APTA | Passenger Transport
November 23, 2009

In This Issue

Look to the classifieds for a variety of job oppotunities!


DOT Proposes Expanded Transit Safety Role for FTA

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has called for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to add safety oversight authority for light and heavy rail systems as well as bus systems. [More]

Senate Leaders Call for Six-Month Transit Authorization Extension

On Nov. 17, a bipartisan group of seven Senate committee chairs and ranking members sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) emphasizing the need for a six-month extension of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) that expired on Sept. 30—and has continued to operate through short-term extensions attached to continuing resolutions. This extension will ensure sufficient time to complete the surface transportation authorization legislation. The senators urged Reid and McConnell to file cloture on the motion to proceed on the extension, citing job creation and economic recovery as reasons. [More]

Metro Transit Celebrates the Arrival of Northstar

Metro Transit introduced commuter rail to the Twin Cities metropolitan area Nov. 16—opening 10 weeks ahead of schedule—and $10 million under budget. It began revenue service that morning on the 40-mile line between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis by providing 1,207 rides. [More]

L.A. Metro Opens Gold Line Extension

Federal, state, and local elected officials joined community leaders and representatives of Los Angeles Metro Nov. 14 to dedicate the new Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension. The light rail line opened to the public the following day. [More]

Carper: More Climate Change Funds for Transit

The National Journal Group hosted a Nov. 17 Transportation Policy Lunch that featured Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a panel of transportation policy experts.

At the event, Carper called for climate change legislation to channel additional revenue generated from selling carbon credits toward efforts to reduce Americans’ reliance on automobiles in favor of public transportation, bicycles, and other emission-free forms of transportation. [More]

Valley Metro Opens Transit Center; Superstition Springs Is Agency’s First Construction Project

Valley Metro in Phoenix opened the Superstition Springs Transit Center in Mesa, AZ—the first construction project in the agency’s 23-year history—with ribbon-cutting ceremonies Nov. 5. The new facility provides access to five regular bus routes and LINK, Valley Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit service, with six bus bays and 80 new parking spaces. [More]

Prendergast Named to Head NYC Transit

Thomas F. Prendergast, a longtime employee of public transportation agencies in New York City who more recently served as chief executive officer of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) in Vancouver, BC, is returning to the city as president of MTA New York City Transit, effective Dec. 1 [More]

Flowers Moves to Charlotte as CATS’ Next CEO

Carolyn Flowers has been named the new director of public transit for the city of Charlotte, NC, and chief executive officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), effective Jan. 4, 2010. [More]

CATACOMMUTE Enhances Mobility Management in Central Pennsylvania
BY JACQUELINE K. SHEADER, MBA, Marketing Manager, Centre Area Transportation Authority, State College, PA

As if to emphasize the fact that the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) in State College, PA, has moved fromoffering only traditional fixed route and paratransit service into the realm of mobility management, the authority has announced that the expansion of its CATACOMMUTE program is one of its biggest successes over the past year. [More]

Veterans Day at Grand Central

Crowds gathered in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 for Veterans Day ceremonies conducted each year by MTA Metro-North Railroad. [More]

Winning ‘Dump the Pump’ Videos Depict Relationships Between Passengers and Public Transit

What do a jilted gas pump, an upbeat musical portraying the joys of avoiding traffic, and an inspiring call to action to save the planet have in common? They took the top three awards in APTA’s recent “Dump the Pump” contest for online videos generated by public transportation riders. [More]


Fort Worth’s ‘T’ Wins Top Awards from North Texas Clean Air Coalition

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) recently received two 2009 Working for Clean Air™ awards from the North Texas Clean Air Coalition (NTCAC). The award program recognizes outstanding workplaces in North Texas for clean air, sustainability, and green initiatives. [More]

St. Louis Metro Opens Paint Facility

Representatives of Metro in St. Louis recently joined state and local elected officials to celebrate the grand opening of the public transit agency’s new $4.3 million paint facility. [More]

Continental Public Transit Now Becomes Trapeze ITS

Continental Public Transit has been acquired by Constellation Software’s wholly owned affiliate Trapeze Software Inc., and is now operating as Trapeze ITS—a separate company within the Constellation Group. [More]

ORCA Regional Smart Card Shifts to Electronic Transfers

The ORCA (One Regional Card for All) smart card, which serves six public transit agencies throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington State, is preparing to shift from paper transfers to electronic transfers on Jan. 1, 2010, for trips that involve transferring between agencies. [More]


HUD Sustainability Chief Discusses Better Communities
By JOHN R. BELL, APTA Program Manager-Communications

On Nov. 10, Shelley Poticha, senior advisor for sustainable housing and communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), shared the ways her agency aims to reform its programs and policies that affect transportation, by working with DOT. [More]

There Is Still Time to Cast Your Vote!

Approximately 36 percent of APTA members have submitted votes on the proposed changes to the association’s bylaws and governance and committee structure as of Nov. 13. Voting remains open, and APTA needs to hear from all its members to complete the process. [More]

Seeking Conference Abstracts

APTA is seeking abstracts through Nov. 30 for presentations at the 2010 APTA Transportation and University Communities Conference, April 10-13 in Athens, GA. [More]


Time to get rail on track

For too long, Florida has put off investing in commuter rail and all of us are paying the price. Florida’s long stretches of highway combined with increasing traffic congestion have made traveling between major cities difficult and time consuming. This constricts our productivity and the state’s overall economy. Just building more roads is not a solution; we need high-speed and commuter rail. [More]

High speed rail needs Feinstein’s help

In the next few weeks, the Senate will decide whether to heed calls here in California and around the country for increased high-speed rail investment. [More]

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