts, it’s time to go racing.”  As we begin 2009, that seems like pretty good advice for those of us in the public transportation industry as well.  [More]

Paratransit: Providing Accessible Transit for All
By Tammy Haenftling
Chair, APTA Access Committee
Assistant Vice President, Paratransit Management Services
Dallas Area Rapid Transit

I wasn’t supposed to be here. My dream and goal when I graduated high school was to be an executive secretary, or even a personal assistant to a well-known rock star (Stevie Nicks). That’s what I was born to do. That’s what I trained to do. [More]

Moving Transit Ahead to an Even Better Future
By Jonathan McDonald, PE
Chair, APTA Research & Technology Committee
Principal-Managing Leader
San Francisco, CA

Last year will always be remembered as the year that the “old” economy crashed. While it is too early to tell, 2009 is certainly shaping up to be the year the “phoenix of the new economy” rose up out of the ashes.  [More]

Human Resources Supports Workforce Development
By Mary Ann Collier
Chair, APTA Human Resources Committee
Director of Human Resources
San Joaquin Regional Transit District
Stockton, CA

At long last, the human resources field has become a more integral part of the strategic business management of many organizations, including some transit agencies. HR professionals have provided leadership to aid in this achievement. However, several external forces and circumstances have added impetus as well. [More]

Together We Care: For Customers, Each Other, and the Planet
By Greg Cook
Chair, APTA ITS Public Transportation Forum
Director of Transportation
Veolia Transportation
Las Vegas, NV

Moving ahead in 2009 is a welcome challenge in Las Vegas. As the director of transportation for Veolia Transportation and contracted by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), I have just witnessed a year completed with the highest ridership in the system’s history: more than 64 million passenger trips. [More]

Public Transportation Business Opportunities
By Jeffrey Wharton
Chair, APTA BMBG Business Development Committee
Executive Vice President/GM
IMPulse NC, Inc.
Mount Olive, NC

The strain our industry is facing as a result of the current economic conditions is certainly cause for concern. However, this is also a time to be bold, visionary, and proactive. As chair of the APTA Business Member Board of Governors Business Development Committee and the International Subcommittee, I see great opportunities through business development, ingenuity, and technology. [More]

Procurement Committee Goals for 2009
By Lisa DeGrace
APTA Procurement and Materials Management Committee
Director, Contracts, Procurement and Material
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority

The vision of the APTA Procurement and Materials Management Committee (PMMC) for 2009 is to increase participation and provide guidance and training to the transit industry regarding procurement, material management, and diversity. [More]

Safety Culture: The Essential Foundation
By John O'Grady
APTA Rail Safety Committee
Chief Safety Officer
Toronto Transit Commission

Over the past two years, the term “safety culture” has crept into the transit vocabulary. APTA conferences in Toronto, San Francisco, and San Diego have each featured sessions in which member agencies and the Federal Railroad Administration have emphasized the need to work on our corporate culture. Why the emphasis on such a soft topic?

A Perspective on Changing Times for Public Transit
By Gene Walker
APTA Bus Technical Maintenance Committee
Maintenance Manager
Golden Gate Transit
San Francisco, CA

As we enter 2009, the public transit industry will face the usual gamut of local concerns. With the current economic recession, we will also face some new and unforeseen challenges.


Transit Professionals Make a Commitment to Sustainability
By Rich Weaver
APTA Senior Program Manager-Planning and Programs

January 2009 marks the launch of the one-year pilot phase of APTA’s Sustainability Commitment.

Marketing Workshop Is Feb. 22-25

The 2009 APTA Marketing & Communications Workshop, Feb. 22 to 25 at the Hilton Financial District in San Francisco, will consider a number of timely and important topics for transit marketing and communications professionals. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District is the conference host system. [More]

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