APTA | Passenger Transport
July 20, 2009

In This Issue


Nine major public transit positions available in this week's classified ads!


FRA Receives 278 Pre-Applications for High-Speed Passenger Rail Funding

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced July 16 that the Federal Railroad Administration has received 278 pre-applications for grant funding totaling $102 billion under the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail competitive grant program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [More]

MCI's Melaniphy Testifies on Economic Impact of Transit Investment

Michael P. Melaniphy, vice president, public sector, for Motor Coach Industries, stressed the nationwide economic impact of public transportation investment in his testimony July 16 before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) regarding the next surface transportation authorization bill. [More]

Walder Nominated as New York MTA CEO and Chair

New York Gov. David A. Paterson nominated Jay Walder July 14 to serve as chief executive officer and chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Walder is a partner in McKinsey’s London office and the global leader of McKinsey’s infrastructure practice. [More]

FRA Issues NPRM to Support Use of Positive Train Control

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Federal Railroad Administrator (FRA) Joseph Szabo announced July 16 proposed rules designed to prevent train collisions through the use of Positive Train Control (PTC). The proposed rule would provide guidance and performance standards as railroads implement Positive Train Control systems to prevent train-to-train collisions. [More]


Congress Takes Up Authorization Timeframe

As the Sept. 30 expiration date for SAFETEA-LU approaches, Congress began to focus on the upcoming transportation authorization legislation during the week of July 13, with the House and Senate considering different timeframes for passage. The Fiscal Year 2010 transportation appropriations bill was also taken up by a House subcommittee. [More]

LaHood Stresses Role of Public Transit in Climate Change; Testifies at Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called for public transportation to be part of an integrated effort to help decrease carbon emissions in his testimony July 14 before the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. The committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), convened the hearing to solicit comments about the role of transportation in climate change and reducing greenhouse gases. [More]

Transportation Officials Testify on Rail Transit Safety

On July 13, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an urgent recommendation to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which in turn sent a “Dear Colleague” letter advising all rail transit operators who use train control systems that are able to monitor movements to evaluate those systems to ensure their safety redundancy capability is both adequate and working. This recommendation coincided with another that NTSB issued to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) concerning the June 22 Metrorail accident. [More]

U.S. Chamber Promotes Transportation Investment

As Congress works to develop the next transportation authorization bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce brought its business leaders to Washington, DC, for a two-day advocacy event. [More]

APTA Chair Visits Oberstar

APTA President William Millar, left, and APTA Chair Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D., prepare to discuss legislative issues with House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) during a visit to his Capitol Hill office. [More]

Rogoff Helps Break Ground in South Bend; Recovery Act Grant Among Funding for New Transit Facility

The South Bend Public Transportation Corporation (TRANSPO) in South Bend, IN, broke ground July 1 for its new operations, administration, and maintenance facility, with such invited guests as Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) helping to turn shovelfuls of earth. [More]

High-Speed Rail Grant Program Takes Shape

Propelled by the $8 billion federal investment in high-speed rail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has spent the last few months crafting the program that will integrate high-speed rail into America’s travel patterns of the not too distant future. [More]

DOT Distributes Almost Half of ARRA Funds

U.S. DOT has distributed almost half of its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding—more than $21 billion—and more than 6,300 transportation projects have been approved, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a July 15 speech at the Center for National Policy in Washington, DC. [More]


DART Dedicates Rosa Parks Plaza

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) opened its new Rosa Parks Plaza bus transfer station on July 13. Four of DART’s busiest northbound routes now stop at the new facility, which incorporates four passenger shelters; two bus bays; and a walkway to connect employment sites within one-half mile south and east of the site with the West Transfer Center and the West End DART Station. [More]

Free Shuttles Serve Valley Forge National Historical Park

As traffic congestion, pollution, and driver frustration continue to grow on roads all around Valley Forge National Historical Park near Philadelphia, the park is trying out a new way to keep itself quiet, safe, and green. This summer, the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association is managing a free shuttle that provides an alternative to driving among the most popular destinations in the park. [More]

US Railcar to Resume Production of Former Colorado Railcar DMU

In the aftermath of the shutdown of Colorado Railcar Manufacturing late last year, private investors affiliated with Value Recovery Group Inc. (VRG) of Columbus, OH, announced that they have formed a new firm, US Railcar LLC, that will resume the manufacture of Colorado Railcar’s Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) later this year in a new manufacturing facility to be established. [More]

Price Dies; Rail Professional

Howard L.E. Price of Rutherford, NJ, a longtime train operator, conductor, and transportation supervisor for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia and its predecessor organizations, died June 30 at the age of 99. He spent most of his career on the route that today operates as SEPTA’s high speed Route 100, connecting Philadelphia and Norristown, PA. [More]


FTA Deputy Administrator McMillan to Address Sustainability Workshop

Therese McMillan, the recently named deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), has joined the lineup of speakers participating in the fifth annual APTA Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop, Aug. 2-4 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center in Salt Lake City, UT. Her presentation will focus on upcoming federal initiatives to support sustainability and public transportation. [More]

2009 Fact Book Now Available in Print

APTA’s 2009 Public Transportation Fact Book is available online. The book, now in its 60th edition, was first published in 1943 and has long served as a leading source of statistics for the entire public transit industry. [More]

