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July 27, 2012
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LaHood: Major Increase in TIFIA Funding

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced today the availability of up to $17 billion in loans for critical U.S. infrastructure projects across the country through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). The recently enacted surface transportation authorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), provides $1.7 billion in TIFIA capital funding over two years, up from $120 million in Fiscal Year 2012. [More]

» Fairfax County DOT, Fairfax, VA, seeks a chief for its Transit Services Division. [More]
» Capital Area Transit, Harrisburg, PA, announces the newly-created position of customer experience manager. [More]
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DOT Announces $787 Million for Bus, Infrastructure Projects

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced awards totaling $787 million in competitive grants for 255 projects in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, for “state of good repair” or “livability” grants under Section 5309 of the Bus and Bus Facilities program. [More]

APTA Hosts Webinar on MAP-21 Provisions

Today, almost 1,000 people participated in a webinar organized by APTA on the recently enacted surface transportation authorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). [More]

APTA Nominating Committee Selects 2012-2013 Slate; Varga Chosen as Vice Chair

At its July 18 meeting in Chicago, APTA’s 2012 Nominating Committee selected the current vice chair—Flora M. Castillo, a board member for New Jersey Transit Corporation, Newark, NJ—as APTA chair for 2012-2013. Peter Varga, chief executive officer, Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid), Grand Rapids, MI, was nominated vice chair and Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, secretary-treasurer. [More]


Nippon Sharyo Opens Its First U.S. Railcar Manufacturing Plant

Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nippon Sharyo U.S.A. Inc., began operations July 19 at its new passenger railcar production facility in Rochelle, IL—its first in the U.S. [More]

Mayors: Urgent Need to Invest in Infrastructure to Maintain Economic Growth

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Washington, DC on July 20 discussed both the connection between job creation and critical infrastructure investment and innovative ways urban centers nationwide can support this kind of investment in times of economic difficulties and decreased public spending. [More]

MVTA Adds Level Boarding to Apple Valley Transit Station

In preparation for implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on its Cedar Corridor, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) in Burnsville, MN, recently reopened its Apple Valley Transit Station (AVTS) with updated features such as special curbing to enable level or “step-free” boarding. [More]

Atlanta Mayor Headlines Transit Board Seminar in Atlanta
BY LYNNE MORSEN, APTA Senior Program Manager-Program Management and Educational Services

All eyes were on the Atlanta region the week before its one-cent sales tax ballot measure was scheduled for a vote (July 31)—as 90 board members and staff from bus and rail agencies visited July 21-24 to participate in APTA’s 2012 Transit Board Members Seminar & Board Support Employee Development Workshop, hosted by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. [More]


Meet Deborah Stenoien!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Deborah Stenoien, vehicle maintenance superintendent, non-revenue vehicles, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA, a member of the Leadership APTA Class of 2012. [More]


Meet Karen Harvey!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of stories showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Karen Harvey, director-human resources, Executive Office. [More]


Public Transit Art Projects Receive Nationwide Recognition

 Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, recently recognized art projects commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City DOT, and the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) in Charlotte, NC, as three of the 50 best U.S. public artworks created and placed in 2011. [More]

VIA to Design Shelter as Part of NEA Creative Arts Grant Project

VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, TX, is joining the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Architecture and the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs in an effort to integrate public art, public transit, and a public cultural arts facility. [More]


APTA’s Annual Meeting: Coming Up Soon in Seattle; Featured Speakers Include South African Rehana Moosajee

The 2012 APTA Annual Meeting, Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Seattle, is only two months away! Public transportation professionals should attend to take advantage of the many informational and networking opportunities. In these challenging times for public transit, APTA has worked to incorporate a broad range of topics from partnerships and improved productivity to nontraditional revenue sources and service during high-profile events. [More]

Groundbreaking Actions Keep Metro Transit Moving
BY KEVIN DESMOND, General Manager, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA

King County Metro Transit is delighted to invite APTA members to come see us in Seattle this September. Despite facing intense challenges, we’ve been moving forward over the past few years and have much to show you. [More]

