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December 16, 2011
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Ridership Increases in Last Three Quarters of the Year; Third Quarter Sees 52 Million More Trips

U.S. residents continue to turn to public transportation, according to APTA’s recently released ridership report for the third quarter of 2011. [More]

» New Hampshire DOT is seeking candidates for the position of director of aeronautics, rail, and transit. [More]
» MV Transportation is offering a general manager position in Union, NJ, and an assistant general manager in Hartford, CT. [More]
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Cincinnati Metro Opens New Transit Center

 Metro in Cincinnati opened its new Glenway Crossing Transit Center and Park-and-Ride to bus service on Dec. 4, with dedication ceremonies following on Dec. 9. [More]


LaHood Announces TIGER III Grants

On Dec. 15, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a total of $511 million in grants for 46 transportation projects—29 percent public transportation-related—through the third round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER III) program. The announcement comes months ahead of schedule. [More]

Recycling Bicycles in Columbus

On Dec. 9, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus donated back to the community 49 bikes that had been left on buses over the past several months. [More]

Hoboken Ferry Returns to Service at Historic NJ Transit Terminal

For the first time in nearly 45 years, New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) is hosting ferry service at its historic Hoboken Ferry Terminal—part of NJ Transit’s Hoboken Terminal, the largest multimodal terminal in the New York City metropolitan area. [More]

UIC: High-Speed Rail Yields Major Carbon Savings

The carbon footprint of high-speed rail can be up to 14 times less carbon-intensive than car travel and up to 15 times below that of aviation, even when measured over the full life-cycle of planning, construction, and operation—according to two new research reports conducted by Systra for the International Union of Railways (UIC) that also demonstrate the speed, reliability, comfort, and safety benefits of high-speed rail. [More]

AARP Report: ‘Aging in Place’ Requires Transportation Options

Nearly 90 percent of U.S. residents over age 65 want to “age in place”—stay in their homes for as long as possible—but they need transportation options if their plans are to succeed, according to Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices, a new report from AARP and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). [More]

Lawton Is New Head of Ansaldo STS

Ansaldo STS (ASTS) has named Thomas P. Lawton as its new president and chief executive officer, based at the company’s North American headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA. [More]

Blewitt Hired as Director in Colorado Springs

Mountain Metropolitan Transit in Colorado Springs, CO, has named Craig Blewitt its permanent director. He had served on an interim basis since the start of 2010. [More]

Snowman on Board

St. Louis Metro, in partnership with the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC), is operating the Holiday Magic Train through Dec. 31. [More]


Taking a Last Look at 2011

From the challenges of higher fuel costs and decreasing revenue to the efforts to obtain a long-term, multimodal surface transportation authorization bill, this has been a formidable time for the public transportation industry. [More]

APTA Fights for Federal Investment in Public Transit
BY CHAD CHITWOOD, Program Manager-Communications

Throughout 2011, APTA and its members worked hard to increase federal investment in public transportation. [More]

Spreading the Word About Public Transportation: Disseminating Its Many Benefits; Helping Members Make Its Case
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

The Communications and Marketing Department contributed in making the case for how critical public transportation is to all Americans and how it benefits everyone. In a down economy, and as gas prices fluctuated, APTA took the opportunity to create a variety of materials and events including advertisements, petitions, surveys, and brochures, and held an array of activities—all focused on the message that public transit creates and supports jobs, and can help bolster the economy. [More]

Sustainability: Adding Value to the Industry
BY PETRA MOLLET, APTA Vice President-Strategy, and RICH WEAVER, APTA Director of Planning, Policy, and Sustainability

 This year, APTA’s focus on “greening” the public transportation industry continued to gain ground as increasing numbers of members participated in the APTA Sustainability Committee and annual workshop. [More]

Looking Back on an Eventful and Challenging Year in Transportation Initiatives and Policy
BY ART GUZZETTI, APTA Vice President-Policy

As much as any year in recent memory, 2011 posed policy and funding challenges to public transportation providers and businesses. Even as a tough economy kept budgets tight, public transit systems across the country saw ridership gains, system growth, and positive results at many ballot boxes. The public transportation industry again demonstrated a sense of resiliency, culminating in a year of much advancement. [More]

Bus, Rail Projects Experience Substantial Forward Movement Throughout the Year

Both rail and bus modes of public transportation saw notable advances during 2011. Actions affecting U.S. public transit systems included federal funding for specific projects, ridership growth, and action toward implementing high-speed rail. [More]

APTA’s Governance: In Transition, Strategically Focused
BY JAMES P. LARUSCH, APTA Chief Counsel & Vice President-Corporate Affairs

This was the transition year for APTA’s governance model. The new board of directors, elected at last year’s annual conference, immediately embraced its new status. The board held its very first virtual meeting on Jan. 7, and adopted a new paradigm for its relationship with its executive committee, a communications strategy to make working among 106 directors manageable, and a series of strategic issues to tackle over the course of the upcoming two years. [More]

