February 16, 2009
Authorization and Stimulus Funding--Front and Center at APTA Legislative Conference
This year is the most important in history for the future of public transportation—with both the stimulus package providing for transit-related funding and the upcoming authorization affecting the next six years of public transit.
How will the forthcoming surface transit authorization bill affect your agency? Can you affect it first, before it becomes law? Who are the Congressional staffers you should know? What are some key tips on how best to share your transit stories?
To find the answers to these questions and many more, make plans now to attend the 2009 APTA Legislative Conference, March 8-11 at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC.
Because of the significance of these two measures, APTA member participation is not only critical—it is central.
This year’s conference will feature opportunities for participants to submit funding requests for Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations to their Congressional representatives. The program also includes key legislative and other committee meetings where attendees can ensure that their views are part of APTA’s legislative agenda. And as in past years, the schedule includes time for visits to Capitol Hill.
In addition, attendees will learn how potential changes in transit and transportation programs may affect systems and transit-related businesses, and will hear speakers discuss developing federal initiatives on climate change and high-speed intercity passenger rail. The Federal Transit Administration will hold a workshop on the New Starts and Small Starts programs, and as Passenger Transport went to press there were plans for a workshop on how systems can use the forthcoming economic stimulus funding.
Norman Ornstein, a commentator and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, will address the afternoon session on Sunday, March 8. Ornstein, who writes “Congress Inside Out,” a weekly column for Roll Call, has also written for such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
This year’s schedule includes a reception at the National Building Museum, which features the Green Community exhibit sponsored by APTA, and a performance by The Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group.
Take note: This will be the last major Washington meeting before the current SAFETEA-LU expires in September, which makes this a crucial time for public transit professionals to make their voices heard on the upcoming authorization and FY 2010 appropriations funding. Participants will also have the opportunity to network with a number of members of Congress and Congressional staffers who are expected to provide the latest information on future legislative actions.
More information on the APTA Legislative Conference is available here, under the “Conferences & Calendar” section.