Topics of Concurrent Educational Sessions

Here’s a brief overview of the concurrent sessions scheduled during the 2012 APTA Annual Meeting in Seattle. [More]

2012 Annual Meeting Program at a Glance

APTA’s 2012 Annual Meeting will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle, WA. This schedule is preliminary and up to date as of July 19, 2012. [More]

APTF to Honor 2012 Scholarship Recipients

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF), the charitable affiliate of APTA, will recognize the recipients of its scholarship awards for 2012 Oct. 1 during the APTA Annual Meeting in Seattle. [More]

AdWheel Celebrates 33rd Year of Awards

APTA will honor the best and most imaginative in public transportation marketing and promotional campaigns during the 2012 APTA Annual Meeting at the 33rd annual AdWheel ceremony on Monday afternoon, Oct. 1. [More]

Travel Discounts

American Airlines and Delta Airlines are offering special rates for travel to and from the APTA Annual Meeting in Seattle. [More]


Szabo: U.S. Economy Depends on a 21st-Century Public Transportation Network
BY JULIA M. KLEIN, Special to Passenger Transport

“America’s economy is only going to grow as fast or as far as our transportation network will carry it,” FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo told the recent UIC 8th World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Philadelphia. [More]

Scenes from High-Speed Rail 2012

As the 8th World Congress on High-Speed Rail came to a close on Friday, July 13, in Philadelphia, UIC Director-General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux gave emotional remarks. His words about the extraordinary friendships made, the intensive discussions held, and the challenges shared over the four-day congress were echoed time and again as the attendees returned home. [More]

High-Speed Rail: Expanding the Specific Toolbox
BY CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR, P.E., Deputy Director, High-Speed Rail Services, North America, AECOM, Piscataway, NJ

Famed psychologist Abraham Maslow said: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Many high-speed rail (HSR) opponents believe that HSR supporters think this way, harboring the notion that HSR should link every possible U.S. destination without regard to size, distance, or any other critical factors.

Nothing is further from the truth. HSR advocates believe HSR is one superb answer to one particular circumstance. [More]


SEPTA Launches Cutting-Edge Regenerative Braking Initiative: Wayside Energy Storage
BY ANDREW BUSCH, Press Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA

Since the early 1900s, the Letterly Substation in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood has been providing the power needed to run one of the city’s busiest train lines.

Now this facility is on the cutting-edge of 21st-century technology that is making public transit more sustainable and efficient, thanks to an innovative program to reduce power consumption and costs by harnessing the energy generated by trains. [More]

Intercity Transit Brings New Life to Old Landfill
BY MEG KESTER, Marketing and Communications Manager, Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA

“Environmental sustainability,” “beneficial economic impact,” and “interagency cooperation” were among the phrases used earlier this year at a transit groundbreaking ceremony located at an old landfill near Olympia, WA.

What do transit and landfills have in common? More than one might think. [More]


APTA Names First Winner of ‘Travel Like a Local’

Congratulations to Susan Brooks, the June winner of APTA’s Travel Like a Local contest. The contest, held via social media, aims to show the many benefits of public transportation while allowing participants to share their experiences. [More]


Transit futures: South Korea offers ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas

SEOUL, South Korea—Our friends in this Asian nation have developed a sheaf of ingenious transportation strategies.

My personal favorite: elevated bike freeways. The idea is to foster cycling in busy world cities by constructing two-directional bike tracks, enclosed in glass tubes mounted above commuter routes. Commuters could pedal in or out of town, no red lights or threatening trucks, in temperature-controlled comfort. Likely result: fewer cars on the roads, reduced carbon emissions, and a healthier population. [More]


Public Transportation Prospects in Israel
BY ALAN WIELUNSKI, Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, Tel Aviv, Israel

The rising standard of living in Israel, coupled with a significant growth in population, has led to a steady increase in the number of motor vehicles in the country, a growth in motorization level, and a rise in distance traveled. [More]

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