March 16, 2009
|LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE COVERAGE
Board of Directors Convenes March 8
Rail Financing Agenda Passes
At its meeting March 8, the APTA Board of Directors approved a four-point advocacy agenda for the finance of intercity and high-speed rail, including:
* Full funding for the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008;
* Tax-credit bonds;
* Revenues generated through climate strategies, such as cap-and-trade mechanisms and carbon taxes; and
* Additional funding opportunities, which could include public-private partnership options and private activity tax-exempt bonds.
Authorization Recommendation Amended, Approved
The board also approved an amendment of APTA’s authorization recommendation, which reads as follows:
“To more equitably reflect the needs of rapidly growing communities, densely populated communities, and others, the APTA Board of Directors amends APTA’s authorization recommendation to advocate modification or elimination of the distribution formula under the Section 5340 program.”
New Vice Chair-State Affairs
Also at the meeting, the board appointed Loren “Ben” Herr, executive director of the Texas Transit Association (TTA), as the new APTA vice chair-state affairs. He succeeds Matthew Tucker, who stepped down as director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation to become executive director of the North County Transit District in Oceanside, CA.
Before joining TTA in 2005, Herr worked in the Public Transportation Division of Texas DOT. Earlier, he was a project manager/department manager for the U.S. Army at Fort Hood, TX, and an executive officer for United States Forces in Seoul, Korea.
Herr’s term ends at the APTA Annual Meeting in October.