November 7, 2014
Szabo to Step Down as FRA Administrator
Joseph C. Szabo, administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration since 2009, has announced his plans to leave that post at the end of the year. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, he is joining the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning as a senior fellow. [More]
» Gold Coast Transit District, Oxnard, CA, seeks a director of planning and marketing, [More]
» Hampton Roads Transit has openings for an application administrator, reports developer, and technology project manager. [More]
» The Transit Authority of River City has issued a request for information regarding on-board surveillance systems. [More]
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Public Transit Measures Win

Voters across the U.S. approved 15 of the 25 public transit-related measures that appeared on the Nov. 4 ballot. Factoring in these wins with other votes earlier this year, ­public transportation prevailed at the ballot box by more than 71 percent in 2014, or 41 out of 58 measures, as tracked by the Center for Transportation Excellence. [More]

Congressional Balance Shifts to GOP

As the votes in the midterm elections were tallied, Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate and strengthened their majority in the House of Representatives. Here is a rundown of a few key individual races by select congressional committees engaged in public transpor­tation legislation. [More]

Sun Metro Launches Brio Rapid Transit Service

Sun Metro in El Paso, TX, is already reporting daily ridership of between 1,800 and 2,000 since the introduction of service on Brio, its new rapid transit system, which the agency kicked off at the end of October with a launch party. State, local, and national representatives attended the ceremonies. [More]

A Panoramic View of Fall Foliage

Amtrak returned its historic “Great Dome” car to its Adirondack service for six weeks this fall, providing passengers vivid views of the foliage in Upstate New York. [More]

FTA Issues Post-Sandy Grants

Two years after Hurricane Sandy unleashed flood waters across much of the mid-Atlantic region, FTA has selected 40 recipients of matching funds for public transit resiliency and flood mitigation projects. The grants will pay for 75 percent of a project’s cost, with local or state governments covering the rest. [More]

IMPulse Hosts DOT Secretary Foxx, Rep. Butterfield

IMPulse NC LLC, a leading U.S. manufacturer of catenary hardware for public transportation, welcomed DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) to its Mount Olive, NC, factory for a tour during which the company unveiled its new development for cable theft detection and showcased its overhead contact wire safety monitoring system. [More]

The Rapid Joins in Opening of Ehlers Amtrak Station

The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI, joined with representatives of Michigan DOT, Amtrak, city officials, and others in late October to celebrate the grand opening of the Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station, named in honor of the former congressman (R-MI) who served the district from 1993-2011. [More]

New CEOs Named

Three public transportation agencies have announced the hiring of new chief executives. [More]

Enter APTA's Call Center Challenge

APTA invites call center personnel at member public transit systems to apply by Dec. 15 for the eighth annual Call Center Challenge, a national competition to determine the most skilled and imaginative customer service employees in the industry. [More]

Aloha to HART's Light Rail

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy joined Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and other elected officials recently at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s Rail Operations Center for a signing of the inside portion of one of the walls. [More]

FTA Honors Rural Agencies

The North Central Regional Transit District, Española, NM, and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Aspen, CO, are among the recipients of the FTA Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Public Service in Rural Public Transportation, awarded during the recent 21st National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation in Monterey, CA. [More]

Transit Virtual Career Network Web Portal Launches

The Transit Virtual Career Network (TVCN)—a web portal and accompanying industry video promoting more than 55 frontline jobs and career opportunities in the public transportation industry—premiered during the 2014 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Houston. [More]

Meet Ronald Downing!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Ronald Downing, director of planning, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2011 and a member of the Policy & ­Planning ­Committee and the ­Multimodal Operations ­Planning ­Subcommittee. [More]

CTA Welcomes Electric Buses from New Flyer

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently unveiled the first two all-electric powered buses to be added to its fleet. The vehicles from New Flyer, equipped with a propulsion system built by Siemens and operating with lithium-ion batteries, replace 14-year-old CTA buses and are part of the agency’s commitment to modernize its entire bus fleet. [More]

INIT Partners with BC Transit for RapidBus Technology

BC Transit, Victoria, BC, recently implemented INIT’s automatic vehicle location and real-time passenger information system on its Kelowna Rapid- Bus line. The project, implemented six months after the partners signed the contract, serves an almost 19-mile (30-km) stretch of highway connecting West Kelowna to the University of British Columbia Okanagan. [More]

Englewood Flyover Relieves Rail Bottlenecks in Chicago

The recent opening of the Englewood Flyover, a new major railroad bridge on the south side of Chicago, is expected to ease delays affecting Metra commuter rail, Amtrak, and Norfolk Southern freight rail. The $142 million bridge replaces a crossing between the Metra Rock Island tracks and a set of Norfolk Southern tracks. [More]

Photo Exhibit on Cincinnati Bus Shelters

Cincinnati Metro joined with ArtWorks, a nonprofit organization that promotes transforming everyday environments into works of art, to showcase the work of photographer Richard Renaldi on Metro bus shelters and a bus exterior.  [More]

LIRR Campaign Promotes Safety Around Tracks

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) recently introduced a public safety campaign to remind residents in communities close to the LIRR tracks that trespassing on railroad property is illegal, always dangerous, and often fatal. LIRR trains struck 35 trespassers in 2013, of whom 28 died of their injuries. [More]

TriMet Unveils Newest LRV from Siemens

The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon in Portland recently previewed the first of 18 “Type 5” MAX light rail vehicles at its rail facility in Gresham, OR.  [More]

Grassroots Digital Campaign Honored

APTA’s “Voices for Public Transit” digital grassroots outreach campaign recently received national recognition at the PR News Digital Awards. The campaign, part of the association’s “Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows” national advocacy initiative, received honorable mentions in four categories: digital marketing campaign, online community, cause marketing, and public affairs campaign. [More]

More than 500 Persons Attend OCTA Business Expo

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) welcomed more than 500 business leaders, small business owners, and transportation officials to its recent Business Expo. The full-day event provided information on how to succeed in the competitive world of contract bids and networking with key Southern California agencies and firms. [More]

CMAA Honors Public Transit Projects

Public transit projects in Fort Collins, CO, and Arlington, VA, were among the recent recipients of Project Achievement Awards presented by CMAA, an organization that promotes professional construction and program management worldwide. [More]

Industry Briefs

Here's a roundup of news from public transportation's agencies and private sector companies. [More]

Mayors Aren't Waiting for Washington

Atlanta’s BeltLine of bike and pedestrian trails is raising property ­values in every place it touches. Denver’s new rail line will create a much-needed link between Union Station downtown and the airport, 23 miles away. Miami is building 500 miles of bike paths and trails. Los ­Angeles is breaking new ground with everything from rail expansion to traffic light synchronization. And Salt Lake City’s mayor bikes to work and, by increasing investment in bike infrastructure, is encouraging a lot of others to join him. [More]

Who's Doing What in the Industry

Passenger Transport announces the following hirings and promotions in public transportation agencies and business members. Items appear in People on the Move in the order in which they are received.
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