APTA | Passenger Transport
May 7, 2010

In This Issue

The classifieds in this issue include three chief executive officer positions!

U.S. Transit Agencies Share Earth Day Message

As sustainability and environmental protection become increasingly important, public transportation agencies throughout the U.S. joined APTA April 22—the 40th annual celebration of Earth Day—to make sure that transit is an integral part of a green society.

APTA provided an Earth Day Toolkit to assist its members, participating in the “I am E” advertising campaign featuring celebrities and everyday transit users.

Here are a few examples of APTA members “telling their story” about the green benefits of public transit.



The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (SJRTD) in Stockton, CA, participated in the “I am E” campaign with mini-tail ads and internal ad cards on its buses, as well as its web site and in a full-page ad in the local newspaper’s special Earth Day supplement. Hybrid buses account for more than 40 percent of the agency’s Stockton metropolitan area and intercity bus fleet. SJRTD also joined California DOT and the San Joaquin Council of Governments Commute Connection in hosting booths at the San Joaquin Delta College’s Earth Day event.

To share its story of how compressed natural gas engines help bring cleaner air to the region, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) scrolled the message “Earth Day Ride CNG” on its digital bus head board signs all day April 21 and 22. Robert Johnson, pictured, electronics shop supervisor, and Terrence James, shop technician, programmed the message on 170 buses. The T also participated in the national “I am E” campaign through photo opportunities, its Facebook fan page, and ads.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) marked Earth Day April 18 by providing free service from Public Square to EarthFest at the Metroparks Zoo. As one of the sponsors of EarthFest, Ohio’s largest educational environmental event, GCRTA moved visitors on clean diesel buses equipped with bike racks; provided free admission passes for the zoo; and showed a display featuring its educational community bus. The agency powers its fleet with environmentally friendly fuels—electric rail cars and clean diesel and hybrid-electric buses.

The Hartford Division of Connecticut Transit (CTTRANSIT) displayed its 40-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus—the only one in transit operation outside California—April 21 outside the Connecticut Science Center. CTTRANSIT awaits the arrival of four more fuel cell buses later this year; is preparing to introduce to service its first 60-foot articulated buses and 41 hybrid-electric vehicles; and operates its bus fleet with 5 percent biodiesel fuel and is installing diesel particulate filters to help them run cleaner.



The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) in Oakland, CA, unveiled its newest green effort—the BART Police Bike Patrol Pilot Program—April 21 at the North Berkeley BART Station, in conjunction with the Earth Day observance. Through this program, BART officers and Community Service Officers set aside their gas-guzzling police cars and instead patrol using pollution-free pedal power—also providing the benefit of a more accessible and visible police force.

The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) in Lansing, MI, dedicated its newest two diesel-electric hybrid paratransit vehicles during an April 19 event for the Green Star Initiative, which recognizes businesses (including CATA) that are making an effort to “green” their operations and community by reducing waste, recycling, and offering eco-friendly products and services. From left are Meridian Township Supervisor Susan McGillicuddy; state Rep. Mark Meadows; Meridian Commercial Recycling Group representatives Malinda Barr and Dennis Louney; and CATA CEO/Executive Director Sandy Draggoo.

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, TX, challenged the residents of central Texas to “Take a Step in the Right Direction” on Earth Day by using alternative transportation: riding transit, carpooling, bicycling, or walking.

“Whether it’s by taking the bus, train, or vanpool, using Capital Metro reduces Austin’s carbon footprint. Driving less and riding transit protects our environment and our quality of life,” said Doug Allen, Capital Metro interim president/chief executive officer.

As part of its preparations for Earth Day, Community Transit in Snohomish County, WA, released the new Snohomish County Area Bicycling & Trail Map. The map made its formal debut April 29 at the Bike to Work Kick-Off Expo at the Everett Public Schools’ Longfellow Annex in Everett, WA.

The map—the fifth edition since 2004—includes detailed information on the Centennial and Interurban trails, and shows roads commonly used by bicyclists. Community sponsors covered the printing costs for this edition.

The Muncie Indiana Transit System (MITS) in Muncie, IN, offered free rides all day Earth Day. Also in April, MITS welcomed five new hybrid electric-soy biodiesel buses to its fleet, replacing old buses that had exceeded their useful life.

The agency used federal funds to purchase the five new hybrid buses, including Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Surface Transportation Program, and FTA discretionary capital funds; only about 8 percent of the funds came from local resources.

Seven public transportation agencies in the Chicago region released an Earth Day XL Accord as a result of an Earth Day XL Transportation Summit April 22, held to improve coordination among the region’s transportation leaders. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn commended the participants in the program, calling the accord “the first step toward introducing greener, more sustainable transportation practices to better serve our region, today and into the future.” Quinn added: “By signing the Earth Day Transportation Accord, our transportation leaders have committed to operational excellence and long-term environmental preservation.”

Almost 100 agency heads and board members participated in the summit, led by the chairs of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois Tollway, Metra commuter rail, Pace Suburban Bus, Regional Transportation Authority, and Illinois DOT.


Juan Marzeleno, second from left, a senior at Trevor G. Browne High School in Phoenix, created the winning bus wrap for Valley Metro. Joining the artist in front of the vehicle, with the theme “The Wheels on the Bus Make the Earth Go Green,” are, from left, Councilmember Michael Johnson, chair of the Valley Metro board; high school principal Gabriel Trujillo; and Valley Metro RPTA Executive Director David Boggs. The agency selected Marzeleno’s design from more than 125 entries.

Public transit riders in the four-county Puget Sound region celebrated the first anniversary of the One Regional Card for All (ORCA) smart card on April 20. Almost 200,000 riders use ORCA on an average weekday. The seven participating agencies are Community Transit in Snohomish County; Everett Transit in Everett; King County Metro Transit in Seattle; Kitsap Transit in Bremerton; Pierce Transit in Lakewood; Sound Transit in Seattle; and Washington State Ferries. ORCA is also good on the King County Water Taxis.

“We’d like to thank the growing crowd of ORCA users. For those who don’t have ORCA yet, there’s no better time than Earth Day to get ORCA and start taking transportation instead of driving,” said Joni Earl, ORCA joint board chair and Sound Transit chief executive officer.

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