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Welcome to the "new and improved" electronic edition of Passenger Transport!  Next week you'll see the revised version of Passenger Transport EXPRESS.

So what is new?  First, on this page you'll see our enhanced CLASSIFIEDS section.  Easy to find, easy to find out more!

And next ... two words:  Social media. [More]

» The Alexandria Transit Company is looking for a Director of Planning and Development. [More]
» The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada  is looking for a Senior Transit Operations Planner. [More]
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TO PLACE AN AD: E-mail or fax the requested date(s) of publication to: ptads@apta.com or FAX to (202) 496-4898. Mailing address is: Passenger Transport, 1666 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. Ad copy is not accepted by phone. DEADLINE: Noon, Monday, one week prior to publication date. INFORMATION: Phone (202) 496-4819.

Biden, LaHood Lay Out Vision for High-Speed Rail; DOT Officials Also Spotlight Transit Projects

On Feb. 8 in Philadelphia, Vice President Joe Biden announced a comprehensive plan designed to help the nation reach President Obama’s goal of giving 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years, as outlined in his State of the Union address. [More]

Survey: Grim Outlook, Layoffs Possible

Public transportation-related businesses are predicting layoffs and investment overseas if a long-term surface transportation authorization bill is not enacted soon. [More]

FTA Releases $3 Billion in Formula Funding for Transit

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the FTA released an apportionment notice announcing the availability of $3 billion in formula funding. [More]

Ramsey County Union Depot Breaks Ground

Saint Paul, MN took a major step “back to the future” Jan. 18 as demolition activities began that would lead to the restoration of the city’s venerable 1920s Union Depot train station. The project seeks to return the once-prominent facility to its original purpose as the region’s transportation hub—as well as a new destination for retail, art, music, food and drink—and brings the even greater promise of welcomed economic stimulus to the region by creating 3,000 jobs for all companies involved in the project. [More]

Mayors: Invest in Public Transportation Now

Providing the keynote address at the Jan. 19 luncheon of the 79th Winter meeting of the U.S. Conference on Mayors, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) called himself “a strong advocate of mass transit.”  [More]

Reese Named New CAT Executive Director

Veolia Transportation COO Ken Westbrook announced the appointment of Dr. Chadwick Reese as the new executive director for Chatham Area Transit Authority (CAT) in Savannah, GA. [More]

MCTS Celebrates Its Super Pack

All Milwaukee County Transit System buses displayed "Go Pack Go" on Super Bowl Sunday. [More]


APTA’s Legislative Conference to Offer “Capitol Hill Summit”

The changed landscape of the 112th Congress means that it’s more important than ever for APTA members to highlight the importance of federal investment in public transportation to their elected officials. To that end, APTA will hold its first “Capitol Hill Summit” during the conference, which will focus on emphasizing lobbying and outreach objectives. [More]

2011 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards: Send in Nominations Now

APTA is currently accepting nominations for the 2011 Safety & Security Excellence Awards—which recognize transportation systems for their commitment to improving safety through application of effective initiatives.  The deadline is March 31. [More]

Joint Conference March 16-18

The Joint Rail Conference 2011, a multidisciplinary North American railroad conference covering all aspects of rail transportation and engineering research, will be held March 16-18 at the Pueblo Convention Center in Pueblo, CO.

TCRP Soliciting Problem Statements

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) is soliciting problem statements identifying research needs for its Fiscal Year 2012 Program. [More]


Technological Innovation Driving the Industry
BY SARAH HOLLANDER, Special to Passenger Transport

Technological innovation in public transportation has focused of late on such varied areas as communication, energy efficiency, and safety. New technology is pushing public transit investment in everything from apps that radically improve customer service to buses that recharge wirelessly to a system that helps bus drivers navigate snowy highway shoulders. [More]

Public Transit Operators … Driver Cell Phone Detection Has Arrived
BY LEONARD BUKHIN, Program Manager, Los Angeles Metro, Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Metro is “putting the brakes on cell phone usage” for drivers operating public transportation vehicles. Federal and state requirements strictly prohibit using cell phones for calling and texting by operators of buses and trains. [More]

Prioritizing Safety: Overhauling Automated Train Control in Atlanta
BY DWIGHT A. FERRELL, Deputy General Manager/Chief Operations Officer Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Atlanta, GA

Throughout these difficult budgetary times, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has continued to prioritize its safety critical infrastructure projects toward cost-effectively investing in the most robust, sustainable, and technologically advanced systems available. In line with this focus, MARTA recently signed a contract with Alstom Signaling Inc., a global leader in transit technology and innovation, to completely overhaul its automated train control and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) computer systems.  [More]

New Heavy-Duty Buses Improve Ride, Save Fuel
BY JAMES P. BURKE Chief, Public Transit Division City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Honolulu, HI

