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March 22, 2013
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House, Senate Pass CR; President Expected to Sign

Both the House and Senate have voted to approve a continuing resolution (CR) that will continue funding for federal agencies through Sept. 30. The measure now goes to the White House, where President Obama is expected to sign it. [More]

» The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia seeks a director for its DBE Program. [More]
» The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has an opening for a procurement manager. [More]
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LaHood: Think Big and Bold for Public Transit
BY DEBORAH BONGIORNO, Senior Managing Editor

Public transportation is strong, but “we can do better by thinking big and bold. America’s always been bold,” retiring DOT Secretary Ray LaHood declared during his keynote address before an enthusiastic standing-room-only crowd at a March 11 general session during the APTA Legislative Conference in Washington. [More]

House Considers Alternatives to FY 2014 Budget Proposal

As Passenger Transport went to press, the full House was discussing five alternatives to H.Con.Res. 25, a concurrent resolution establishing the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2014 and setting forth appropriate budgetary levels for FY 2015 through FY 2023, under a rule. [More]


Shuster, Petri, Van Hollen Address Conference
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), told attendees that he believes the nation’s transportation infrastructure—including public transit—has reached a state of disrepair and inefficiency and can only improve with increased investment. [More]

APTA in White House Briefing on Public Transit

Members of the APTA Executive Committee and senior staff met March 12 with White House officials to discuss public transportation’s impact on economic development, health care, energy efficiency, and clean technology, among other issues. [More]

Reaching Out to the Hispanic Community

APTA has joined forces with the White House and DOT to build broader awareness of the importance of public transportation to the Hispanic community and encourage even more engagement in shaping transportation policy. [More]

Melaniphy Addresses Lt. Governors

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy participated on a panel at the National Lieutenant Governors Association Federal-State Relations Meeting in Washington, DC, on March 20. [More]

ASCE Gives Public Transit Infrastructure A ‘D’

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives U.S. public transportation infrastructure a “D” in its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, and that grade should instill a sense of urgency for increased investment in the sector, said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. [More]

NVTC Appoints Coyner Executive Director

The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) in Arlington, VA, has named Kelley Coyner its new executive director. [More]

Amtrak Chair Named

Amtrak announced the election March 18 of Anthony Coscia as its chairman. Coscia was elected by his fellow board members to replace Thomas C. Carper, an appointee of President George W. Bush whose term is expiring. [More]

Report Links Home Values To Public Transit Frequency

As Passenger Transport went to press, APTA and the National Association of Realtors® were preparing for the March 21 release of a study showing that, during the last recession, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with high-frequency service. [More]


Castillo: Spread the Word About Public Transit
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

APTA Chair Flora Castillo called on the more than 700 Legislative Conference attendees to spread the word about public transportation in her ­Opening Session remarks. [More]

FTA, FRA Administrators Report on Current Events
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

The sequestration process that went into effect March 1 cuts $656 million from the FTA budget and may lead to furloughs—a situation that FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff said “breaks my heart.” [More]

Panelists Call for Fixes to Transportation Funding
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Colin Peppard, transportation legislative assistant to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), said Congress is currently in a process of “crisis governing”—making on-the-spot, short-term decisions about infrastructure investment measures. [More]

Former House Member: Compromise Key to Progress
Special to Passenger Transport

Political gridlock and its fallout—especially as regards the federal budget and appropriations processes—will continue in Washington, DC, until politicians on both sides of the aisle find ways to compromise, former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) said during a March 11 breakfast session sponsored by APTA’s business members. [More]

Pundits Weigh In on Today’s Political Landscape

“Welcome to ­Washington, where we put the ‘fun’ in dysfunction,” said John ­Feehery, columnist for The Hill (a congressional newspaper that ­publishes daily when Congress is in session), political commentator, and president of a Washington-based communications firm, in his opening comments at the March 10 General Session. [More]

Three Days of Public Transportation Advocacy

Here are some scenes from the 2013 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington. Conference photos by Steve Barrett and Mitch Wood as noted. [More]


Ridership Rises to 10.5 Billion Trips in ’12
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

For the seventh consecutive year, public transportation ridership has exceeded 10 billion trips, with 10.5 billion taken in 2012, 154 million more than in 2011 despite the shutdown of public transit service on the East Coast caused by Superstorm Sandy. [More]


APTA Ramps Up Efforts to Communicate Benefits of Public Transit

With MAP-21 expiring in ­September 2014, APTA is busy working on what the next bill will look like. APTA is rolling out its RCA campaign (Research, Communications, and Advocacy) for 2013-2014 to strengthen awareness among Americans of public transportation’s value and to persuade Congress to fully invest in ­public transit and its infrastructure. [More]

BMBG, Wulkan Fund Scholarships

Alan Wulkan, second from left, donated $50,000—in conjunction with the APTA Business Member Board of Governors’ (BMBG) third $50,000 donation—to fund a new scholarship. [More]


APTA Named 'Friend of Transit'

Friends of Transit, an Arizona-based coalition that advocates for public transportation, presented its “Friend of Transit” award to APTA in recognition of its grassroots outreach and support for the coalition. [More]

VTA Acts Green While Building BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension
BY LINH HOANG, Media Relations Supervisor, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, San Jose, CA

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is working to ensure compliance with environmental requirements during construction of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project: a 10-mile, two-station rail line that travels into Santa Clara County. [More]

San Antonio Welcomes Proterra Electric Buses to Downtown Service

VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, TX, recently introduced to service three battery-electric, fast-charge buses from Proterra Inc. The buses are operating under the name “the Arc.” [More]


Meet Deborah Y. Chin!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Deborah Y. Chin, program manager, systems, Department of Capital Program Management, MTA New York City Transit, New York, NY, a member of the Leadership APTA Class of 2012. [More]


Meet Kevin Dow!

[Header] This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Kevin Dow, program manager-technical services, Member Services Department. [More]


5 Ways the Next U.S. Secretary of Transportation Will Be Forced To Follow Ray LaHood’s Lead
BY EMILY BADGER, Staff Writer, The Atlantic Cities

Ray LaHood is probably best known to the broader public as the ­bureaucrat who has spent the last four years railing against distracted driving. Under his tenure as U.S. Secretary of Transportation, his department launched a public service onslaught warning of the modern ­perils of texting while driving (our favorite detail: the federal government now runs a slick website called www.distraction.gov).

LaHood himself told Politico last year that he thought his biggest ­legacy would be his record on safety. But, in fact, to policy wonks, this unlikely crusader—formerly a Republican congressman from ­Central Illinois—will soon leave the job as the man who in many ways fundamentally shifted how Washington thinks about transportation and the federal government’s role in it. After much speculation, LaHood finally announced this morning that he will step down for Obama’s second term. [More]

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