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September 6, 2013
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DOT Releases $474 Million for 52 TIGER 2013 Projects in 37 States

DOT announced Sept. 5 that it was providing approximately $474 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2013 discretionary grants for 52 transportation projects in 37 states. This total includes $123.4 million for 25 projects in rural areas. [More]

» MTM has openings for general manager and other positions with MTA New York City Transit's Access-A-Ride paratransit service. [More]
» The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System seeks a chief financial officer. [More]
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‘VelociRFTA’ Roars into Service in Colorado; First Rural BRT System in U.S.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) in Aspen, CO, celebrated the opening of VelociRFTA—the first rural Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in the U.S.—on Sept. 3. The new service allows commuters from Glenwood Springs and surrounding communities to reach Aspen, about 40 miles away, in an hour, roughly half the time the trip takes by regular bus service. [More]


Authorization Task Force Meets on Recommendations

APTA’s Authorization Task Force met in Chicago on Aug. 29 and agreed on a number of legislative proposals that will likely be included in the recommendations that are advanced to the APTA Legislative Committee and ultimately to the APTA Board of Directors for their consideration. [More]

APTA Advocates to Equalize Transit and Parking Benefits

APTA will participate in the “Commuter Benefits Work for Us Coalition” Hill Day on Sept. 10 in an effort to encourage Congress to enact legislation to ensure parity between the public transit and parking portions of the commuter benefit. [More]

WV’s TTA Adds New Floor to Headquarters

The Tri-State Transit Authority (TTA) in Huntington, WV, recently celebrated the opening of its newly renovated headquarters, which added a second floor to the authority’s existing administrative headquarters and upgraded technology and accessibility throughout the facility. [More]

CTA Breaks Ground for Cermak Avenue Station

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials joined the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Aug. 29 to break ground on the new ­Cermak Green Line Station, a $50 million construction project that will energize the area around the McCormick Place convention center and provide a crucial additional transportation option for the Near South Side. The Chicago Tax Increment Funding program is covering the entire cost. [More]

Driving on the Decline in 46 States, Says New Report

Americans have reduced their per-person driving miles in 46 states and Washington, DC, since the mid-1990s, says a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, a Boston-based research and public education ­organization. [More]

Melaniphy Discusses Industry At Michigan Annual Meeting

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley fielded questions with APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy at the recent annual meeting of the Michigan Public Transit Association. [More]

Orseno to Head Metra on Interim Basis

The Metra Board of Directors in Chicago has selected Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operations Officer Donald A. Orseno, a lifelong railroader, as interim executive director/chief executive officer of the commuter railroad. [More]

McMahan Dies; a Founder of Community Transit

Patrick McMahan, 83, one of the founders of Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA, and a member of the group that incorporated the city of Mountlake Terrace, died Aug. 23 following a lengthy illness. [More]


Meet Stephen R. Banta!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Stephen R. Banta, chief executive officer, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ. [More]


Meet David Hahn!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is David Hahn, senior program specialist, safety and security, Member Services Department. [More]


19 Public Transit Systems Receive Homeland Security Funds

The Department of ­Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the final allocations for seven preparedness grant programs for FY 2013, including the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP), which provides funds to protect critical surface transportation, safeguard riders from acts of terrorism, and strengthen the resilience of public transit infrastructure. [More]

Greensboro, NC, Introduces Hybrid Paratransit Vans

The Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA) in Greensboro, NC, recently introduced nine gasoline-electric hybrid paratransit vans to its fleet. The new Ford chassis-based models, manufactured by Champion Bus, can accommodate up to 16 ambulatory and wheelchair-using passengers. [More]

GO Transit Station Receives LEED Gold Certification

GO Transit in Toronto recently attained LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada Gold certification for new construction and major renovations for its Pickering Station building—a first for a passenger rail station building in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. [More]

ITE Recognizes Transportation Achievements with Awards

VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX, and Sam Schwartz Engineering (SSE), New York City, were among the recipients of awards from the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) during the organization’s recent Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Boston. [More]

Riverside, CA, Takes Delivery of New BRT-Plus Bus Fleet

The Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) in Riverside, CA, has taken delivery of the first of 97 new buses that will replace its aging fleet. The remaining vehicles will be delivered at a rate of five buses per week, beginning this month. [More]

MTA Employee Retires After 65 Years on the Job

On Aug. 31, MTA New York City Transit (NYC Transit) employee Thomas H. Merrick officially retired. That’s not unusual, except ­Merrick is nearly 92 and has worked for the agency for 65 years, beginning as a railroad clerk on June 23, 1948, with a starting wage of 90 cents an hour, which he called “a good and decent wage at the time.” [More]

Snohomish to Expand ‘Double Tall’ Bus Fleet for Daily Commuter Route

Community Transit in ­Snohomish County, WA, is preparing to introduce 17 new Double Tall double-decker buses to replace aging articulated buses on its daily commuter routes to Seattle. The order will almost double the size of the agency’s Double Tall fleet to 40 vehicles. [More]

Batter Up in Boston!

Recovering MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue, who was wounded in the April 15 chase for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, received a loud and lengthy ovation when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch during an Aug. 29 baseball game between the hometown Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. [More]


APTA and Operation Lifesaver Renew Efforts to Promote Safety

APTA and Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), an organization that promotes safety awareness at rail crossings, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen their collaboration on transportation safety issues and to co-develop new educational materials. [More]


Seriously, Get on the Bus! New Analysis Shows Fiscal, Environmental Benefits of Buses
BY DERON LOVAAS, Director, Federal Transportation Policy, Energy, and Transportation Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

 As I’ve written, it’s high time buses received more attention and investment in this country. Everyone loves to talk about other modes—especially bikes and trains—as the sine qua non for energy-efficient, livable, and sustainable communities. Meanwhile, year in and year out, ridership on buses eclipses other non-auto modes. They are oft-maligned workhorses of the transportation system. [More]

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