APTA | Passenger Transport
October 12, 2009

In This Issue

Check the classifieds for nine public transit positions, including three chief executive jobs!

Sec. LaHood Tells APTA Annual Meeting: Transit Has a ‘Partner at DOT’
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

“You have a partner at DOT to do anything that needs to be done,” said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to the more than 1400 attendees at the Opening General Session Oct. 5 at the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando.  The Secretary also noted that President Barack Obama and his administration understand the importance of reliable, modern public transit systems for all areas of the U.S. [More]

FTA Announces New Site for Bus Safety, Security

Rural and small urban bus systems have a new tool for developing and strengthening their safety and security programs with the Oct. 6 introduction of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Bus Safety web site. FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff spoke about the site during the APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando. [More]

APTA Board of Directors Unanimous in Passing Governance Proposal at Annual Meeting

The APTA Board of Directors has unanimously approved a set of proposed changes to the association’s governance and committee structure. The vote took place Oct. 4 at the APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando. [More]

Resolutions Adopted by APTA Board

The APTA Board of Directors adopted two new resolutions during APTA’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. The first affirms APTA’s support for a high-speed passenger rail title in the next surface transportation authorization. [More]

Comments Sought on Cyber Security Standard

The APTA Control and Communications Work Group has issued for public comment the first part of a recommended practice on rail system control room and communications security (cyber security). Comments are due by Nov. 15. [More]

TCRP Names New Ambassadors to Two-Year Terms

 The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Dissemination Program recently selected 15 new individuals to serve as Ambassadors for the program during the 2009-2011 term. These industry professionals will travel throughout the country to enhance the understanding, acceptance, and utilization of TCRP-sponsored research products. [More]

Jim Ditch Dies; Retired from Long Beach Transit

James A. (Jim) Ditch, 62, former executive director of maintenance and facilities with Long Beach Transit (LBT) in Long Beach, CA, died Sept. 24 after fighting cancer. [More]


Opening General Session: Transit Stays Strong
By SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

More than 1,400 transportation professionals gathered on Oct. 5 for the Opening General Session of the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. APTA President William Millar greeted the participants; thanked the host system, the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) and its executive director, Linda S. Watson, for their hard work; and, in an unusual twist, urged them to turn their cell phones on! He then related how they could text APTA09 to 79649 to register themselves for automatic news alerts and updates on the meeting they were attending, following which, he asked them to turn their phones off! [More]

Carter New APTA Chair; Scanlon, Ford Also Elected

M.P. Carter, a commissioner of the Memphis Area Transit Authority in Memphis, TN, was elected chair of APTA at the Oct. 4 Annual Business Meeting in Orlando, FL, during the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting. [More]

New APTA Chair Encourages All: ‘Telling Our Story’

To new APTA Chair M.P. Carter, public transportation agencies have a responsibility to spread the word about their successes in sustaining the economy, saving energy, benefiting the environment, and contributing to an improved quality of life. To that end, she has set “Public Transportation: Telling Our Story” as her signature initiative. [More]

The Vision and the Blueprint: High-Speed Rail in the U.S.
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER,Senior Managing Editor

It was standing room only at the Oct. 6 session on high-speed rail session during the APTA Annual Meeting. “That’s a declaration of interest by the people of APTA—and it’s the same as it is across the nation,” said moderator Rod Diridon, chair of the APTA High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee, and executive director, Mineta Transportation Institute. [More]

Launching High-Speed Rail Nationwide

An afternoon session Oct. 6 in Orlando titled “Launching High-Speed Rail in the U.S.” attracted a packed audience, prompting APTA President William Millar to comment that the standing-room-only crowd proved that interest in high-speed rail “runs high and runs deep within APTA.” [More]

Economic Stimulus: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

J. Barry Barker, APTA vice chair-government affairs and executive director of the Transit Authority of River City in Louisville, KY, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) “a program that is working” when he moderated an Oct. 5 session at the APTA Annual Meeting on the positive effects of the economic stimulus legislation. [More]

At WTS Breakfast, Germer Stresses Self-Acceptance
By SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

“Bet on the greatest asset you have—you,” writer Fawn Germer told the crowd attending the 14th annual APTA/Women’s Transportation Seminar Breakfast, Oct. 7 in Orlando. [More]

APTA Honors ‘Best of the Best’ at Awards Luncheon

The public transportation industry honored its top leaders and agencies in North America on Oct. 6 at the APTA Awards Luncheon during the 2009 APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando. Awards Committee Chair Alfred Harf, executive director of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, Woodbridge, VA, presided at the event. [More]

APTA Honors AdWheel Grand Award Winners

The APTA Marketing and Communications Committee presented its 2009 AdWheel Grand Awards at ceremonies Oct. 5 at the APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL. [More]

2009 AdWheel Awards: First-Place Winners

Here is the complete list of first-place winners in the 2009 AdWheel Awards competition. Grand Award winners are listed in bold italic. [More]

Disney Institute: Continuous Improvement Is the Key
BY JAY HAMBURG, Special to Passenger Transport

Exceed customer expectations. That’s one of the guiding principals of the Walt Disney Company, and it’s equally applicable to those in the public transportation field. [More]

Scenes from the Annual Meeting

For the first time, the 2009 Annual Meeting program included a Products & Services Showcase featuring 94 exhibitors. [More]


Paul Weyrich’s Soft Spot for Public Transit: The late conservative leader debunks the free-market case against transit.

When it comes to transit, national free-market ideologists have been attacking the idea so long it is hard for them to notice what is actually going on around them. [More]

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