APTA | Passenger Transport
The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis
March 11, 2011
Forward   |   Calendar   |   APTA Home   |   Advertise with Us
LaHood Tells Appropriators of Changes to Trust Fund

In testimony March 10 before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood cited changes to the current Highway Trust Fund included in the administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 DOT budget request. This proposal includes the first year of a six-year, $556 billion surface transportation authorization plan. [More]

» The Lane Transit District in Eugene, OR, is looking for a new general manager.[More]
» The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority in Birmingham, AL, is seeking a director of transportation and a manager of customer service.[More]
View more Classified Ads »
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.

High Gas Prices Spur Transit Ridership
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

U.S. gasoline prices are shooting up at an unprecedented pace, largely as a result of unrest in the Middle East. Between the end of February and the beginning of March, AAA statistics showed average U.S. gas prices jumping 28 cents a gallon in 10 days.  And historically, when gas prices rise, so does public transportation ridership. [More]

LaHood Testifies on the FY 2012 Budget Proposal

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood provided emphatic testimony on March 8 supporting the administration’s DOT budget request for Fiscal Year 2012 before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. [More]

Political Winds Blowing in a Different Direction

The political winds on Capitol Hill have changed significantly in the year since APTA members came to Washington for the 2010 Legislative Conference. At this critical juncture, therefore, it is essential for APTA members to demonstrate to their federal representatives the benefits that public transportation brings to their districts, so those representatives can also become transit advocates as the political battles continue over the budget and appropriations processes. [More]

Rogoff Details Transit Budget; Highlights Infrastructure, State of Good Repair

With the administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget on everyone’s mind, Passenger Transport asked Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, some pressing questions concerning this budget proposal. His responses follow. [More]

HSR Partnerships Key to Success in WA, OR

In Washington State late last month, Gov. Chris Gregoire announced the signing of agreements that guaranteed $590 million in federal funding to improve the Amtrak Cascades rail corridor from Portland to Seattle. This project, one of 28 moving forward on high-speed rail, provides an example of a successful initiative attained through a series of partnerships. [More]

Poll Shows Widespread Support for Smart Growth

Almost four out of five U.S. residents—regardless of political affiliation—support sustainable communities, according to a poll released this month by Smart Growth America (SGA). [More]

DOT Announces Review of Existing Regulations

On Feb. 16, DOT published a Federal Register notice announcing its intent to review “its existing regulations to evaluate their continued validity and determine whether they are crafted effectively to solve current problems.” [More]

McMillan Receives Distinguished Alumni Award from UC-Berkeley

The University of California-Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design (CED) honored Therese W. McMillan, deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), with the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. The annual award, presented March 4, recognizes alumni for outstanding professional, social, academic, artistic, or other achievements at the local, national, or international level. [More]

‘Mad Men’ and … High-Speed Rail?

U.S. PIRG, in conjunction with the web site Funny or Die,  has worked with two actors from TV’s Mad Men to produce a video in support of high-speed rail. [More]

FRA Seeks Comments on Safety Notification

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would make it easier for the public to report unsafe conditions at highway-rail grade crossings. The proposal, published March 4 in the Federal Register, would require railroads to establish toll-free telephone numbers to allow the public to report malfunctioning highway-rail grade crossing warning signals, disabled vehicles blocking crossings, or any other unsafe conditions at crossings. [More]

Mineta Report Examines Low-Income Riders

Most low-income U.S. households are concerned about transportation costs even if they do not own cars and receive subsidized transit passes, according to the newest report from the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI). [More]

FRA Explains FY 2012 Budget Proposal

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) presented its $8.2 billion budget for passenger rail programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 at a March 8 webinar, hosted by APTA and linked at more than 100 locations. FRA Deputy Administrator Karen Rae was the featured speaker at the webinar. [More]

Wilbur Smith Associates Now Part of CDM

 CDM, based in Cambridge, MA, has announced its acquisition of Wilbur Smith Associates (WSA) of Columbia, SC. CDM provides consulting, engineering, construction, and operations services in water, environment, transportation, energy, and facilities, while WSA’s professional services consulting portfolio covers transportation, infrastructure, and community development planning, engineering, and economics. [More]

RouteMatch Software Acquires RouteShout

RouteMatch Software Inc., based in Atlanta, has acquired RouteShout™, a Traveler Information Systems (TIS) product developed by Deeplocal, a Carnegie-Mellon University spin-out. [More]


Now is the Time for All Good Transit People to Come to the Aid of Their Industry

Every year APTA urges its members to attend the Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, because it provides excellent opportunities to meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for public transportation investment. These visits are always important, but let me say to you—candidly and directly: There has never been a more critical time to meet with your Representatives and Senators than this year. [More]


Hundreds of Conference Goers Convene in Washington to Examine Legislative Issues

As uncertainty remains over the status of a federal surface transportation authorization bill and Congress continues to discuss current-year appropriations levels, hundreds of public transportation professionals have come to Washington, DC, to make their voices heard during the 36th Annual APTA Legislative Conference, March 13-15. [More]

