APTA | Passenger Transport
February 1, 2010

In This Issue

Check out the classifieds in this issue to find numerous job opportunities including a General Manager!


Obama, Biden Announce Recipients of $7.9 Billion in ARRA Funds for High-Speed Rail

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden announced the recipients of $7.9 billion of the $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the creation of high-speed intercity passenger rail service during a Jan. 28 town hall meeting in Tampa, FL. [More]


Obama’s State of the Union Speech: High-Speed Rail Creates Jobs
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

“We can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete,” said President Barack Obama Jan. 27 during his first State of the Union Address.

With that introduction, the president announced that his focus for the year ahead would be job creation, and he then highlighted high-speed rail as one of two primary sources of jobs for Americans. [More]

A Conversation with FRA Administrator Szabo

Note: The editors of Passenger Transport interviewed Administrator Joseph C. Szabo of the Federal Railroad Administration last week. What follows are his thoughtful and candid responses. [More]

LaHood: High-Speed Rail Will Jump Start U.S. Economy
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

The imminent introduction of high-speed rail in several regional U.S. corridors will jump start the nation’s economy while creating thousands of jobs for Americans, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told a standing-room-only crowd at a Jan. 21 symposium on high-speed rail issues presented by the Japan International Transport Institute (JITI) and several agencies of the Japanese government. [More]

Florida Agencies, FTA Provide Aid to Haiti
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Florida has one of the largest Haitian communities in the U.S., so—after the catastrophic Jan. 12 earthquake in that country leveled much of the island nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince—Florida Gov. Charlie Crist mobilized an array of emergency responses, and public transportation agencies in Orlando and Miami added their resources to the multi-dimensional effort to meet the needs of evacuees. [More]

EESI Speakers Highlight Infrastructure Benefits
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Marcy Lowe, a senior research analyst with Duke University’s Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness, described the role of public transportation suppliers in high-value manufacturing supply chains, as well as practical experience in using transit to spur regional economic revitalization, at a packed Jan. 14 briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI). [More]

DOT Prohibits Texting by Bus and Truck Drivers

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced federal guidance Jan. 26 that prohibits texting by drivers of such commercial vehicles as buses and large trucks. This prohibition, effective immediately, is the latest in a series of actions taken by DOT to combat distracted driving since the secretary convened a national summit on the issue in September 2009. [More]

Kutrosky to Lead Capitol Corridor Intercity Rail

David Kutrosky has been named managing director of the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) in Oakland, CA, which manages the Capitol Corridor intercity passenger rail service. He succeeds Eugene (Gene) Skoropowski, who retired in 2009 after 10 years in the post. [More]

Nippes Joins Kustom Seating as President

Keith N. Nippes has joined Kustom Seating Unlimited Inc. in Bellwood, IL, as its newly appointed president. Company founder Joseph Lazzara will continue in his role as chief executive officer. [More]

Neuburger Is New President, CEO of TransitCenter

Daniel M. Neuburger has been named president and chief executive officer of TransitCenter, a nonprofit that promotes mass transit use in order to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, and a provider of tax-free commuter benefits through its TransitChek® programs. [More]

FTA Reaches 99 Percent Level in ARRA Grants

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that it has awarded 695 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants totaling $7.2 billion, or 86.4 percent of available funds. Another 224 grants valued at $1.06 billion (12.8 percent) are undergoing review and pending award. [More]

APTA Strategic Plan Available

In 2009, APTA launched a comprehensive effort to develop a new five-year strategic plan. A final draft has now been released that delineates APTA’s key goals and action plans for 2010-2014. [More]


U.S. High-Speed Rail Reaches a Critical Juncture
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

If there was ever a pivotal moment in high-speed rail in America, it would be April 16, 2009, when President Barack Obama announced his vision for transforming the nation’s transportation network. [More]

Winners and Future Winners in High-Speed Rail
BY JOHN HORSLEY, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

A world-class system of high-speed and intercity passenger rail in America is no longer just a hope. It is real. It is here. Its success is critical to transforming transportation in our lifetime. [More]

Working to Ensure Connectivity Between Intercity Passenger and High-Speed Rail
BY DAVID KUTROSKY, Managing Director, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, Oakland, CA

California’s Capitol Corridor rail service, which connects the Sierra foothills to Silicon Valley, began operations in December 1991 with six daily trains between San Jose and Sacramento. The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) assumed management responsibility for the service in October 1998. [More]

The ‘Win Strategy’ for High-Speed Rail in America
BY JOLENE M. MOLITORIS, Director, Ohio Department of Transportation

For our nation, it took a new president, elected with a resounding call for change, to create the “win strategy” for high-speed and intercity rail. On April 16, 2009, President Barack Obama shared a future image of vibrant city centers interconnected by passenger trains “whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour … and ending up just blocks from your destination.” [More]

Assembling an Optimal U.S. Rail Transit System: Appropriate, Connected, and Funded for the Long Term
BY PETER GERTLER, High-Speed Rail Services Chair, HNTB

As a nation, we are entering the most exciting era in transportation we have seen in half a century. [More]

High-Speed Rail Presents Challenges, Great Opportunity
BY KATHERINE LEWIS, Special to Passenger Transport

The development of high-speed rail in America will require unprecedented mobilization of the transportation industry, panelists told a recent session during the Transportation Research Board’s 89th Annual Meeting in Washington. [More]

At TRB Meeting, Experts Share International High-Speed Rail Experience
BY JOHN R. BELL, APTA Program Manager-Communications

Experts who presented studies of high-speed rail (HSR) systems in China, Japan, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom described contrasts in how their countries plan, fund, and operate their systems—as well as similarities in the resulting benefits to their respective nations—at the recent session during the Transportation Research Board’s 89th Annual Meeting in Washington. They offered their papers at a session titled “Worldwide Advances in Intercity Passenger Rail.” [More]


APTA’s High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee: Ready, Willing, and Able!
BY ROD DIRIDON SR., Chair, APTA High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and National Corridors Coalition

What a pleasure it is to provide a perspective to this very special edition of Passenger Transport!

Though all of the world’s other industrialized nations have high-speed rail, that obvious step has been very difficult for the U.S.! But, after more than 30 years of preparation, thanks to APTA and our many supporters, high-speed rail is on a roll!! [More]

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