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April 20, 2012
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House Passes 90-Day Extension
BY PATRICIA DOERSCH, APTA Senior Legislative Representative

With the goal of passing a bill that allows the House to move to a conference committee with the Senate on a multi-year surface transportation authorization measure, the House April 18 passed a bill (H.R. 4348) authorizing a further 90-day extension of SAFETEA-LU through Sept. 30, 2012. The vote was 293-127, with 69 Democrats joining the Republicans for passage. [More]

» The Central Maryland Regional Transit Corporation is conducting a search for a chief executive officer. [More]
» The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System has an opening for a maintenance director. [More]
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LaHood Approves Flexibility in Managing Rising Fuel Prices

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced April 11 that selected public transportation agencies in cash-strapped municipalities throughout the U.S. and in Puerto Rico may now use certain FTA funds from the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program to cover the cost of the fuel that keeps their fleets in operation. [More]

Austin’s Capital Metro Receives $38 Million Grant for BRT Line

Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), announced on April 10 a $38 million federal Very Small Starts grant to the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin, TX, to implement the MetroRapid Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service. [More]

AC Transit Opens Hydrogen Fueling Facility

AC Transit in Oakland, CA, joined a coalition of regional public transit partners serving seven million residents of the San Francisco Bay area on April 10 to open the region’s newest hydrogen production and dispensing station. The facility in Emeryville, CA, will provide fuel to the latest generation of zero-emission fuel cell buses operating in AC Transit’s service area. [More]

S&P: Transportation Infrastructure Needs Fixing, Funding

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) has released a report focusing on the current status of U.S. transportation infrastructure—including rail networks, roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and seaports—and the competition for scarce dollars to fix or maintain them all. [More]

LaHood in Tucson for Ground Breaking

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was among the dignitaries participating in ground-breaking ceremonies April 12 for the $196.6 million Sun Link modern streetcar project in Tucson, AZ. [More]

‘VelociRFTA’ Prepares to Take Off in Colorado

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) in Aspen, CO, broke ground April 14 for its Bus Rapid Transit service, “VelociRFTA.” The service takes its name from the velociraptor, the fastest of the land dinosaurs featured in the book and movie Jurassic Park[More]

U.S. PIRG Report: Younger People Are Driving Less

U.S. PIRG and the Frontier Group released a report showing that U.S. residents—especially those ages 16-34—have been driving less since the middle of the last decade. [More]

MTI Studies: Performance, Failed Terrorist Plots

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) recently published Model-Based Transportation Performance: A Comparative Framework and Literature Synthesis, a research report that links transportation performance measures with data from simulation tools, develops a common framework by which to compare many of the measures, and synthesizes the types and results of these measures as implemented to date. [More]

NYC Transit Renames Bus Depot to Honor Tuskegee Airmen

MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit) has renamed its 100th Street Bus Depot in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, the World War II African-American military pilots and support personnel who made up the famed flight-training program at Tuskegee Army Air Field. Over the years, 12 former Tuskegee Airmen have been employed in the NYC Transit system; two are still alive: Reginald T. Brewster and Noel R. Harris. [More]

Quigley Named Las Vegas GM

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) Board of Commissioners in Las Vegas has promoted Tina Quigley from deputy general manager to general manager of the agency. She succeeds Jacob Snow. [More]


Meet Joshua Goldman!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Joshua Goldman, director of business development, Proterra Inc., a member of the Leadership APTA Class of 2011. [More]


Meet Cheryl Edwards!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of stories showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Cheryl Edwards, executive assistant, Finance Department. [More]


Watch the Bus Roadeo Competition!

Now’s your chance! Make sure to take the opportunity to attend the International Bus Roadeo competition at the 2012 Bus & Paratransit Conference—May 6-9 in Long Beach, CA. Bus operators and maintenance teams throughout North America will go head-to-head to select the “best of the best” at the annual event, which begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 6, in the Arena Parking Lot of the conference site, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. [More]

Childress Joins APTA as Chief Financial Officer

Mary Childress has joined APTA as its chief financial officer. [More]

Dump the Pump Day Is June 21

Join APTA and other public transportation systems and businesses in celebrating the seventh annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 21. [More]

TCRP Seeks Problem Statements

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) is accepting problem statements through June 15 for the Fiscal Year 2013 research program. [More]


Security Efforts: Self-Assessments and Partnerships
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) honored 17 public transportation and rail agencies across the U.S. for achieving the “Gold Standard,” or highest rating, on its latest TSA Baseline Assessment for Security Enhancement. [More]

When an Emergency Stops Trains, Metra Recovers in 24 Hours; Partnership Effort Reopens Milwaukee West Line After Freight Derailment
BY MICHAEL GILLIS, Media Relations Manager, Metra, Chicago, IL

Early on the morning of Nov. 3, 2011, a CN freight train derailed at an intersection with Metra’s Milwaukee West Line tracks near Bartlett, IL. The tangled mass of crushed freight cars and twisted rails made clear immediately that the Milwaukee West Line wouldn’t be operating normally that day—and that restoring normal service anytime soon would require a huge effort. [More]


In St. Louis, Girl Scouts Celebrate Centennial with Metro Bus Murals

Ten thousand Girl Scouts from the St. Louis region recently gathered at the Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis University, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of America. The day’s activities included painting murals on both sides of a St. Louis Metro bus. [More]

Lansing Employees ‘Bust the Bus’ for Mid-Michigan Food Bank

Bus operators, maintenance workers, and support staff from two locals of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) gathered April 7 at buses parked near three Kroger supermarkets in the Lansing, MI, area to collect nonperishable food items for the Mid-Michigan Food Bank. [More]

DART Police Add Texting Capability

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has implemented a messaging tool through which DART customers can connect to the public transit system’s police department via text message. The process is as simple as sending a short message with the keyword dartpolice to 41411. [More]

COTA Selects Student Artworks

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) in Columbus has entered into a partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) to display art by area youth in COTA’s 300-bus fleet as part of the Poetry in Motion program. COTA and GCAC joined the Poetry Society of America (PSA) to select the specific poems that inspired the young artists. [More]


Looking for Federal Support of Public Transportation

Editor's Note: Our industry continues to wait for a long-term surface transportation authorization bill. Writing in his Fast Lane blog, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood takes a look at how, 50 years after JFK, our country's need for good transportation remains unchanged. Also below, additional industry experts weigh in on the critical need for Congress to ensure federal funding and support of our nation's transportation system. [More]


Who's Doing What in the Industry

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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