Visiting Capitol Hill: Introductory Legislation 101

The legislative process is the backbone of federal funding for public transportation, but—like a human spine—it’s part of a complicated organism that can’t be understood without help. What follows is a “guided tour” that explains how bills are enacted—in this case, public transit-related bills—and why the process seems at times to take so long. [More]

Tips and Techniques for Your ‘Capitol Hill Summit’ Visits: How to Make the Most Out of Your Advocacy Efforts
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

To emphasize the importance of federal investment in public transportation and support for a surface transportation authorization bill, APTA is holding its first “Capitol Hill Summit” during the 2011 Legislative Conference in Washington. The summit’s purpose? To ensure that conference participants make every minute count during their visits to members of Congress and their staffs.

So what are the most efficient and effective ways to present their case? [More]


BRAC Closings = More Personnel + Need for Public Transit
BY CHUCK McCUTCHEON,Special to Passenger Transport

For security reasons, military bases often feature long, snaking lines of cars waiting to get inside the front gates. Now, thanks to the Pentagon’s decision to shift workers among numerous bases around the country, some military sites are likely to see even longer lines of cars and plenty of other traffic-congestion problems—but without adequate public transportation to help ease the burden.

That’s the conclusion of a new federal study that found that public transit needs to be given much more serious consideration as the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) shifts workers from closed bases to active ones. [More]


Sound Transit Employee Wins Call Center Challenge

Robert Nedrow III, a customer service representative for Sound Transit in Seattle, took the top prize in APTA’s 2011 Call Center Challenge, held March 1 in San Diego as part of the APTA Marketing and Communications Workshop. This was Sound Transit’s first time competing in the event. [More]

Register Now for TransITech!

Peter H. Appel, administrator of DOT’s Research and Innovation Technology Administration, will present the keynote speech at a March 29 luncheon session during APTA’s TransITech 2011, March 29-31 at the Hilton Miami Downtown in Miami, FL. [More]

TCRP Seeking Topics for Synthesis, Research Programs

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has issued a call for study topics for the 2011 Synthesis Program. TCRP will accept suggestions through April 1 from the industry and individuals with an interest in improving the management and operations of transit and in finding solutions to concerns facing the industry. [More]

APTA Webinar Covers Impact of Impending ‘Silver Tsunami’

More than 150 people participated in a March 9 APTA webinar titled “Funding the Transportation Needs of an Aging Population.” David Koffman, principal, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, and lead investigator for the Transportation Cooperative Research Program report of the same title, led the program, which was jointly promoted by APTA and the National Center on Senior Transportation. [More]

TCRP Releases Two Publications

The Transportation Research Board recently released two Transit Cooperative Research Program publications. [More]


Cincinnati Metro, TANK Play Hoops to Raise Money for Area Charities

Employees of Cincinnati Metro and the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) in Fort Wright, KY, met Feb. 26 on the basketball court at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in the first annual Metro-TANK Tri-State Charity Basketball Shoot-Out. TANK won the game by 67-62, but the real winners were two local charities. [More]

MBTA Initiates ‘Quiet Car’ Option in Commuter Rail Pilot Program

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston has introduced a “quiet car” option on its Franklin and Fitchburg commuter rail lines operated by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad. The pilot program continues through April 3, at which time the authority will consider expanding it to all its commuter rail lines. [More]

Salem, OR, Transit Agency Honored for Partnership with Tribal Confederation

Salem-Keizer Transit in Salem, OR, recently received the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments Regional Cooperative Project Award for its Grand Ronde Express service, a partnership between the transit agency and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. [More]

Valley Metro Opens Mobility Center

In ribbon-cutting ceremonies Feb. 23, Valley Metro in Phoenix marked the completion of its Mobility Center: a new regional facility whose purpose is to help make travel easier for thousands of passengers who may need additional assistance navigating the transit system. The system provides service to more than 11,000 people who are eligible for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) designation, allowing them reduced fares on the bus and light rail system and access to paratransit service, or Dial-a-Ride. [More]

Bridgeport Riders Spread the Word

Greater Bridgeport Transit (GBT) in Bridgeport, CT, has posted a video on its web site in which riders share their experiences with the agency and emphasize their many reasons for riding. The tagline is “GBT improves lives, one ride at a time.” [More]

Valley Forge TMA Partners with Nearby Community College

The Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVF), based in King of Prussia, PA, has entered into a partnership with the Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) to institute a free shuttle service for college students and employees that connects the college’s campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, PA, about 30 miles apart. [More]

El Paso’s Sun Metro Opens Glory Road Transfer Center

Sun Metro in El Paso, TX, recently joined with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to mark the opening of the new, $13 million Glory Road Transfer Center. [More]


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.


© Copyright 2011 American Public Transportation Association
1666 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 496-4882 • Fax (202) 496-4321
Print Version | Search Back Issues | Contact Us | Unsubscribe