Nominations Still Open for APTA Officers and Board

The Nominating Committee for the APTA Executive Committee and Board of Directors reminds APTA members that they have until July 27 to submit their nomination forms to the APTA office. The committee will select the slate of nominees at an Aug. 10 meeting, and the election will be held as part of the Oct. 4 Annual Business Meeting in Orlando, FL. [More]


What’s New at the 2009 Annual Meeting? Highlights of What to Expect in Orlando

The public transportation industry's premier event—APTA’s 2009 Annual Meeting—officially begins in Orlando on Oct. 5 with the Opening General Session, “Quality Transit—NOW!”, where speakers will highlight transit’s accomplishments of the past year and present both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. And of course, there will be the traditional “passing of the gavel” from the outgoing to the incoming APTA chair. [More]

An Annual Meeting First: Products Showcase!

For the very first time at an Annual Meeting, APTA will present a Products and Services Showcase Oct. 4 and 5 in Orlando. To ensure that business members and transit agency leaders can take advantage of this unique opportunity to make contacts and learn about what’s new and special in the industry, there will be ample dedicated “Showcase” time. This way, participants can focus on the exhibits without missing any workshops, listening sessions, or technical tours. [More]

Travel, Lodging Discounts for Meeting Participants

The two Orlando Grande Lakes hotels will be the official hotels for the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting. [More]

Conference Host System: LYNX Keeps Moving to Provide Quality Service
BY MATTHEW P. FRIEDMAN, Manager of Media Relations, Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), Orlando, FL

A lot has changed at the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) since APTA last held a major meeting in Orlando—the 1999 Annual Meeting and EXPO. [More]

Noted Journalist to Address APTA/WTS Breakfast

Fawn Germer, a journalist nominated four times for the Pulitzer Prize, will address the 14th annual APTA/Women’s Transportation Seminar Speaker Breakfast during the APTA Annual Meeting, Oct. 7 in Orlando, FL. [More]

APTA Awards Showcase ‘Best of the Best’

A major part of the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting is the recognition of outstanding individuals and organizations. The meeting schedule includes the Awards Luncheon; the AdWheel Awards; and the presentation of American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) scholarships. [More]

What’s in Orlando? Here Are Some Fast Facts

More than 48 million visitors come to Orlando each year for business and pleasure. Of that number, 45.9 million come from within the U.S. and 2.8 million from other countries. Approximately 46 percent of Orlando’s international visitors are from western Europe, followed by Canada with 28 percent. [More]

Offering Far More than Tourist Destinations; Look Inside Orlando’s Coolest Neighborhoods

Ever wonder what it’s like to live in Orlando year-round? To see and hear theme park fireworks from your backyard or to own a season pass to visit the parks as many times as you’d like? [More]

Before the Theme Parks: Orlando Celebrated Proud Roots in Cattle, Citrus and Space

Although Orlando’s amazing theme parks are what put the city on the map for millions of visitors throughout the world, it existed long before the first roller coaster or castle was ever built. [More]

A World-Class Destination for Shopping

Orlando is world famous for its theme parks, but one of the most popular “themes” among central Florida tourists is shopping. In fact, international tourists cite shopping as their number-one travel activity, while domestic visitors rate it fourth on their vacation “to-do” list—and Orlando is ready to oblige. [More]

Plenty for Golf Resources for Participants to Enjoy; Nearly 200 Courses, 23 Academies, Top Tours, and Instructors

A golf getaway can mean different things to different people: a group of hard-core golfers may focus on a competitive program; a couple on a romantic getaway may desire just a touch of golf on the side; a family may require more instruction and flexibility; and a group of friends may just want the opportunity to see their idols up close. [More]

Region’s Outdoor Activities Capture Visitors’ Spirit of Adventure

While world-class attractions have made Orlando famous, the region is also filled with unique adventures that make vacations unforgettable. Where else can adventurous travelers try their hand at hang gliding or skydiving with no prior training or feel the wind in their hair in an open-cockpit 1930s biplane? [More]

Recreational Attractions Enchant Millions

With seven of the world’s top 20 theme parks in one destination, not to mention almost 100 other fun-filled attractions and outdoor recreation offerings, it’s no wonder that more than 48 million visitors will choose to spend their free time in Orlando this year. [More]

City Offers Dining Options from Around the Globe

In the coming year, more than 48 million visitors from over 20 countries, including the U.S., will arrive in Orlando. Nearly every one of them will find a restaurant where they can enjoy familiar flavors from home. [More]

World-Class Art: Now Appearing in Hotel Lobbies

When you think of hotel artwork, your first thoughts may be of pastel beach scenes or still-life paintings of flowers and fruit. But at many of Orlando’s highly acclaimed hotels, the works of world-renowned artists adorn the public areas such as lobbies, restaurants, and spas. From Oriental vases to carved stone sculptures, 19th century oil paintings to artistic water features, trompe l’oeil murals to celebrity caricatures, Orlando hotels have a passion for immersing their guests in fine art. [More]


An Overdue Breakout from ‘Silos,’ Borders

WASHINGTON—For at least a half century, “silos” and borders have been tripping up effective governance in America. [More]

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