APTA | Passenger Transport
October 26, 2009

In This Issue

Find 14 public transit job opportunities in the classifieds!

Senate to Consider Six-Month Extension of SAFETEA-LU

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee has announced its plans to introduce a “clean” six-month extension of SAFETEA-LU instead of the 18-month extension proposed by the administration. [More]


Climate Change Events Highlight Major Role of Public Transportation

Discussions in Washington last week focused on climate change. At an Oct. 21 Capitol Hill panel discussion, “Transportation Strategies to Cut Carbon Emissions,” APTA President William Millar reminded an audience of transportation officials, advocates, and congressional staff of the significant role public transportation can play in addressing the issue of climate change. [More]

Public Transit Return on Investment: Both Immediate and Long-Lasting

Increased investment in public transportation provides jobs, wages, and business income in industries that have been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, according to a report released Oct. 22 by APTA. The report, Economic Impact of Public Transportation Investment, finds that every $1 of investment in public transportation returns many times its investment. The average return is almost four times the investment in economic returns. In some areas of the nation this figure could be as high as $9. [More]

Reno RTC Introduces Region’s First BRT Service

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) in Reno, NV, introduced its first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services, RTC RAPID and RTC RAPID CONNECT, on Oct. 11, with formal dedication ceremonies the following day. The services operate on a four-and-a-half-mile segment of Virginia Street from the RTC CITICENTER to the Meadowood Transfer Station. [More]

Walder Is New Chairman, CEO of New York MTA

Jay H. Walder assumed his duties Oct. 5 as chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) by meeting with employees at the Corona Subway Maintenance Shop and the Casey Stengel Bus Depot in Queens, before greeting customers at the Main Street Station on MTA New York City Transit’s 7 subway line. [More]

Ghearing Is Transit Manager in Merced County, CA

Rodney Ghearing, former operations officer for the Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority in Bridgeport, CT, has joined the Transit Joint Powers Authority for Merced County, CA, as transit manager. [More]

Meyer Receives Appointment as Dickerson Chair

Professor Michael D. Meyer of the Georgia Institute of Technology has been appointed to the Frederick R. Dickerson Chair, the first person to hold this title. He is the director of the Georgia Transportation Institute, an interdisciplinary research organization that helps provide support to students on transportation issues both locally and nationally. [More]

FRA Releases Preliminary National Rail Plan
BY JOHN R. BELL, APTA Program Manager-Communications

In preparation for the construction of high-speed rail in the United States, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released its Preliminary National Rail Plan (NRP), as mandated by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) of 2008. [More]

Governance Vote Underway

Following the Oct. 4, 2009 unanimous action by APTA’s Board of Directors, all APTA members must now vote on the proposed amendment of APTA’s bylaws necessary to put the new governance structure in place. Voting packets were mailed and e-mailed to each APTA member’s designated representative on Oct. 21, and ballots and related materials are available online as well. [More]

New Mexico’s NCRTD Breaks Ground for Facility in Espanola; Dignitaries Celebrate Second Anniversary of Agency

The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) in Santa Fe, NM, broke ground Oct. 9 for its new, 12,000-square-foot public transportation facility in Espanola and commemorated its second year of operation at ceremonies attended by such dignitaries as Ben Lujan, speaker of the state House of Representatives. The district received $2 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for purchase and renovation of the new facility. [More]

Join the Dialogue on ‘United We Ride’

The National Academy of Public Administration and Easter Seals Project ACTION are hosting an online national dialogue on the federal United We Ride initiative Nov. 2-13, on behalf of the Federal Government Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM). The purpose of the conversation is to assess success to date in transportation access for persons with disabilities, older adults, and persons of limited income. [More]

ATU Seeks Replies to Survey

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) recently sent a survey to APTA member public transit systems soliciting their views on whether they support the use of federal formula funds for operating assistance. The ATU makes clear that it supports legislation that would allow all transit systems to use at least a portion of their formula funds for operations. [More]


Four APTA Employees Honored

This has been a banner year for APTA employees in the Member Services Department, four of whom have received special recognition in the public transportation industry and beyond. [More]

Highlighting … the Pioneering Signatories of the 2009 Pilot Phase of the APTA Sustainability Commitment

On Jan. 1, 2009, APTA launched the pilot phase of its Sustainability Commitment.

