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November 2, 2012
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East Coast Systems Cope in Sandy’s Wake - Service Resumes Gradually in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Hurricane Sandy, the largest tropical storm on record, slammed into the Eastern seaboard this week, creating major damage to public transportation infrastructure in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and wreaking havoc with system operations.
» Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is looking for a transportation logistics manager. [More]
» The city of Charlottesville, VA, seeks a transit manager. [More]
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MAP-21 Authorizes Emergency Relief Funds for Public Transit

As public transit systems around the northeastern U.S. continue to study the damage of Hurricane Sandy and repairs begin, federal, state, and local authorities are assessing the damage and its financial implications.  [More]

SEPTA Works to Restore Service After Hurricane
BY ANDREW BUSCH, Press Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) crews worked around the clock to fix damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, which moved through the Philadelphia area on Oct. 29 and 30. [More]

ERPP Can Help Public Transit Agencies Recover from Catastrophic Storm
BY DAVID HAHN, APTA Senior Specialist-Safety and Security

Hurricane Sandy had a disastrous impact on many public transportation agencies. In some areas, the sustained winds toppled trees, causing power lines to be broken or downed, landing on rail tracks. Flooding of public transit system tunnels has been the worst result of Sandy, filling them in many areas and causing some agencies to suspend service for at least the next few weeks. [More]

FFGA: $942 Million for San Francisco Subway

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently joined San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee to present the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) with a $942.2 million Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) for the Central Subway project. [More]

Scranton’s COLTS Assumes Responsibility for Paratransit

The County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) in Scranton, PA, has assumed responsibility for providing shared-ride and paratransit services for older Americans and persons with disabilities. The county government previously provided these coordinated transportation services. [More]

T&I’s Rose to Head Operation Lifesaver

Joyce Rose, staff director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, is joining Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) Dec. 3 as its president and chief executive officer. [More]

Ways to Attract Veterans to the Transportation Arena Dominates Forum Discussion
BY BARRINGTON SALMON, Special to Passenger Transport

Veterans and the public transportation industry seem to be a perfect fit in a number of ways, but some formidable obstacles stand in the way of bringing these entities together. [More]

Moderate Incomes ‘Losing Ground’

A new report by the Center for Housing Policy (CHT) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) finds that Americans with moderate incomes have seen their transportation and housing costs jump 44 percent since 2000. [More]

Report Examines ‘Complete Communities’

Reconnecting America recently released its newest report: Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America, a wide-ranging report that uses “complete communities” as a benchmark for progress. [More]

Barlow Dies; Retired VTA Chief Technology Officer

George Williams Barlow, 52, retired chief technology officer with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, CA, died Oct. 12. [More]

APTA Hosts Energy Efficiency Commission

The Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, part of the Alliance to Save Energy, recently convened at the APTA offices in Washington, DC. [More]


Meet Evalynn Williams!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Evalynn (Eve) Williams, president, Dikita Enterprises Inc., Dallas, TX. [More]


Meet Hai Tran!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Hai Tran, computer support specialist, Corporate Affairs Department. [More]


APTA, TRB Convene Light Rail Conference in Salt Lake City

“Sustaining the Metropolis: LRT & Streetcars for Super Cities” is the theme of the 12th National Light Rail Conference Session being convened by APTA and the Transportation Research Board Nov. 11-13 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. [More]

UTA: Improving Community Connections with New Rail Lines
By: Michael Allegra, General Manager

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) welcomes participants in APTA-TRB 12th National Light Rail and Streetcar Conference to Salt Lake City! We are excited for this opportunity to meet our colleagues from around the world and share what we have accomplished here in the state of Utah. [More]

Seattle Streetcar Program Expanding as Initial Segment Approaches 5-Year Anniversary
By: Ethan Melone, Rail Transit Manager

The city of Seattle has developed a modern streetcar line that serves its South Lake Union, Denny Triangle, and Downtown Retail Core neighborhoods, and is now in various phases of planning and construction for expansion of its streetcar network. [More]

CAF’s URBOS Streetcar: New Technologies for Green Operation
BY JITENDRA S. TOMAR, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, CAF USA, Washington, DC

CAF’s new URBOS streetcars—now operating in Zaragoza, Spain—use innovative technologies to provide environmentally friendly service for urban mobility. [More]

Alstom Presents LRT Innovations
Special to Passenger Transport

Alstom has developed a range of light rail vehicle technologies offering communities wide flexibility in addressing both their near-term and long-term transportation needs. [More]

Status of North American LRT Systems: 2012 Update
BY JOHN SCHUMANN, Senior Transportation Consultant, LTK Engineering Services, Portland, OR

In 1975—at the time of the First National Light Rail Conference, which convened in Philadelphia—only seven U.S. metropolitan areas, one in Canada, and one in Mexico operated legacy streetcar and proto-light rail systems. The succeeding 37 years have seen much progress in developing such systems. [More]

Hampton Roads Transit’s The Tide: The Little Light Rail Line That Could—and Did
Special to Passenger Transport

When Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) in Norfolk, VA, opened The Tide, Virginia’s first light rail system, at 6 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2011, the only crowds present at the Newtown Road terminus were employees, politicians, demonstrators, and media. Hanging heavy in the air was a central question: would the projections of 2,900 daily riders prove true, or would light rail be an embarrassment? [More]

New Orleans Rail: A Historic Asset Paving the Way to a Brighter Future
BY JUSTIN T. AUGUSTINE III, Vice President, Veolia Transportation North America, and Chief Executive Officer, Regional Transit Authority, New Orleans, LA

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in New Orleans has been on the forefront of the light rail system renaissance in major metropolitan areas for decades. At present, the RTA operates three rail lines: the historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar, the bustling Canal Street Streetcar, and the majestic Riverfront Streetcar. [More]

Bombardier's New Railcar Offers 'Freedom'
BY JACQUES DROUIN, Product Manager, Bombardier Transportation North America, Saint-Bruno, QC

Public transportation is facing challenging times. The effect of global climate change, combined with rising energy prices and significant growth in urban populations, mean that the need for sustainable mobility—particularly in cities—has never been greater. [More]


System Failure: Why the Public Transit Debate is Stalled
BY ALVIN NICHOLS, Board Member, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC

We need to stop calling public investment in “public transportation” a subsidy. America’s economic engine, and the very fabric of our society, is held together by its transportation infrastructure. We are a transit-dependent society that has  built its very essence around the ability to go places safely and dependably. Our transportation networks are the arteries that nourish and sustain our way of life. [More]

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