The City and County of Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, along with Oahu Transit Services, Inc., find themselves in a position to take advantage of the many benefits offered by today’s ongoing vehicle technology advancements. Escalating energy and maintenance costs and the call for greener business practices have prompted bus and component manufacturers to provide products that offer greater passenger comfort, improved fuel efficiency, and decreased exhaust emissions. [More]

Providing Customers with Real-Time Information
BY ARJAN vanANDEL, Director, Business Development, ITS North America Trapeze ITS U.S.A. Cedar Rapids, IA

Studies have shown that accurate customer information decreases waiting time for transportation services. In addition, good information reduces complaints to agencies such as: “I was waiting in the cold and snow, but my bus never showed up,” and increases such compliments as: “I could take an extra cup of coffee, because I knew the first arriving bus was full.” [More]

SamTrans Fareboxes Going High Tech This Spring
BY TASHA BARTHOLOMEW, Public Information Specialist, San Mateo County Transit District San Mateo, CA

Oftentimes, bus riders don’t give a second thought to the machine that takes their fare. It is just like a well-known friend that allows them to get where they need to go. But at the San Mateo County Transit District, where SamTrans provides fixed-route bus and paratransit service throughout San Mateo County and into parts of San Francisco and Palo Alto, this 24-year-old standard is about to be replaced with a new high-tech model. [More]

Choosing the Right Direction in Day-To-Day Decisions
BY JON McDONALD, West Division Rail Systems Director HNTB Corporation San Francisco, CA Chair, APTA Research & Technology Committee

After a train collision in June 2009, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that among the causes were a flaw in the technology chosen to operate the system and the organization’s inability to institutionalize processes that would aid management in making decisions that could have helped to minimize or prevent this accident.  [More]

Successful Systems’ Capital Technology Projects
BY RANDY J. KNAPICK, AICP Associate, IBI Group Portland, OR and ANNE O’NEIL, P.E., CSEP Chief Systems Engineer, Capital Program Management MTA New York City Transit New York, NY

Advanced technology has become increasingly vital to the business of public transportation. From the systems that support day-to-day operations to the information services that customers expect to the economic demands to deliver more for less, agencies increasingly turn to technology solutions. As a consequence, the complexity of capital projects has significantly increased—after all, it’s no longer civil projects but systems projects that are built. [More]

Joint Council on Transit Wireless Communications: Taking A Look Back – And Moving Forward
BY BARRY C. EINSIG, Market Director, Harris Corporation Washington, DC

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it has been over a year since we launched the Joint Council on Transit Wireless Communications at the APTA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, in October 2009. During the strategic planning of the organization over the summer of 2009 we set out to fulfill a vision and a mission:

Our Vision: To be the collective voice committed to addressing transit industry wireless communications needs.
Our Mission: To assure that transit industry wireless communications needs are continuously met through information sharing. [More]

Adding Flexibility to System Procurements
BY CURTIS PIERCE and BRIN OWEN, Lead Associates, Booz Allen Hamilton Transportation Practice, San Francisco, CA

As the business of transit becomes more dependent on information technology, transit agencies are required to procure more complex technical systems. Typically, these systems are procured as a unit, including all hardware and software components and both customer facing and back-end elements. For complex technical systems such as modern fare collection systems, passenger information systems and vehicle location systems, this procurement method has drawbacks. [More]


GRTC Transit Facility in Richmond, VA, Named ‘Best of the Best’

McGraw-Hill Construction, publisher of Engineering News-Record and other publications, recently honored the GRTC Transit System Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in Richmond, VA, as the Best of the Best in the Industrial Category of its third annual Best of the Best Awards. [More]

Riverside, CA, Donates More than One-Half Ton of Spare Bus Parts

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) in Riverside, CA, recently donated more than one-half ton of spare bus parts to the Riverside Community College District for use by students in the alternative fuels program at Riverside City College. [More]

Grand River Transfer Station Becomes Heart of TOD in La Crosse, WI

Every half hour on weekdays, buses operated by the La Crosse Municipal Transit Utility (MTU) stop at Grand River Station in La Crosse, WI, to pick up and drop off passengers. But the recently opened transit center is more than just a central bus hub; it’s part of a transit-oriented development (TOD), along with residential and commercial space, that city officials say will play a primary role in revitalizing the downtown area. [More]


High-Tech Transportation: Key for Improving Safety, Efficiency and Return on Investment
BY SCOTT BELCHER President and CEO of ITS America

States across the country are turning to high-tech solutions to solve their transportation challenges. You can bet that cash-strapped city and state governments aren’t embracing technology because of the “cool factor.” They recognize that we need to build smarter—using technology to connect transportation modes, expand traveler choices, and improve traffic management. They also recognize that technology is essential for getting the most out of our existing infrastructure, from roads and bridges to ports and transit systems.

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