APTA | Passenger Transport
July 5, 2010

In This Issue


The 14 help wanted ads in this week's classifieds offer such jobs as a transit agency general manager and an executive director in academia!


House Subcommittee Approves Draft THUD Bill for FY 2011

As a first step in the appropriations process, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) marked up and approved a draft appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 on July 1. This bill provides more than $11.3 billion for public transportation programs, $574.9 million more than the level approved for FY 2010.  It is uncertain when this and other appropriations bills will  be passed. [More]

FRA Seeks Applications for $2.3 Billion in High-Speed Rail Grants

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will soon begin accepting applications for $2.1 billion in grants to continue the development of high-speed and intercity passenger rail corridors. In addition, FRA will make available another $245 million for individual construction projects within a corridor. Funds for both come from the Fiscal Year 2010 DOT Appropriations Act. [More]

Senate Banking Committee Approves Transit Safety Bill

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs reported out the administration’s Public Transportation Safety Act of 2010 by unanimous vote in a markup June 29. The bill goes next to the Senate floor. [More]

LaHood Announces Transit Rail Advisory Safety Committee

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced the 20 members of the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), a newly formed committee that will assist the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with developing national safety standards for rail transit. [More]

National Leaders Convene, Discuss Security Challenges, Successes

A group comprising leaders from law enforcement, intelligence, and transportation gathered in Aspen, CO, on June 29 to discuss before nearly 200 attendees the security challenges facing America—including the ongoing threat to public transportation and the actions the industry is taking to improve transit security.

Pistole to Head TSA; Served 27 Years with FBI

The Senate voted June 25 to approve John S. Pistole as head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). His formal title is Assistant Secretary for TSA with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). [More]

Sen. Byrd: A Champion for Transit in West Virginia

At the time of his death June 28, 92-year-old Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) was the longest-serving member of Congress in the nation’s history. His tenure in the Senate began in 1958. He was the senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Other Agencies. Byrd always provided for his home state of West Virginia—including appropriations for the state’s public transportation agencies. [More]

L.A. Metro Breaks Ground for Extension

Los Angeles Metro broke ground June 26 for the light rail Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension, which will extend the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena 11 miles west to Azusa, with a later link planned to Montclair. [More]

ATU’s George Retires; Heintzman Is Successor

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) announced the retirement of International President Warren S. George, effective July 1. The ATU General Executive Board appointed Ron Heintzman, currently international executive vice president, to succeed George as the eighth international president in the union’s 117-year history. [More]

DCTA’s Cline Deployed to Serve in Afghanistan

Jim Cline, president of the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) in Lewisville, TX, is stepping away from that position for an anticipated period of a year to serve in Afghanistan.  Cline is a 26-year veteran of the Texas Army National Guard, which called him to active duty as a lieutenant colonel with the 176th Engineer Brigade. [More]

Sustainable Transportation Eases Climate Change

Compact development—incorporating public transportation—can be a key component in efforts to mitigate climate change, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). [More]

Young Named President and CEO of ENSCO

ENSCO Inc. in Falls Church, VA, has named 29-year employee Gregory B. Young its president and chief executive officer. In this position, he leads strategic direction and all company operations including financial management and performance, business planning and execution, research and development, and corporate and operating division oversight. [More]

Dumping the Pump: U.S. Transit Agencies Respond

More than 120 U.S. public transportation agencies, state transit associations, and vendors highlighted the environmental, economic, and energy saving benefits of using transit during the fifth annual National Dump the Pump Day, June 17. APTA sponsored the observance, joined this year by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club. [More]

Technology Innovations Cut Costs, Boost Safety in Public Transportation; New Processes Add Visibility, Collision Warning, Antibacterial Support
BY KATHERINE LEWIS, Special to Passenger Transport

Public transportation systems around the country are implementing new technologies to increase safety and cut costs, from a radio frequency-controlled flashing safety vest and “talking buses” to positive train control (PTC) and collision energy management systems. [More]

Working to Keep Public Transit Secure and Safe
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

Alert today. Alive tomorrow. That could be the catchphrase for how public transportation agencies and their police departments are working together to advance security and safety for their passengers and employees alike. [More]

Experts Examine, Review Safety Programs

Both public transportation providers and the vendors that serve them understand the primary importance of safety and security to their operations. So far in 2010, APTA has prominently featured educational sessions on related topics during the Bus & Paratransit Conference in Cleveland and the Rail Conference in Vancouver, BC. Here are brief synopses of some of these presentations, which address the issue from numerous perspectives. [More]

With Rail Safety Issues, ‘You Never Stop Training’
BY CHUCK McCUTCHEON, Special to Passenger Transport

As the federal government seeks an increased role in rail safety, public transit systems are making their own improvements and assessing the impact of new government mandates. [More]

King County Metro Transit Sounds a ‘Wake-Up Call’
BY MICHAEL LEMESHKO, Supervisor, Transit Safety, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA

Walking down the street in Washington State may seem like an innocuous activity, but each year hundreds of pedestrians are seriously hurt or killed in accidents. Both in urban hubs such as Seattle and Bellevue and in the suburbs and rural areas, pedestrians and motor vehicles come into too-close contact each day.

This year, King County Metro Transit is embarking on a safety awareness campaign targeted at reducing pedestrian accidents in and around transit hubs. [More]

OCTA Teaches Boy Scouts Safety Measures Around Railroads
BY LAURA SCHEPER, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange, CA

Almost 400 Boy Scouts from throughout southern California came to Knott’s Berry Farm theme park in Buena Park, CA, on a recent Saturday morning for a day of discovering the behind-the-scenes operations of the railroading industry. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) partnered with the Boy Scouts of America and the park to present Railroading Merit Badge Day. [More]

Muni Task Force Goes the Extra Mile to Stop Crime
BY NATHANIEL P. FORD SR., Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA

While customers will begrudgingly swallow the bitter pill of service reductions and fare hikes, there is zero tolerance for the perception of inadequate transit security and enforcement. Though budgetary constraints affect this arena as well, new ideas and best practices must be cultivated to ensure effective levels of customer safety and security. [More]

Are We Mitigating Risk for Public Transportation?
BY JOHN WALSH, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Clever Devices Inc.

Safety and security issues always have been important to public transportation operators, but a more focused and strategic approach is taking a far greater role than in the past concerning how we operate these networks. Many transit professionals did not understand that their systems were a target for terrorism, despite the attacks on public transit worldwide well before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. [More]

Training for Emergencies

Minneapolis firefighters respond June 23 to a simulated derailment on Metro Transit’s Northstar commuter rail line near the Target Field Station. [More]

Security and Safety Viewpoint

This issue of Passenger Transport includes a sampling of viewpoints from some of our advertisers on the importance of safety and security to the public transportation industry. [More]

Keeping an Eye on Transit Security

Editor's Note: Today's commentary page offers a recent posting from the securityinfowatch.com web site focusing on safety and security in public transportation. (The site concentrates on public safety issues and municipal security.) Also, read about how NIST works with DHS to create blast-resistance standards. [More]

People on the Move

Passenger Transport announces the following hirings and promotions in public transportation agencies and suppliers. Items appear in People on the Move in the order in which they are received. [More]

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