Read the classifieds in this issue to learn about 7 bids & proposals and 7 transit job opportunities!
Congress Passes Two Key Provisions That Advance Public Transportation
The House of Representatives gave final approval early on Dec.17 to President Obama's tax bill.
Update on 2011 Federal Appropriations Bill and SAFETEA-LU Extension
The Senate has not yet voted on the 2011 appropriations bill and the extension of SAFETEA-LU. [More]
Mica Announces New Committee Republicans
Rep. John L. Mica (R-FL), the Chairman-designate of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), has announced the new Republican members of the Committee for the 112th Congress.
DART Launches New Green Line Service; 28-Mile Light Rail Corridor Is Longest in U.S. Since 1990
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) celebrated the completion of its 28-mile, 20-station, $1.8 billion light rail Green Line on Dec. 6—on schedule and under budget just over four years after ground breaking. According to DART, this is the longest single-day line opening of electric light rail in the United States since 1990.
FTA Announces $15.1 Million in Tribal Transit Infrastructure Grants
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced an investment of $15.1 million in federal funds to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments across the U.S. for public transportation improvements on or near reservations.
Ho Ho Ho Holiday Bus
APTA joins all its members in wishing the readers of Passenger Transport a happy holiday season.
MBTA Now Serving Airport in Warwick, RI
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston instituted weekday commuter rail service Dec. 6 to Theodore Francis Green (T.F. Green) International Airport in Warwick, RI.
Agencies Provide Nearly 2.5 Billion Transit Rides
U.S. public transportation systems provided nearly 2.5 billion trips during the third quarter of 2010, according to APTA statistics. Despite continued high unemployment, public transit use declined by less than 1 percent (.67 percent) compared with the same quarter last year, with heavy rail and bus service in small communities showing ridership increases for the period.
FRA Awards Total of $766,562 in Bio-Based Fuel Grants
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced two research grants totaling $766,562 to advance the use of bio-based fuels and lubricants—with the ultimate goals of cleaner air and a decrease in the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
NRDC: States Can Do More to Curb Carbon Pollution
A report released Dec. 14 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Smart Growth America (SGA) demonstrates a conflict between many states’ transportation policies and the goal of reducing carbon emissions. The report, Getting Back on Track: Climate Change and State Transportation Policy, examines 17 key policy options in all 50 states and reports on methods of improvement.
Transit Veteran Neeley Selected New Corpus Christi CEO
The Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors in Corpus Christi, TX, has unanimously voted to offer the position of chief executive officer to Monty Scott Neeley.
In Peoria, Gathering Tons of Food
The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District (CityLink) in Peoria, IL, collected 10,300 pounds of food in a historic GMC bus during its 23rd annual Stuff-A-Bus campaign—30 percent more than the previous year, and leaving barely enough room for the bus operator to sit.
Moving Forward on Multiple Mobility Management Issues
In 2008, APTA embraced the concept of “mobility management” in its TransitVision 2050 document, noting that, if the industry is to meet critical national and local goals more effectively and better serve the needs of individual travelers, it must evolve to take in this new concept and role.
New Standard Bus Procurement Final Guidelines Available
For the first time, APTA is making available all of its Standard Bus Procurement Guidelines standards in a single volume.
2011 APTA Calendar Out Now!
Check your mailboxes today for your copy of the 2011 APTA Calendar.
Workforce Development Brochure Recently Released
APTA recently released a brochure highlighting its current and future workforce development initiatives, Building a Sustainable Workforce for Public Transportation…Now![More]
2010: THE YEAR IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
2010: Examining the Legislative Year in Review
BY MEREDITH SLESINGER, APTA Legislative Analyst
Before we turn the calendar to 2011, it’s time to take a look back at a year that left much unfinished business in Washington for the public transportation agenda. Many of APTA’s legislative priorities remain in a state of flux.
Looking Back on an Eventful Transit Policy Year
BY ART GUZZETTI, APTA Vice President, Policy
In a year heavily influenced by a struggling national economy and financially stressed state and local governments, public transportation once again showed resilience in navigating tough times. In addition, a number of policy initiatives by DOT and APTA show promise for advancing public transportation in the years ahead.
The New Faces of APTA Governance
BY JAMES LaRUSCH, APTA Chief Counsel and Vice President, Corporate Affairs
As the year began, APTA’s new governance structure was little more than a proposal that members would continue voting on for more than two months. When the vote finally closed in March, the bylaws changes were approved by a margin of almost 99 to 1 and APTA was on its way to a new approach to leading the public transit industry.
