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February 24, 2012
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House Leadership May Retain Dedicated Federal Investment in Public Transit

As Passenger Transport went to press, news reports in Washington were suggesting that the House may not call for changes to dedicated federal public transit funding as announced earlier. In addition, the House may move forward with a shorter-term bill than the original five-year legislation. [More]

» METRO Regional Transit Authority, Akron, OH, is looking for an executive director. [More]
» City Utilities of Springfield, MO, has an opening for the director-transit position. [More]
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Public Transportation Executives: House Title Will Cause Irreparable Harm
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

The Feb. 3 announcement by the House Ways and Means Committee that its tax title for surface transportation authorization would eliminate the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund galvanized not just the public transportation industry, but newspaper editorial boards and cartoonists, interest groups from across the spectrum, and the general public. Thousands of voices have emphasized the unfairness of the proposal and called for the implementation of an amendment proposed by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Steve LaTourette (R-OH), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to restore dedicated federal funding for public transit—a program originally approved during the Reagan Administration. [More]

LaHood, Rogoff Kick Off Streetcar Construction

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood helped kick off construction Feb. 17 for a new 3.9-mile streetcar line in Cincinnati. Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory joined him at the event. [More]


Augustine Honored

Justin Augustine, chief executive officer, Regional Transit Authority (RTA), New Orleans, was honored as a Champion for Change Feb. 15 at the White House. This program, created as part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative, recognizes U.S. citizens for their extraordinary efforts in creating jobs in their communities and using innovative techniques to develop valuable projects helping to improve America’s infrastructure. [More]

Capital Metro Opens Its Park-and-Ride in Manor, TX

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, TX, opened its 15th park-and-ride facility, the Manor Park & Ride, with a commemorative grand event and ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 15. [More]

Metro-North Completes Renovated Cortlandt Station

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) marked the completion of a major renovation project for MTA Metro-North Railroad’s Cortlandt Station at ceremonies Feb. 15. MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Lhota and Metro-North President Howard Permut joined Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi and other local and state officials for the event in Cortlandt, NY. [More]

RITA Introduces Searchable ‘Research Hub’ Website

DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) recently launched the U.S. DOT Research Hub website, a searchable database of the latest agency-sponsored research, development, and technology projects. [More]

Banta to Head Both Bus, Rail Agencies in Phoenix

In a unique collaboration, the two boards of directors representing the regional bus and rail public transit agencies in Phoenix—Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA) and Valley Metro Rail, operator of METRO light rail—have selected Stephen R. Banta, chief executive officer of Valley Metro Rail since January 2010, as the single CEO for both agencies, effective March 1. [More]

Riley Promoted in Tucson

 Professional Transit Management (PTM)/Veolia Transportation Inc. in Tucson, AZ, has promoted Kate Riley to general manager for both Sun Tran and Sun Van paratransit. [More]

Armijo Joins AC Transit

AC Transit in Oakland, CA, has appointed David J. Armijo as the agency’s general manager, effective March 1. He succeeds the retiring Mary King, who led the transit district since 2009. [More]

Llort New Director of MDT

Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) has named Ysela Llort its director. She had served in the post in an interim capacity for the past six months. [More]

Woolsey Dies; 37 Years in Rail Industry

Fred Woolsey, 56, a longtime consultant to commuter rail systems and engineering firms, died Feb. 22 following a battle with cancer. [More]


Meet Jeff Hamm!

This is the fourth in a series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Jeff Hamm, executive director/CEO, Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area (C-TRAN), Vancouver, WA. [More]


Meet Michael Smith!

This is the fourth in a series of stories showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Michael Smith, program manager-safety and security, Member Services Department. [More]


Tea Party Politics Imperils Transportation Bill

WASHINGTON—A wildly imbalanced transportation bill, supporting highways but imperiling federal support for public transit systems, for biking, walking or livable communities, moves onto the floor of the U.S. House the week of Feb. 13. [Editor's note: This column first appeared on Feb. 10, 2012.] [More]


VIA Receives State Award for Ingram Transit Center Trailhead Project

VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, TX, has received the Great Texas Trail Head Award from the Texas Trails Network for the public transit agency’s Ingram Transit Center Trailhead project. [More]

Valley Metro Adds Bike Racks

Thanks to a partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks professional baseball team, Valley Metro in Phoenix is helping bicycle riders find more places in the downtown area where they can secure and leave their bikes. Valley Metro installed the first of the uniquely designed bike racks on Feb. 6. [More]

Tri-Rail Launches Free Trolley to West Palm Beach Locations

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority/Tri-Rail (SFRTA) in Pompano Beach, FL, has introduced a new free trolley service connecting the West Palm Beach Tri-Rail Station to employment and entertainment destinations in downtown West Palm Beach. [More]

MCTS Launches MetroEXpress Bus Service in Milwaukee Area

The Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) introduced its three new MetroEXpress Routes at ceremonies Jan. 28 on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), followed by an inaugural ride. The service entered regular operation the next day. [More]

Mobile Farmers Market Coming to St. Louis Transit Centers

Metro in St. Louis has announced that, beginning the week of March 18, four of its transit centers will host weekly farmers markets featuring locally grown farm foods. The facilities—North Hanley in St. Louis County; Riverview-Hall and Delmar, both in St. Louis; and Emerson Park in East St. Louis—are located in areas where nearby residents have little or no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Metro. [More]

Palm Tran Welcomes Its First Articulated Buses to Busiest Routes

Palm Tran in West Palm Beach, FL, recently acquired its first six articulated buses. The 61-foot vehicles from New Flyer Industries will enter service on the system’s busiest routes beginning in April. [More]


Get Involved at Legislative Conference

With Congress considering issues of grave importance to the public transportation industry, all APTA members will want to participate in the APTA Legislative Conference, March 11-13 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington. [More]

New This Year: Combined Fare Collection Workshop, TransITech

For the first time, APTA is holding the Fare Collection Workshop and TransITech at the same time and place: March 20-22 at the Worthington Renaissance in Fort Worth, TX. Early registration and the hotel block both will close March 3, so make arrangements now! [More]

APTA Employee Helps Judge ‘Future City’ Competition

As part of this year’s observance of National Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25, middle schools across the country participated in a competition on designing the Future City. The 2012 theme was based on the projected world population of seven billion and ways that engineers can meet the challenges facing the world. [More]


Passenger Transport announces the following hirings and promotions in public transportation agencies and business members. Items appear in People on the Move in the order in which they are received. [More]

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