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March 25, 2011
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LaHood, Mica, Brown Talk Transit
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood and Reps. John Mica (D-FL) and Corinne Brown (D-FL) addressed a packed audience March 15 at APTA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. LaHood opened the session, saying “You have a lot of friends at DOT, and we consider you our partners in what we want to do in America. Thank you for all you’ve already done.” [More]

» The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System is seeking a new general manager. [More]
» The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is looking for a director for MetroAccess paratransit. [More]
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Porcari Addresses Legislative Conference
‘World-Class Transportation’ Is a Critical Priority for the U.S.

BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

“We can’t have a world-class society without world-class transportation,” Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari told the March 14 Opening General Session of the APTA Legislative Conference in his keynote address. He welcomed conference participants as partners of DOT, noting: “Your advocacy shapes the way we view transit as a nation.” [More]


DHS and NCAA Join Together in ‘See Something, Say Something’ Campaign

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for DHS’ “If You See Something, Say Something” security public awareness campaign. This combined effort is to help ensure safety and security during the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament and all 88 NCAA championship games and tournaments. [More]

NRDC Names 15 Regions Leaders in Smart Transit

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Smarter Cities project has named 15 U.S. metropolitan regions as leaders in transportation innovation and smart transit. [More]

Fort Worth’s ‘T’ Receives FTA Award

And the winner is … the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T), which received an Award of Excellence on March 16 as Transit System of the Year from Robert Patrick, Region VI administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  Presented for “outstanding operations,” The T achieved a perfect score on its 2010 FTA Triennial Review for a large transport provider. [More]

NTI’s Schedule Announced

The National Transit Institute (NTI) will hold its 2011 Transit Academy program May 15-19 in Dallas, in cooperation with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). This workshop provides experience for transportation decision-makers and staffers new to the industry. [More]

Grant Named Managing Director in Milwaukee

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) has named 26-year employee Lloyd Grant Jr. as its next managing director and promoted Michael Giugno to Grant’s previous post as deputy director. These changes follow the retirement of Managing Director Anita Gulotta-Connelly. [More]

Cameron Beach Dies; SFMTA Board Member

Cameron Beach, 62, a longtime employee of the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) who became a member of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors in 2007, died March 18. [More]

DiJohn Dies; UIC Professor, First Director of Pace Bus

Joseph DiJohn, 67, professor of transportation at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), died March 19 after battling lung cancer for several months. [More]


Conference, Capitol Hill Summit a Success!
APTA Members Convene in Washington, Meet with Legislators

In the words of Napoleon Bonaparte: “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

While it was not ten thousand speakers, it was hundreds of APTA members who made their voices heard in the nation’s capital when APTA’s Annual Legislative Conference concluded and its Capitol Hill Summit began. [More]

‘Good Things Happen When We Work Together’
Session Examines How Partnerships Will Be Key to Authorization Success

BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

“You will hear how we are going to engage partners to help with authorization,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., APTA secretary/treasurer; vice chair of the APTA Rail Transit CEOs Subcommittee; and executive director/chief executive officer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. [More]

Lawmakers Encourage Conference Attendees to Make Strong Case for Transit
First Ever ‘Capitol Hill Summit Kickoff’ Held

BY KATHERINE LEWIS,Special to Passenger Transport

Reps. Steven LaTourette (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) urged APTA members to make the case for public transportation investment to revitalize the struggling U.S. economy when they addressed a March 14 session of the 2011 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington. [More]

Thompson: Press Congress on Budget
BY KATHERINE LEWIS, Special to Passenger Transport

Tommy Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin and former Amtrak board chair, urged APTA members to explain to their members of Congress the importance of public transportation, with an emphasis on specific projects and services in their home districts. Thompson spoke at the March 14 Policy Briefing Breakfast session of the 2011 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington, sponsored by APTA’s Business Members. [More]

Rogoff, Rae Discuss Federal Commitment to Transit

President Obama’s vision for high-speed rail and his administration’s commitment to public transportation overall was the focus of much of the March 14 General Session during the APTA Legislative Conference featuring officials from DOT and the Transportation Security Administration. [More]

Cook: Modern Voters Increasingly Likely to Change the Channel on Congress
BY KATHERINE LEWIS, Special to Passenger Transport

Modern-day voters give little time for the political party controlling Congress to advance an agenda before they grow impatient and return the other party to power, compared with voters in the 20th century, said Charlie Cook, publisher of The Cook Political Report and political analyst for the National Journal Group, at the March 13 Opening General Session of the 2011 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington. [More]

Congressional Aides Discuss Transit Funding
BY KATHERINE LEWIS, Special to Passenger Transport

Congressional aides reassured public transportation leaders that lawmakers remain committed to their interests, while warning that the Fiscal Year 2012 budget will be hard-fought and new funding sources are needed, at a March 14 “View from the Hill” session of the 2011 APTA Legislative Conference. [More]

Scenes from APTA's 2011 Legislative Conference

Here are a few scenes from the 2011 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington, DC.
All conference photos by Steve Barrett [More]


New York MTA Launches Tunneling for East Side Access

In ceremonies March 18, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) dedicated two tunnel boring machines that will be used in the East Side Access project, creating four tunnels under Sunnyside Yard in Queens. The new tunnels, scheduled for completion in October 2012, will connect the tracks of the MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line with the tunnel under the East River that leads to Grand Central Terminal. [More]

Murray, Napolitano Launch MBTA Security Campaign

Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano visited South Station in Boston March 14 to launch the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) updated security awareness campaign, “If You See Something, Say Something.” The campaign urges the public to take an active role keeping the city and the transit system safe and secure. [More]


Register Now for Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 22-25 in Memphis

It’s not too soon to register for the 2011 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 22-25 at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in Memphis, TN! Early registration fees of $575 are available through April 15; on that day, the fee will increase to $625. [More]

Youth Summit: ‘Generation Green’

This June 26-30, APTA will host its second Youth Summit at Trinity University College in Washington, DC. The event, “Generation Green on Board: A Youth Summit to Advance Public Transportation,” will bring together a diverse group of 50 high school junior and senior students from across the country who have expressed an interest in public transportation. [More]

Standards Development Program Documents Open for Comment

APTA’s Standards Development Program has posted five documents for public comment between April 1 and May 1. This time period is the industry’s chance to participate in the consensus-based process established by APTA for the development of standards. [More]

TCRP Seeks Information on Agencies’ ‘Transformative’ Efforts

The Transit Cooperative Research Program invites public transportation agencies to participate in its current research effort, Transforming Public Transportation Institutional and Business Models, the purpose of which is to provide the transit industry with useful strategies to implement “transformative and fundamental change.” Specifically, the research panel is looking for examples that are not yet documented or well known. [More]

APTA Launches Online Buyers’ Guide

APTA has announced the introduction of its new Online Buyers’ Guide, a user-friendly tool for the public transportation industry that provides instant access to vendor resources. [More]

Still Time to Register for Practicum

APTA is joining with the International Union of Railways to hold the 2011 International Practicum on Implementing High-Speed Rail in the United States May 3-5 at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore, MD. [More]


Gasoline Prices Continue to Rise; Transit Ridership May Follow Suit

Editor's Note: APTA recently released a study that predicted Americans will turn to public transportation in record numbers as gasoline prices continue to rise. What follows below are just a few excerpts of responses to the study results. [More]

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