Public Transportation in 2010: A Look Back in Pictures
Here are some scenes from 2010 events of importance to the public transportation community, as they were covered by Passenger Transport.[More]
Staying Current with Smaller Transit Agencies
BY JILL HOUGH, Ph.D., Director, Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND
Cross-country travel to train public transit professionals and research to improve the mobility of seniors and persons with disabilities were among the past year’s highlights for the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center (SURTC) at North Dakota State University (NDSU).
The Road to Sustainability in Champaign-Urbana, IL
BY TOM COSTELLO, Assistant Managing Director, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, IL
The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) continued its steady march toward sustainability throughout 2010. The value of committing to sustainable practices and policies cannot be overstated. The district not only behaves as a good citizen but realizes significant cost savings from instituting these practices.
NJ Transit: Facing Challenges, Providing Services
BY FLORA M. CASTILLO, Board Member, New Jersey Transit Corporation, Newark, NJ
The year 2010 was another busy one for NJ Transit, as the agency worked in the first half of the year to balance its budget and create a sustainable, fiscally responsible plan that preserves New Jersey’s robust, multimodal transit network.
Top Stories of 2010 for the Public Transit Industry
BY CLIFF HENKE, Senior Analyst, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Arcadia, CA
For this opportunity, I thought I’d take a page from all those “top stories” lists you read in the news and watch on television at the end of the year. Here is my take on the seven most important stories of our industry this past year, many of which will continue into the new year—in no particular order.
Reviewing the Past Year at Portlandís TriMet
BY CAROLYN YOUNG, Executive Director, Communications & Technology, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland, OR
Like many transit agencies across the country, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) continued to face serious budget cuts in 2010. With the regional unemployment rate among the highest in the country, we grappled with declining revenues and a second year of cuts. We again focused first on non-service related budget cuts before looking to service cuts and a fare increase to help close the $27 million budget gap.
Customers The Main Focus of CATSí Commitment
BY CAROLYN FLOWERS, CEO, Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte, NC
Fiscal Year 2010 was an insightful and challenging year, as the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) continued to deal with the national recession, record high unemployment in the region, and sales tax receipts dipping to the 2005 level. We had to manage this flat sales tax revenue and be selective in investments that would best serve the community. Through these challenges, CATS focused on delivering the best core services possible to the community, sustaining jobs, and maintaining the high quality of our service.
As Challenges Continue, Transit Systems Seek Solutions
BY KIM GREEN, President, GFI Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IL
The next few years will be challenging ones for the public transit industry. With unemployment levels remaining high, many agencies have seen their ridership and revenue levels flatten out or decline. Rising costs combined with falling levels of funding may lead to service cuts and fare increases. Given the recent election results, it’s hard to say what the industry can expect at the federal level. Transit managers are under pressure to cut costs and stretch the limited capital dollars available.
Palm Tranís Forward Movement Last Year
BY CHUCK COHEN, Executive Director, and LILIANE M. AGEE-FINKE, Marketing and Public Information Manager, Palm Tran, West Palm Beach, FL
Palm Tran, Palm Beach County’s public transportation agency, provides transit services to the
largest county in Florida. The agency persists in pursuing better ways of providing public transportation to the people who live and work within the county.
First Transit Reflects on Its Varied Services in 2010
BY NICK PROMPONAS, Senior Vice President, First Transit, Tempe, AZ
As 2010 comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a challenging—and very exciting—year for us at First Transit. We’ve all seen how municipalities, schools, and transportation providers have been tasked with operating in a more efficient and fiscally conscious manner, which has provided First Transit the opportunity for close planning with clients to maximize service and minimize expense.
TCRP Notes an Active Year, Releasing 26 Reports
As 2010 comes to a close, the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) looks back on a very active year, publishing a total of 26 reports: seven research reports, five legal research digests, three research results digests, six syntheses, one CD, and four web-only documents.
In Memoriam: Public Transportation Leaders and Workers
Over the past year, the public transportation industry said goodbye to transit agency chief executives and board members, the first administrator of the former Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA), and a member of the APTA Hall of Fame. In chronological order of their deaths, here’s how they were remembered in the pages of Passenger Transport.
Drawing from the Past Year Ö for 2011
BY WILLIAM MILLAR, APTA President
Over the past year, we at APTA have concentrated our efforts to communicate the many and varied benefits of public transportation—and to stress the urgent need for more federal investment—to the public, members of Congress, state and local elected officials, key partners in government and affiliated organizations, and our riders.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
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.