As Fred Hansen, chair of the APTA Sustainability Task Force and general manager/chief executive officer of Portland’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, has noted: “Increasing public and political attention is being paid to the role of transportation in addressing climate change and energy security issues, while also improving the livability of our communities. For this reason, it is particularly important to have a large majority of APTA members sign on to this commitment if we are to credibly promote the sustainability credentials of the transit industry in the eyes of a new Congress and new administration, as well as the public at large.” [More]

Seeking Comments on Standards

The APTA Standards Development Program has announced that is seeking public comments until Nov. 13 on about 12 documents in three programs: security, bus standards, and sustainability and urban design. [More]

Host an International Intern

APTA invites its business members to participate in an international internship program in the summer of 2010. APTA is partnering with the Federal Transit Administration to pilot this program, through which the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Agency in India will send graduate-level students and recent graduates. [More]

Public Transit Message Transmits

A print advertisement from APTA’s Public Transportation Takes Us There campaign recently published in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call was among the top three most remembered advertisements in that issue, according to results of a Roll Call survey. In addition, more readers remembered seeing the ad than any other transportation advertisement. [More]

APTA, CUTA Staff Members Meet

Members of the APTA staff recently met with their counterparts at the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) at its offices in Toronto. [More]


Rogoff to Business Leaders: Take Steps Now to Become ‘Ambassadors’ for Transit
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Peter M. Rogoff, administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), participating in the Oct. 6 General Session titled “APTA Business Members Present: Doing Business in the New Economy,” called on business leaders to “serve as ambassadors for transit” by speaking to community leaders who may not understand the economic benefits that come from supporting public transit. [More]

Chief Executives Share Lessons Learned from Turbulent Times
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

“These have been some of the best of times and they have also been some of the most challenging times.” With those words, moderator Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D., general manager/chief executive officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and APTA’s immediate past chair, opened the session on “Steering Agencies Through Turbulent Times,” held Oct. 5 in Orlando. [More]

Small Operators Share Their Best Practices
By SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Chief executives of three smaller public transportation agencies joined suppliers Oct. 6 in Orlando to share experiences unique to transit organizations of their size and to present best practices to benefit similar systems. [More]

Workforce Development: Building Transit’s Workforce, 2010 and Beyond
BY JOE NIEGOSKI, APTA Director-Educational Services

Tomorrow’s executive leaders and managers need a portfolio of cutting-edge plans, state-of-the-art blueprints, and innovative best practices to hire and develop a world-class workforce for 2010 and beyond. [More]

Federal Partnerships Aimed to Help Foster More Sustainable Communities

Representatives from three federal agencies shared their perspectives on how their partnerships are helping to foster livability and sustainability in rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the nation at an Oct. 6 session titled “Partnerships for Sustainable Communities." [More]

General Forum: Transit's Future in a Green Economy
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

The U.S. accounts for less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but uses 25 percent of the world’s energy—a major reason for making the shift to greener practices, including taking public transit instead of driving.

That was the message of Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, at a General Forum on “The Future of Transit in a Green Economy,” held Oct. 7 during the APTA Annual Meeting in Orlando. [More]

Working to Make the New Starts Process Easier to Navigate
BY JAY HAMBURG, Special to Passenger Transport

Simplifying the federal approval process for transit New Starts and Small Starts may never be easy, but several speakers in Orlando on Oct. 7 offered suggestions for smoothing the procedure—and shared stories with each other about navigating the complexities of the programs while expressing hope for more flexibility in the future. [More]

Making a Positive Impact with Transit Mega Projects
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Every public transportation capital project that involves major construction will cause upheaval in its community, but some are more overwhelming than others. Transit agency representatives shared their experiences with three massive North American transit projects—the new Hudson River tunnel connecting New Jersey with New York, Toronto’s extensive expansion of light rail lines and bus service, and the newly opened Central Link light rail line in Seattle—at an Oct. 6 General Forum on “Transit Mega Projects.” [More]

Transit Board Members Welcome Rogoff

Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), made such a positive impression when he attended the Oct. 4 meeting of the APTA Transit Board Members Committee in Orlando that the committee members voted unanimously to make him an honorary member. [More]


Welcome, New Advisory Board!

We’re excited to announce that Passenger Transport has an Advisory Board. The formation of what we know will prove to be an invaluable group is yet another change in what has been a year of change for our newspaper. [More]

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