Bridging the Gap: The Next Generation
BY CHERYL PYATT, APTA Program Manager-Program Management and Educational Services

Throughout 2011, APTA’s leadership and the Executive Committee have been actively encouraging career development and youth outreach initiatives in conjunction with the development and implementation of recommended initiatives of APTA’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Workforce Development. In response, the Program Management and Educational Services Department presented held key programs this year, both new events and ongoing activities. [More]

New Destinations Ahead; Opportunities Abound
BY GARY C. THOMAS, President/Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and Chair, APTA

One of the great parts of our business is there’s always a new opportunity. New buses are coming on line, new rail service is being introduced, and new destinations are being established that will help us introduce transit to even more customers. [More]

NJ TRANSIT: Year of the Scorecard, Technology
BY FLORA M. CASTILLO, CHIE, Board Member, New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT), and Vice Chair, APTA

 For NJ TRANSIT, 2011 marked the year of the Scorecard, a new, innovative management and reporting tool that represents one of the agency’s most significant initiatives to date and places a priority focus on five strategic areas: customer experience, safety and security, financial performance, employee excellence, and corporate accountability. By making key statistics and performance data readily accessible to the public for the first time, Scorecard provides an ongoing measurement of NJ TRANSIT’s performance, enabling the agency to make informed strategic decisions that will maximize resources and optimize the overall customer experience. [More]

SamTrans Moves Forward in Spite of Tough Times
BY MICHAEL J. SCANLON, General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, San Mateo County Transit District, and Executive Director, Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, San Carlos, CA, and APTA Immediate Past Chair

In a year when bad news seems to be unrelenting, the San Mateo County Transit District has been able to advance several important projects that will benefit its riders for years to come. [More]

On the Go! Travel Station Kiosk and ‘Weekender’ Launched by New York MTA
BY THOMAS F. PRENDERGAST, President, MTA New York City Transit, and Executive Committee Member-at-Large, APTA

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the midst of a customer communication revolution. There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to improve the availability and accessibility of real-time transit information that are customers want most. Two such projects that were launched this fall are the On the Go! Travel Station pilot and the new Weekender web site. [More]

APTA’s Standards Development Program: Ascertaining Best Practices, Producing Results
BY JEFF HIOTT, APTA Senior Program Manager-Standards Program

Since 2005, one of APTA’s key efforts has been to bring together public transit agencies, business members, and the federal government to write consensus-based and voluntary standards or best practices for the public transportation industry. These documents are designed to improve safety, reliability, performance, and efficiency of agency operations, planning, and equipment. [More]

Taking A Look Back: Public Transportation in 2011 in Pictures

Here is an overview of public transportation highlights during 2011, as they appeared in photos in Passenger Transport. [More]

In Memoriam: Saluting Public Transportation Professionals

Over the past year, the public transportation industry said goodbye to transit agency chief executives and board members, a past APTA chair, and a former APTA deputy executive vice president.

In chronological order of their deaths, here is how they were remembered in the pages of Passenger Transport[More]


APTA Member Forums: Join the Conversation!

Do you have advice for your peers? Do you have a vexing issue that you need to take care of but just can’t quite figure out? Just curious about how other agencies handle situations?

In the APTA Forum pages, you can take a moment to help your fellow peers and answer a question or you can ask your own question. [More]

Call for Papers on High-Speed Rail

APTA and the International Union of Railways (UIC) have issued a call for papers for the 8th World Congress on High-Speed Rail, July 10-13, 2012, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Abstracts must be received by Feb. 1, 2012, for review by the scientific committee. [More]

Plan to Attend Legal Affairs Seminar

Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2012 APTA Legal Affairs Seminar, Feb. 19-21 in Tampa, FL. [More]

APTA Calendar Now Available

APTA members have great communities and people supporting them. This year, the 2012 APTA Calendar highlights 14 outstanding systems. Featuring winning photos from the annual APTA Photo Invitational, the calendar highlights the benefits public transportation provides to the nation, communities, and individuals. [More]

APTA Welcomes Newest Members

APTA wishes to welcome its newest members, who joined between Sept. 1 and Nov. 30, 2011. [More]


Editor's Note: Public transportation was increasingly in the news this past year--from being considered a part of a national energy strategy to helping keep the environment clean and safe. Here are just a few examples citing the need for and importance of this form of transport. [More]


LIRR Introduces Quiet Car Pilot Program on Far Rockaway Branch

 MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) has begun a Quiet Car pilot program on select peak hour trains on the Far Rockaway Branch. Four morning and six evening rush hour trains that operate between Far Rockaway and Atlantic Terminal will have a designated quiet car. [More]

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