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June 15, 2012
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Ridership: 5% Jump in 2012 First Quarter

The growth in ridership for U.S. public transportation agencies for the first quarter of 2012 was big news at the APTA Rail Conference in Dallas.  APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy announced the 5 percent ridership increase—or nearly 2.7 billion trips—during the June 4 Opening General Session. [More]

» The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is looking for a new general manager. [More]
» Gadabout Transportation Services in Ithaca, NY, seeks an executive director. [More]
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Szabo: ‘Transportation Bloodline of U.S. Economy’; McMillan Also Keynotes Conference in Dallas
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

“Transportation is, and always has been, the bloodline of our economy,” FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, the first of two keynote speakers along with FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan, told a packed audience numbering more than 1,000 at the Opening General Session of the APTA 2012 Rail Conference in Dallas. [More]


Democratic Senators Urge Continued Industry Outreach

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in the U.S. Capitol met June 13 to discuss how APTA, represented by President & CEO Michael Melaniphy, and other industry groups can help advance the surface transportation authorization bill now being negotiated in a House/Senate conference committee. [More]

UTA Welcomes Train to Utah County

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) delivered its first FrontRunner commuter train to the future Lehi FrontRunner Station in Utah County on June 11. UTA has completed track work on the new, 45-mile commuter rail line that will connect Provo to Salt Lake City, and will test the train on the track until the line opens for service on Dec. 10. [More]

Ames, IA, Cuts Ribbon at Intermodal Facility

FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff was among the honored guests who participated in June 9 ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Ames Intermodal Facility in Ames, IA. Funding for the $9.2 million facility came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Iowa’s intercity bus program. [More]

‘XpressWest’ Signs Deal to Connect with Los Angeles

Representatives from DesertXpress—a proposed high-speed rail line between Southern California and Las Vegas—and Los Angeles Metro met June 7 to sign documents agreeing to strategize on ways to build a 50-mile line between Victorville and Palmdale, CA, eventually extending service to Los Angeles. This line would connect to Metrolink commuter rail and later to California’s high-speed rail network. [More]

FAX Opens New Paratransit Site

The City of Fresno/Fresno Area Express (FAX) in Fresno, CA, opened a new facility for its Handy Ride paratransit operation on May 22. City Council President Clint Olivier and Transportation Department Director Ken Hamm cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the Handy Ride Center. [More]

Skiver Is New Executive Director of Delaware’s DART First State

Lauren Skiver is the new executive director of the Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC), which operates DART First State’s statewide buses and trains. [More]

Clauson Promoted to Executive Director of Kitsap Transit

Kitsap Transit (KT) in Bremerton, WA, announces the promotion of longtime system employee John Clauson to executive director. [More]

FRA Final Rule on Emergency Notification Systems

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced new regulations June 12 requiring railroads to install signs at highway-rail grade and pathway crossings with telephone numbers the public can use to alert railroad companies to unsafe conditions. [More]


An Executive Roundtable on Need for Mid-Level Manager Development
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

The looming retirement of Baby Boomers is on everyone’s mind, raising such issues as how to replace them and how to replenish the workforce. [More]

Host Forum Presents Speakers Citing Regional Accomplishments

Regionalism and coordination were the topics at the June 3 Host Forum during the APTA Rail Conference in Dallas, with speakers focusing on the many accomplishments of the North Central Texas area. [More]

Plan Now for the Next Generation Workforce
BY LORI STAHL, For Passenger Transport

Current and future public transportation workers will need new skills and training to prepare them for high-speed rail technologies, but the U.S. lags other countries in preparing for the changeover. [More]

Bi-State Takes Top Rail Rodeo Award at Banquet

The Bi-State Development Agency in St. Louis received the top honor—the Rail Transit Team Achievement Award—in the 20th Annual APTA International Rail Rodeo, held June 2 in Dallas in conjunction with the 2012 APTA Rail Conference. [More]

‘What’s Next?’ Panelists Consider Service ‘Game Changers’
BY CHAD CHITWOOD, Program Manager-Communications

Gary C. Thomas, APTA chair and president/executive director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), convened a June 5 luncheon session titled “What’s Next? Game Changers for Rail Service” at the APTA Rail Conference in Dallas. DART was host system for the conference. [More]

Rail Agencies Must Know How to Deal with NTSB
BY LORI STAHL, For Passenger Transport

Good communication and advance planning are keys to working with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in case a major rail system has to deal with an accident, the former NTSB general counsel said at the June 6 Closing General Session of the APTA Rail Conference in Dallas. [More]

More Scenes from the 2012 Rail Conference

Here are more scenes from the 2012 APTA Rail Conference in Dallas. All conference photos by Layne Murdoch unless otherwise noted. [More]


Meet Michael DePallo!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Michael P. DePallo, director and general manager, Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation, and chair, APTA Security Affairs Steering Committee. [More]


Meet Matt Dickens!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of stories showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Matt Dickens, policy analyst, Policy Department. [More]


Make Plans Now to Participate in Dump the Pump Day

The seventh annual Dump the Pump Day is just around the corner—Thursday, June 21! Join APTA and other public transportation systems and businesses throughout the U.S. in this public awareness observance sponsored by APTA. [More]

Counting Down to UIC World Congress

Only three weeks remain until the UIC 8th World Congress on High-Speed Rail begins in Philadelphia on July 10. This is a prime opportunity to hear from prominent speakers and decision makers in the international transport and railway sector on the development and operations of high-speed rail systems across the world. [More]

Register Now for Transit Board Members Seminar

APTA invites public transit agency board members and board support staff to register for the 2012 Transit Board Members Seminar & Board Support Employee Development Workshop, July 21-24 at the Sheraton Atlanta. [More]


Donations Provide A New Life
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Public transportation agencies often find themselves with vehicles that have outlived their years of service. This may coincide with nonprofit organizations in the same community needing a vehicle to help a specific population such as schoolchildren, homeless people, or residents of remote areas not served by fixed routes. [More]


Recognition of Notable First Quarter Ridership Increases

Editor's Note: First quarter 2012 ridership numbers were announced at APTA's Rail Conference in Dallas. Below are excerpts from just some of the media coverage highlighting public transportation's stunning ridership increases. [More]

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