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March 9, 2012
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House, Senate Produce Divergent Bills; Senate Vote Will Stretch Until Next Week
BY CHRISTIAN RICHARDS, APTA Legislative Analyst-Government Affairs

As members of the House returned to their districts for a  work period, Republican Leaders and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee were working to bolster support for a modified version of their surface transportation authorization bill. [More]

» VIA Metropolitan Transit has a position open for a director of governmental affairs. [More]
» The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is looking for a district director, rail; equipment manager, rail; and manager, power and way. [More]
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Rogoff Discusses FTA’s 2012 Outlook
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

As 2012 continues to unfold, Passenger Transport talked with Peter Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), about New Starts rulemaking, the status of surface transportation reauthorization in Congress, President Obama’s budget, past achievements, and future plans. [More]

Agencies Earn TSA Recognition

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recognized 17 U.S. rail and public transportation agencies for earning the highest rating—“Gold Standard”—on the latest TSA Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE). TSA designed BASE to establish a security standard for individual system security programs and assess progress. [More]

Savannah’s CAT Breaks Ground Downtown

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) in Savannah, GA, broke ground Feb. 29 for its new downtown intermodal transit center, at the current location of the Greyhound terminal. The event served as the culmination of many years of planning and designing this facility. [More]

MTI Receives DOT Grant; Issues Bus Security Report

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) and eight other leading university transportation centers, functioning together as the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC), have begun operating under a $3.49 million Federal Transit Administration grant distributed through the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). [More]

Grabauskas Named CEO of Honolulu Rail Agency

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Board of Directors voted March 1 to name Daniel Grabauskas as the agency’s chief executive officer/executive director to oversee the Honolulu rail transit project. [More]

New CEOs in Detroit, Vermont

Detroit DOT and the Chittenden County Transportation Authority (CCTA) in Burlington, VT, have announced their new chief executives. [More]

Byford Heads TTC on Interim Basis

Andy Byford, who joined the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) as its first chief operating officer last year, has assumed the duties of acting chief general manager on Feb. 21. He succeeds Gary Webster. [More]


Welcome Back to Washington! Here’s to a Successful Legislative Conference

Welcome to APTA’s 2012 Legislative Conference! As we convene in Washington, DC—and our conversations focus on Congress and authorization—I find myself thinking increasingly about the challenges our industry has been facing, and how we are facing them—and rising above them.

Our legislative activities and outreach over the last month, in particular, have shown that APTA and the public transit industry are both strong and vocal: our voice was heard! [More]


Members Mobilize to Deliver Message to Capitol Hill

As I write this, I fully expect that much will change before the APTA 37th Annual Legislative Conference, because there is a tremendous amount of activity on Capitol Hill.

I want to start by welcoming you to the conference. It is truly a dynamic and challenging time for our industry, and we are so glad you are here in Washington.

Under the leadership of APTA Chair Gary C. Thomas, we have been really gearing up for this event. [More]

Legislative Conference Brings Hundreds to Washington

As Congress debates the surface transportation authorization bill, there has never been a more important time for the public transit industry to make sure members of Congress understand the importance—economic and social—of this service. Hundreds of public transit professionals have come to Washington, DC, to learn what’s under consideration and make their voices heard during the 37th Annual APTA Legislative Conference, March 11-13. [More]

Making Your Way Through the Capitol Hill Maze
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

The process that takes a public transportation funding bill through Congress to enactment has many distinct steps, and it isn’t always easy to see where one follows another. To aid public transit professionals in understanding this progression—including explaining how bills are enacted and why the process may seem to take a long time—Passenger Transport provides below a brief guide through the Capitol Hill legislative maze. [More]

Tips and Techniques for Effective Capitol Hill Visits: Ensure Your Success in Public Transit Advocacy
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

It’s that time again—time for you, APTA Legislative Conference attendees, to make every minute count during your visit to Capitol Hill, whether you represent a public transportation system or a business.

How best to do this? What are the most efficient and effective ways for you to present the case for investment in public transportation?

Here are some tips and techniques to help you achieve maximum success, culled from many disparate people, all of whom share significant longtime advocacy experience on the Hill and locally as well. [More]

Industry Leaders, Members of Congress Speak Up for Transit Funding

APTA members and staff mobilized across the country—writing letters and op-eds, holding webinars and press conferences, and strategizing—all to respond to the proposed House Ways and Means title that would have radically reduced public transit funding by eliminating the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund. [More]


APTA Advertising Campaign Fills Two Key Metrorail Stations

As participants in the APTA Legislative Conference use the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail system to transport them to Capitol Hill, they will see evidence of an aggressive advertising campaign spotlighting the benefits of public transportation at the stations that serve the U.S. Capitol and the House and Senate office buildings. [More]

LIRR’s Rodriguez Wins Call Center Challenge

Gabrielle Rodriguez of MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) won APTA’s 2012 Call Center Challenge, held Feb. 28 as part of the APTA Marketing & Communications Workshop in Miami. [More]

Communications Professionals Practice Preparing for the Unexpected

History was made when APTA sponsored the first national public transit security communications drill during the recent Marketing & Communications Workshop in Miami. [More]

