APTA | Passenger Transport
November 9, 2009

In This Issue

Check this week's classifieds for a range of professional opportunities!


Panel Passes Climate Bill Over Objections of Republicans

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Democrats today reported out climate legislation without amendments and over the objections of panel Republicans. [More]


Voters on Nov. 3 Say ‘Yes’ to Transit Ballot Initiatives

Nationwide, there were seven public transit-related ballot initiatives for voters’ consideration on Nov. 3—fewer than in previous years. Of these measures, four pro-transit ones passed, and one anti-transit measure was defeated. Taking into account two transit-related initiatives that passed earlier in the year, transit’s success rate for 2009 is 70 percent, with one more election to come next month in Oklahoma City, OK. [More]

BART Use Surges After Bridge Closure

When an emergency closed the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Oct. 27, the approximately 280,000 daily commuters who use the span turned to a reliable alternative: San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) trains. Their boardings led to the largest single-day ridership levels in the agency’s 37-year history. [More]

SEPTA Employees on Strike

More than 5,000 employees of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), members of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, SEPTA’s largest union, went on strike at 3 a.m. on Nov. 3. [More]

College ‘Report Card’ Shows High Marks for Transit

The Sustainable Endowment Institute’s recently released “College Sustainability Report Card” for 2010 found that 64 percent of North American colleges and universities surveyed provide some form of financial incentive—subsidies, tax rebates, or reimbursement—to encourage students and/or employees to use public transportation. More than three-quarters of these institutions operate hybrid or other alternative-energy vehicles in their fleets, and sizable percentages offer car-sharing and bicycle-sharing programs. [More]

EDF: Manufacturing Jobs Come from Green Transit

A report released Oct. 26 by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) demonstrates how increasing government investment in both conventional and green transit bus systems would create high-quality manufacturing jobs, especially in states with double-digit unemployment rates, while significantly cutting auto-related global warming pollution. States that would benefit from this connection, according to the report, include Michigan, with 15.3 percent unemployment; California, 12.2 percent; Ohio, 10.1 percent; and Indiana, 10 percent. [More]

New Head of Parsons Transportation Group

Thomas E. Barron, an employee of Parsons Corporation since 1976, has been named the president of Parsons Transportation Group Inc. (PTG), with responsibility for the business unit’s worldwide operations. He is based in the firm’s Washington, DC, office. [More]

Mullervy Dies; Retired from Westinghouse

James Francis Mullervy, 75, of Severna Park, MD, a longtime employee of Westinghouse Electric’s Transportation Division and its successor companies, died Sept. 28. [More]

Dell, Longtime Board Member in Lansing, MI, Dies

Walter P. Dell, a 32-year member of the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) Board of Directors in Lansing, MI, died Oct. 23 at the age of 87. He represented Delhi Township on the CATA board for 32 years, from 1977 until his death. [More]

Telling Our Story: Systems Find Ready Audience for Public Transportation’s Many Benefits
By JOHN R. BELL, APTA Program Manager-Communications

Public transportation systems around the nation, large and small, are showing that, when it comes to attracting more riders and promoting the benefits of the industry, there’s no substitute for telling our story in a compelling manner—whether through print advertisements, flyers, broadcast media, or an entire media campaign.

Opportunities, Challenges at 2009 Rail~Volution Summit
BY ANTHONY FLINT, Special to Passenger Transport

 Cheered by the Obama administration’s commitment to public transportation’s role in building livable and sustainable communities, elected officials, policy makers, and other presenters at the 2009 Rail~Volution conference in Boston, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, discussed how to respond to the energy and environmental challenges ahead. [More]


Designing Crashworthiness into Rail Vehicles: It saves lives, prevents injuries, and even benefits the bottom line
BY KAREN HOLMES, Special to Passenger Transport

Advances in the design and engineering of railcars to improve their performance in crashes are attracting heightened attention from public transit agencies and the media. New crashworthiness standards for rail vehicles have been developed and published, and on-the-rails experience is highlighting the difference that crashworthiness features can make in the outcomes of rail collisions. But what exactly is crashworthiness, and how it is designed into rail vehicles? [More]


Houston Metro’s Quickline: Changing the Art of Travel

A 20-ton bus and a soft, furry bunny are hardly a match in most people’s minds, but they’re a perfect fit for a new bus service now on the streets in Houston. [More]

Philips Electronics Enters ‘L Prize’ Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that Philips Electronics has become the first company to submit an entry in the department’s Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition. Philips submitted its LED replacement for the 60-watt incandescent light bulb, which it developed in response to the department’s challenge. [More]

CATS Donates Bus to Community College Program

Students at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte, NC, are making room for a new learning tool: a recently retired Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus presented by CATS Interim Chief Executive Officer John Muth to CPCC President Tony Zeiss for the college’s Transport System Technology program. [More]

SFMTA, BART to Launch Pass Pilot

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) are accepting applicants through Nov. 30 for an 18-month joint pilot project to allow seniors and persons with disabilities unlimited access to BART in San Francisco and all Muni transit services with the purchase of a single pass. [More]

MV Transportation, Inc. Enters Agreement with Manufacturer

The public transportation management firm MV Transportation Inc. has entered into an agreement with The Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) of Miami to become the exclusive U.S. distributor of VPG’s “MV-1” purpose-built paratransit vehicle through its MV Sales and Leasing Inc. subsidiary. [More]

Phoenix METRO Partners for Downtown Events

METRO light rail in Phoenix, US Airways Center, and the Phoenix Suns professional basketball team recently introduced the “Rail Ride Event” program. This unique partnership, which continues on a pilot basis through Sept. 30, 2010, allows ticket holders for events at US Airways Center to ride METRO at no additional cost on the day of the event, beginning four hours before and continuing through the end of the transit day. [More]

Bus-Riding Cat on Board

A cat who became famous for taking unaided bus trips in Plymouth, U.K., now appears with his owner on a wrapped bus operated by First Devon and Cornwall. [More]

COTA Adds Audio to Security Cameras

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus is adding audio capability to the on-board security cameras installed on all buses in its fleet. [More]

People on the Move

PASADENA, CA—Parsons Transportation Group announced the appointment of Garold B. Adams to the position of executive vice president and global business development manager. [More]


Webcast to Offer New Perspectives on Transit Workers

APTA is hosting a two-hour webcast on the future of the public transit workforce Nov. 10 from the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore. [More]

Partnering on High-Speed Rail

APTA is joining with the International Union of Railways (Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer, or UIC) to host three regional seminars on high-speed rail issues in early 2010. The seminars, titled “International Practicum on Implementing High-Speed Rail in the United States,” will be held Feb. 8-9 in Washington, Feb. 9-11 in Chicago, and Feb. 11-13 in Los Angeles. [More]

TCRP Releases Publications

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) recently joined with the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) to release A Guide to Planning Resources on Transportation and Hazards, published as TCRP Research Results Digest 90 and NCHRP Research Results Digest 333. [More]


Have You Voted Yet?
BY M.P. CARTER, Chair, APTA, and Commissioner, Memphis Area Transit Authority, Memphis, TN

Just over two weeks ago, APTA took the next big step on its road to the future. That is when we mailed and e-mailed packets to each APTA member to collect our vote on the proposal to update our association’s bylaws and prepare our association for the challenges ahead. [More]

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