APTA | Passenger Transport
November 22, 2010

In This Issue

Consult the classifieds in this issue to find 13 bids & proposals and 7 employment opportunities!

GAO Identifies Methods to Improve Transit Performance Accountability

On Nov. 17, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report that identifies three performance accountability mechanisms for making federal transit programs more performance-based: providing financial rewards or penalties/sanctions; increasing or decreasing program flexibility as a performance incentive; and recognizing entities that achieve certain performance goals. [More]

2010 Elections—What Will They Mean For Transit?
BY PAUL DEAN, APTA Director, Government Affairs

 Now that the groundbreaking 2010 mid-term congressional elections are on the books and newly elected members are preparing to swarm Capitol Hill, political pundits, journalists, and of course, transit industry professionals—are all attempting to answer one basic question: what does it all mean? [More]

High-Speed Rail: Track Record of Success

A new study from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)—using lessons learned from other countries—found that high-speed rail can boost a nation’s economy, curb pollution, provide an appealing alternative to congested roads and airports, and conserve energy. [More]

Transit Salutes/Supports Veterans on Nov. 11

Each year, people throughout North America commemorate the sacrifices of their veterans in Nov. 11 observances of Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada. Public transportation agencies, integral parts of their communities, show their support by providing free rides and other forms of recognition to former and current members of the armed forces. [More]

Innovative Brevi Bus Unveiled in Rural Putnam County
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

Back in 2003, Putnam County, FL, decided to update its aging vehicle fleet, which included 10 buses. Ride Solution (which operates the system) searched around the country to find buses that would meet its needs—a bus that could traverse the county’s nearly 50 percent of unpaved roads. [More]

Groundbreaking for First MA Solar-Powered Train Station

As part of the Massachusetts Works program to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery, Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray joined Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on Nov. 15 to break ground on the $13.5 million Yawkey Commuter Rail Station reconstruction project—a key public transportation component of the $450 million redevelopment of the Fenway Park area. The station construction is expected to create 150-200 jobs. [More]

Help Extend the Commuter Transit Benefit After Dec. 31

APTA is encouraging its members to reach out to their riders and their congressional representatives to help extend the maximum transit commuter tax benefit at the level equal to the parking benefit. The transit commuter benefit puts transit/vanpool benefits presently at $230 per month; however, the transit/vanpool portion of the benefit will revert to $120 per month when the provision sunsets at the end of the year. [More]

APTA Seeks Applicants for Call Center Challenge

APTA invites call center personnel at member public transit systems to register by Dec. 17 for the fourth annual Call Center Challenge, a national competition to determine the best in the industry. The competition defines these individuals as employees who handle incoming calls relating to trip planning and/or customer service issues. [More]

U.S. DOT to Host IntelliDrive Mobility Workshop in VA

The U.S. Department of Transportation will host an IntelliDrive Mobility Workshop at George Mason University’s Arlington, VA campus Nov. 30-Dec. 1. [More]

Q’Straint, Sure-Lok Make Merger Announcement

Two manufacturers of wheelchair passenger safety systems—Q’Straint of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Sure-Lok of Bethlehem, PA—announced their merger on Nov. 9. [More]

DART’s Thomas Pays Up

Gary C. Thomas, president and executive director of Dallas Area Rapid Transit, recently visited the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District's Embarcadero Station in San Francisco to pay his end of a World Series bet between the two agencies. [More]

Robert Stewart Dies; Co-Founded ElDorado

Robert L. (Bob) Stewart, 79, of Sun City West, AZ, a founder of the firm now known as ElDorado National Co., died Oct. 23. [More]

Engineer Brown Dies

Steven H. (Steve) Brown, PE, 54, a long-time transit professional with more than 28 years of experience in public transit and transportation engineering, died Nov. 10 in Denison, TX. [More]

CTTransit Welcomes Newest Generation of Fuel Cell Buses

Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) welcomed four next-generation, fuel cell-powered hybrid-electric buses to its fleet in recent ceremonies in Hartford. The new vehicles join an earlier fuel cell bus in operation since 2007. [More]

Vancouver, St. Louis Transit Agencies Receive International Award

The International Association for Public Participation (IPA2) recognized TransLink in Vancouver, BC, and Metro in St. Louis with its Core Values Award at recent ceremonies in Scarborough, UK. [More]

Austin Residents Offered a Variety of Rewards for Green Travel

Taking public transportation in the Texas capital means going green in two ways—at least for the next year. [More]

UTA Receives Federal Funds for First Streetcar Line

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in Salt Lake City has announced plans for a totally new mode of public transportation—a two-mile streetcar line connecting TRAX light rail with the Sugar House neighborhood. [More]

Public Transportation Opinions from Across the U.S.

Editor's Note: Below are excerpts from recent commentaries or editorials across the nation on the need for public transportation. [More]

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