APTA Seeks Presentations for Multimodal Conference

In preparation for its 2012 Multimodal Operations Planning Workshop, July 30-Aug. 1 in Baltimore, APTA invites its members to submit abstracts to be considered for presentation. The Maryland Transit Administration is hosting the meeting at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront. [More]

Halcon Receives Lichtanski Scholarship to Attend Eno Seminar

Kelly Halcon, director of human resources/risk management for Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) in Monterey, CA, has received the American Public Transportation Foundation’s (APTF) Frank Lichtanski Scholarship for 2012. Coincidentally, the late Frank Lichtanski, namesake of the scholarship, was the longtime head of MST. [More]

TCRP Seeks Topics for Synthesis Program

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has issued a call for study topics for its 2012 Synthesis Program from the public transportation industry and individuals with an interest in improving the management and operations of public transit and in finding solutions to concerns facing the industry. [More]


Meet Patrick Scully!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Patrick Scully, chief commercial officer, Daimler Buses North America, Greensboro, NC. [More]


Meet Mitch Wood!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of stories showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Mitch Wood, graphic designer, Comunications & Marketing Department. [More]


Improving Customer Service: Providing the Best to Public Transit Users
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

 What does “customer service” mean?  It’s such a broad term – that public transportation agencies wanting to benefit their communities will need to define it first before they can make the most of their customer service operations. [More]

SEPTA Celebrates Grand Opening of Region’s Accessible Travel Center
BY KRISTIN GEIGER, Press Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA

The recent opening of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) unique Accessible Travel Center expands the freedom to travel independently on public transportation in the Philadelphia region to larger numbers of people with disabilities. [More]


COTA Dedicates First Passenger Shelters on Capitol Square

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus dedicated its first two passenger shelters on Capitol Square at ceremonies Feb. 17. [More]

Red Rose Transit Authority Receives State Engineering Award

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania honored Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA) in Lancaster, PA, and engineering firm Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc. (CDM), for the design and sustainable technologies included in the 2010 renovation of the agency’s operations center. CDM designed the updated elements, which include a geothermal heating system, solar panels, and a green roof. [More]

NYC Transit Reopens Station House After Four Decades

After being shuttered for more than 40 years, the 4th Avenue-9th Street station house on MTA New York City Transit’s (NYC Transit) F and G subway lines in Brooklyn reopened for service Feb. 23. [More]

Lane Transit Hosts Event on ‘Connecting Communities’

The Lane Transit District in Eugene, OR, was among the sponsors of a recent “Connecting Communities” event that brought together more than 200 elected officials, community stakeholders, and citizens for a discussion on creating quality growth and walkable urban areas. [More]

MV Transportation to Relocate Global Headquarters to Dallas

MV Transportation Inc., a privately owned passenger transportation contracting firm, has announced plans to relocate its global headquarters to Dallas from Fairfield, CA. [More]

Bombardier Launches Mobility Innovation Contest

Bombardier Transportation is now accepting entries for its interactive YouCity contest. This online competition is open to students and professionals with a vision for the future of urban mobility—from developed cities to emerging cities of the future. [More]

WOW Index Helps Calculate Retirement Costs

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts/Boston recently created the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index).  This new tool will help people measure the income that older adults must have to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity. [More]

U.S. Mayors Press for Passage of Federal Transportation Bill

Almost 200 mayors of U.S. cities, members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), signed a letter to leaders of Congress—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-OH), and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)—calling for enactment of bipartisan transportation authorization legislation. [More]

Peapod Makes Connection at SEPTA Stations

Peapod, an online grocery and delivery service affiliated with supermarket chains throughout the U.S., has introduced a service in the Philadelphia area that uses scannable QR codes on advertising boards in Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority rail stations. [More]

COTA Selected as Public Art Space

In conjunction with this year’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Columbus, OH, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) will serve as a venue for the city-wide “Finding Time: Columbus Public Art 2012” project. [More]

Buses Serve ‘Food Desert’ in Columbia, MO

Residents of central and west-central Columbia, MO—just one of many locales the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls a “food desert”—will soon have increased access to healthy, local foods. The definition focuses on low-income communities that lack major grocery stores. [More]

Transit Agencies Compete in Benefit Basketball Game

Metro in Cincinnati beat the neighboring Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK), 58-56, in the recent second annual Cross-River Basketball Shoot-Out—but the real winners are the Everybody Rides Metro Foundation and Project RAMP, which will split more than $5,000 generated by the game to benefit low-income individuals in the city and northern Kentucky. [More]

Capital Metro Named Region’s Healthiest Employer

The Austin Business Journal in Austin, TX, has named the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) Central Texas’ Healthiest Employer in recognition of the agency’s award-winning employee wellness program, its commitment to employee health, and its industry-leading tobacco-free initiatives. Capital Metro placed first in the medium-size employer category. [More]

Tri-Rail Provides Free Bike Lockers

As March is Florida Bicycle Month, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA)/Tri-Rail in Pompano Beach is offering free bike lockers at almost all its train stations. [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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