APTA | Passenger Transport
July 19, 2010

In This Issue


The classifieds in this issue offer a diverse group of jobs including a transit general manager and several other executive positions!


Putting Carbon Savings in Context; Climate Registry Issues New Performance Metrics
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

Fact: Communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. That is a significant carbon reduction. Through The Climate Registry’s recently issued “Performance Metrics for Transit Agencies,” public transportation agencies can now place this number in context—measuring both carbon efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions. In other words, transit agencies can now quantify the steps they are taking to make their operations more efficient while simultaneously being able to better demonstrate how the service they are providing is contributing to a cleaner planet. [More]

ADA’s 20th Year: What’s Ahead?
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

July 26, 1990, was Independence Day for people with disabilities in America. That was the date of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In the 20 years since, mobility and accessible transportation have expanded, as has freedom of movement. [More]

Town Hall on Transportation

Representatives of DOT and its modal administrations convened July 14 at the department’s offices in Washington, DC, for the last stop in a six-city tour discussing the upcoming surface transportation authorization bill. [More]

Sustainability ‘Chat’ Notes Importance of Transit

Representatives of the members of the Sustainable Communities Partnership—DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—discussed their efforts, individually and jointly, toward the creation of more environmentally friendly communities during a July 15 White House “live” webcast. [More]

New Rail Investment Study Sees More U.S. Jobs

The expanding U.S. commitment to all modes of passenger rail should lead to considerable manufacturing growth in coming years, according to a new report from the Apollo Alliance titled U.S. Manufacture of Rail Vehicles for Intercity Passenger Rail and Urban Transit: A Value Chain Analysis. Marcy Lowe, a senior research analyst at the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance, & Competitiveness, was the lead author of the report. [More]

Make Plans to Tell Your Story

APTA Chair M.P. Carter’s Telling Our Story initiative is in full swing, with events held across the country for District Days, Earth Day, Older Americans Outreach, and the 5th Annual National Dump the Pump Day. We heard from a lot of you—and we need to hear more! [More]

GAO: APTA, DOT Can Help Maximize Cost Savings

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to the Senate Banking Committee calls for a partnership between DOT and APTA to develop a process that will allow public transportation agencies with similar needs to participate in joint procurement and identify additional opportunities for standardization, especially for new systems. [More]

Watson New President/CEO

Linda S. Watson, chief executive officer of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) in Orlando, is joining the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, TX, as its president/chief executive officer. [More]

President’s Perspective: Reflections on ADA’s 20th Anniversary

Happy birthday, ADA! Americans have more and better public transportation in part because of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. I thought that, on the occasion of the Act’s 20th anniversary, it was a good time to take a look (both back and forward!) at how the public transportation industry has improved the accessibility to transit services and facilities not only for persons with disabilities, but also for all Americans. [More]

An Advocate’s Outlook on Transit Accessibility
BY DONNA McNAMEE, Member and Past President, Board of Trustees, LAKETRAN, Lake County, OH

After 25 years as a disability rights advocate and nine years as a transit board member, I have witnessed many changes in both public transit and the world at large. Chief among them is the evolution in the nation’s built environment: public transit has done more than any other industry in the lifetime of ADA to improve freedom, choice, mobility, and independence for people with disabilities.

Spontaneous Living: The Goal in ADA’s Future
BY MARY A. LEARY, Ph.D., Senior Director, Project ACTION and Transportation Initiatives, Easter Seals, Washington, DC

“I want to live a spontaneous life.” That’s what one young man told us at an event hosted by Easter Seals Project ACTION(ESPA) in partnership with the Division of Career Development Transition on the need to increase focus on transportation for youth with disabilities. [More]

ADA = Another Form of Civil Rights Legislation
BY J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY

First and foremost, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is civil rights legislation. Mobility and access provided through public transportation are key factors to fulfilling the promise of this legislation, but we need help in obtaining the funding to do the job right. [More]

DRI Corporation Supports ADA Access
BY DAVID L. TURNEY, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, DRI Corporation

DRI Corporation, through our Digital Recorders Inc. and TwinVision na Inc. subsidiaries in Durham, NC, develops, manufactures, and services ADA-compliant products and technologies. Our Digital Recorders® Talking Bus® automatic voice annunciation systems and TwinVision® electronic information display systems help people with disabilities achieve more independence and better mobility by providing auditory and visual messages, respectively, that convey next-stop announcements and destination information as they travel on buses and trains. [More]

In Dallas, Traveling to the Future with ADA
BY VICTOR BURKE, Executive Vice President, Operations, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX

On July 26, 1990, ADA was signed into law. On that day, transit agencies nationwide, like Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), had to forever change their perspectives on how they would provide transportation. For people with disabilities, who previously had been excluded from society in many ways, the enactment of this law meant access to a world of opportunity and equality. [More]

Twenty Years of ADA!
BY GARY R. WILLMS, President, MV Sales and Leasing Inc., Fairfield, CA

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law enacted by the U.S. Congress. Its long title is “An Act to establish a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.” It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective Jan. 1, 2009. [More]

ADA Brings Changes to Paratransit
BY PARK WOODWORTH, Manager, Paratransit/Rideshare Operations, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA

The passage of ADA 20 years ago was both exciting and scary for those of us working on paratransit within a transit agency. [More]

20 Years: Major Improvements in a Brief Time
BY RICK RAMACIER, General Manager, Central Contra Costa Transit Authority, Concord, CA

When I think about the Americans with Disabilities Act, public transit, and the future, I think about how far we have come since ADA was enacted. In 20 short years, we have gone from a few accessible buses to all buses being accessible. We have gone from many bus stops being inaccessible to persons with disabilities to a majority of accessible stops. We have gone from drivers calling out very few bus stops to calling out all major stops. [More]

A View from the Access Committee
BY JIM McLAUGHLIN, Senior Project Manager, Wilbur Smith Associates

My most profound recollections of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues and discussions occurred during my years as chair of the APTA Access Committee, when I often represented the industry at meetings and conferences. [More]

Eliminating Boundaries
BY RON BROOKS, Business Development Manager, Veolia Transportation Services

When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, I was working as an intern for an Indiana state disability organization. As a result, I knew about ADA but nothing about transit, other than the routes I rode each day. [More]

Youth Advisory Council Provides Input to SEPTA
BY PHIL DAWSON, Chair, SEPTA Youth Advisory Council, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and Student, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has added another achievement to Philadelphia’s moniker as “The City of Firsts” with its creation and support of the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Founded in September 2009 as the first permanently meeting youth body of its kind in the country, the YAC has given young riders unprecedented input into public transportation issues, and its success as a model program has attracted the attention of other transit agencies. [More]

APTA Releases New Vehicle Database

APTA recently released its 2010 Public Transportation Vehicle Database report. This comprehensive, annual report examines revenue vehicles by such fleet characteristics as data of manufacture, manufacturer, model, length, and equipment, representing about 250 U.S. transit agencies and 15 agencies in Canada. [More]

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