APTA | Passenger Transport
April 13, 2009

In This Issue

2009 APTA - TRB Light Rail Conference Issue


Rogoff Nominated as FTA Administrator

On Wednesday, April 8, President Barack Obama nominated Peter M. Rogoff to be the Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration.  In introducing the day’s nominees, President Obama said: “At this crucial moment in our nation’s history, the American people will be well-served by the dedication and expertise of these fine public servants. I am grateful for their decision to serve, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Putting Recovery Funds to Work

This story is part of an ongoing series in Passenger Transport highlighting how public transportation systems are spending funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The stories will examine the variety of ARRA-funded projects that will both help stimulate the economy through job creation and enhance public transportation in communities across the country.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) plans to spend nearly $202 million in ARRA funding on 29 projects that include fixing crumbling platforms, repairing tracks, and buying new vehicles. WMATA plans to begin with a contract for the purchase of about 45 new hybrid-electric buses. [More]

What’s New at FTA’s ARRA Web Site? Presidential Memo, TIGGER Calculator

In its continuing practice of providing updated information and guidance on ARRA-related information on its web site, the Federal Transit Administration’s has posted a memorandum from President Barack Obama titled “Ensuring Responsible Spending of Recovery Act Funds,” and sent to the heads of all U.S. Executive Departments and Agencies.  The memo first appeared in the March 20 Federal Register. [More]

DHS Announces $389 Million in Transit Preparedness Grants

 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency announced $388.6 million in Fiscal Year 2009 allocations for the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) on April 8. This amount is part of nearly $970 million allocated for 10 federal grant programs, which will go to assist state, local, and tribal governments and private industry for efforts to strengthen community preparedness. [More]


Designing the New APTA Strategic Plan, 2010-2014
BY W. STEVE LEE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Collaborative Strategies Group, LLC, Washington, DC

An effective strategic planning process needs leadership.

At its November 2008 retreat, APTA’s Executive Committee created a steering committee to launch its strategic planning process for 2010-2014. The strategic plan will be a road map to lead APTA from where it is now to where it needs to be in five years, establishing the association’s priorities so that it can better serve the needs of its members and staff, as well as to guide APTA in the rapidly shifting economic, political, and social environment. [More]


Partnerships That Save a Community: Universities and Public Transportation
By DR. JILL HOUGH, Director, Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

Thousands of college students and area residents, hundreds of city officials and staff members, and dozens of buses and drivers coming together to save a city have helped redefine the word “community” for me in a way that I will never forget. [More]


Los Angeles Metro Expanding Light Rail to Both East and West
Special to Passenger Transport

Los Angeles has seen its network of light rail systems expand, and more growth is coming as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), host system for the APTA/TRB Joint Light Rail Conference, embarks on a number of transportation improvement projects. [More]

DART Rail: Transforming North Texas by the Numbers
By GARY THOMAS, President/Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and APTA Vice Chair-Rail Transit

The numbers are daunting. For the second year in a row, the region that is home to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has added more people–147,000–than any other metro area of the United States. [More]

Streetcars: Bringing an Old Technology Up to Date
By JACK W. BOORSE, P.E., Principal Professional Associate, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Philadelphia, PA

Although streetcar systems are not exactly a new technology, the resurgence of interest in them represents the latest hot topic in the rail transit world. Their growth could happen even faster, however, if the industry updates its design standards and local regulations to reflect modern needs. [More]

Kawasaki Introduces Innovative Self-Contained Light Rail Vehicle

Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. made its first mark in the U.S. light rail vehicle (LRV) market in the early 1980s, when it supplied 141 LRVs to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia. Since then, Kawasaki has provided thousands of high tech rail vehicles to major U.S. transportation systems from its factories in Yonkers, NY, and Lincoln, NE. [More]

UTA Makes Progress on FrontLines 2015 Construction; Project Includes 25 New Miles of TRAX Light Rail
Special to Passenger Transport

During the past year, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in Salt Lake City has made significant progress on building its $2.8 billion FrontLines 2015 project, featuring 70 miles of rail lines. The project includes four TRAX light rail lines totaling 25 miles and one 45-mile FrontRunner commuter rail line. [More]

Cities of the Future Adopt Regional Light Rail, See Their Transit Systems Blossom
By GREG THOMPSON, Professor, and JEFF BROWN, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

A new era of U.S. transit development began in 1981 when San Diego, a city that until then operated only buses, opened its first regional Light Rail Transit (LRT) line. Since then, 11 other bus-only metropolitan areas in the U.S. launched their own LRT lines, and many of the original LRT lines have grown and multiplied. [More]

Art Projects Add Interest to Traveling on Light Rail
By SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Using public transportation, including light rail, most often is a means to an end—a way to reach a destination without worrying about traffic or parking. But when transit agencies showcase public art, then visiting the station becomes part of the trip. [More]

The Math is Easy: Light Rail + People = Economic Benefits
By SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

Light rail does more than move people around easily and quickly; it also lends significant support to area businesses, as cities in Arizona and Oregon have discovered. [More]

ARRA Helps Light Rail Provide Safe, Reliable Service
By NATHANIEL P. FORD SR., Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA

As the global economy falters and the health of our environment becomes ever more critical, many Americans have two new priorities: reducing both their household expenses and their carbon footprints. [More]


APTA Sponsors Maryland Student Team in Symposium on Sustainable Transportation

APTA sponsored a team of eighth-grade students from Redland Middle School in Rockville, MD, that participated March 25 in the 9th Annual Garrett A. Morgan Sustainable Transportation for the 21st Century Videoconference Symposium at the U.S. DOT offices in Washington. Teams backed by APTA have won this event, sponsored by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) in San Jose, CA, three times in the past seven years. [More]

APTA Releases Database Information

APTA announces the release of its 2008 Public Transportation Infrastructure Database report. This comprehensive, annual report includes extensive information on major transit infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada, including rail line, station, stop, and parking data for all modes of transportation. It also lists project status, mileage, and opening dates of future rail projects. [More]

APTA Forms High-Speed Rail Task Force

APTA has announced the formation of the High-Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service Principles Task Force, co-chaired by Rod Diridon, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose, CA, and J. Barry Barker, executive director of the Transit Authority of River City in Louisville, KY. [More]

Make Plans Now for Bus Conference in Seattle

APTA has designed its 2009 Bus & Paratransit Conference & International Bus Roadeo/Bus Rapid Transit Conference, May 3-5 in Seattle, WA, to keep bus agencies and suppliers on top by addressing specific issues related to today’s economic and environmental situation. [More]

Innovations at APTA’s 2009 Rail Rodeo: Customer Service Challenge, Awards Banquet

For the first time at an APTA rail conference, the competitors in the International Rail Rodeo will be honored at an awards dinner Sunday evening, June 14, at the Hilton Chicago. The winners in the June 13 operators’ and maintainers’ contests—along with the newest event, the Customer Service Challenge—will receive recognition at the banquet. [More]


Egypt: Infrastructure Opportunities Amid Challenges
By JESSICA BECHIR, APTA Program Manager-International Programs

“People will invest in what they can see and feel: infrastructure…There is no sustainable growth without transportation,” Mohamed Mansour, Egypt’s minister of transport since 2005, told a March 24 luncheon in Washington, DC, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) and The Business Council for International Understanding. In attendance were U.S. and Egyptian government representatives including Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S., as well as staff members of think tanks, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. [More]

UITP World Congress to Meet in Vienna in June

The issue of workforce development is one of significant concern worldwide, which is why the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) has scheduled a workshop on the topic—“A smile is worth a thousand welcomes”—on June 9 in Vienna, Austria, as part of its 58th World Congress. [More]

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