February 6, 2015
Obama's Budget Includes 6-Year, $478 Billion Authorization Plan; Allocates $144 Billion for Public Transit

President Obama has included $478 billion for a proposed six-year surface transportation authorization bill--a reworked version of the four-year GROW AMERICA Act proposed last year--in the $4 trillion Fiscal Year 2016 budget he released Feb. 2. The budget includes $94.7 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for DOT for FY 2016. [More]

» The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and Regional Transportation Authority are looking for a chief operating officer. [More]
» Los Angeles Metro has an opening for an executive officer, human resources. [More]
» The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is accepting bids for construction and renovation work at a bus maintenance facility. [More]
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DOT's 30-Year Plan Tracks Trends, Options

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx recently unveiled Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices, a new preliminary report that outlines key trends likely to shape the U.S. transportation system over the next three decades. [More]

Blumenauer Reintroduces Fuel Tax Increase

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced H.R. 680 on Feb. 4 to allow passage of the first comprehensive, six-year transportation bill since 1997. [More]

DOT Awards $120 Million Loan to CTA

DOT has awarded the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) a $120 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to make major improvements to the Blue Line of the agency’s “L” rail service, announced Secretary Anthony Foxx and Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a Feb. 5 event also attended by CTA President Forrest Claypool and other city officials. [More]

FTA Announces Grants for Zero-Emission Buses

FTA announced Feb. 5 that it will award $55 million in competitive grants through its Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program to 10 projects to help public transportation agencies purchase zero emission buses. [More]

T&I Introduces Rail Legislation

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced H.R. 749, the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015, on Feb. 5. The bipartisan bill is very similar to one approved out of committee last year. [More]

MCTS Introduces Two New Express Lines

Milwaukee County Transit Services (MCTS) recently introduced service on two new MetroEXpress limited-stop bus routes while reconfiguring two existing regular bus routes. [More]

Metro-North Collides with SUV in Fatal Accident

Six people were killed and 15 injured during the evening rush hour on Feb. 3 when a northbound Metro-North commuter train collided with a black Jeep SUV that appeared to stop on a crossing near Valhalla, Westchester County, New York. Those killed include the driver of the SUV and five passengers. [More]

SunLine Opens Its First Administration Building

 After operating out of trailers for the past 30 years, the SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, CA, finally has its own permanent facility: a state-of-the-art, 25,000-square-foot administration building that opened Jan.28 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. [More]

RTA New Orleans Breaks Ground for New Streetcar

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority kicked off construction of the 1.6-mile North Rampart Street/St. Claude Avenue Streetcar Project, which will connect the historic neighborhoods of the French Quarter and Treme to Canal Street and Loyola Avenue when it opens in 2016. [More]

FTA Hires First Safety Inspector

George Good Jr. has joined FTA as the first full-time safety investigation in the agency's 50-year history as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to strengthen its safety authority granted by the passage of MAP-21. [More]

Prevost Opens Production Line At Expanded Nova Bus Facility

Prevost, a division of the Volvo group specializing in touring coach and bus assembly, recently opened its first U.S. production line in Plattsburgh, NY, in the expanded facility of its sister company Nova Bus. [More]

Alstom Enters into Contract With Hong Kong Metro

Alstom and other partners have entered into a 330 million euro ($372 million) contract with MTR Corporation, operator of Hong Kong's metro network, to resignal and upgrade the signaling systems of seven metro lines. [More]


National Day of Advocacy Focuses on Infrastructure Funding

APTA is making plans for its nationwide Stand Up for Transportation Day event on April 9, an opportunity for public transportation professionals to promote the importance of infrastructure investment and the need for a long-term surface transportation authorization bill. [More]

BMBG Holds Annual Business Meeting

The APTA Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) recently held its Annual Business Meeting in Florida. [More]

APTA Plans April Study Mission

APTA announces that 20 openings are available for an April 19-24 study mission to London, Stockholm and Munich, which will focus on innovative funding and financing strategies. APTA and Canadian Urban Transit Association members interested in participating must submit a completed registration form and a deposit by Feb. 16. [More]

Obama's Budget Analyzed at APTA Event

 DOT Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs Sylvia Garcia, at the podium, addresses a full crowd at APTA's monthly event, Transportation Tuesday, on Feb. 3, one day following the release of President Obama's FY 2016 budget proposal. [More]


The Rapid's Varga: Grand Rapids Newsmaker of Year for 2014

The Grand Rapids Business Journal recently recognized Peter Varga, chief executive officer of The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI, and immediate past chair of APTA, as its 2014 Newsmaker of the Year. [More]

Providing Super Service in Phoenix

Valley Metro in Phoenix experienced record ridership for Super Bowl XLIX festivities, including 126,000 boardings on Jan. 31, the day before the big game. [More]

San Diego MTS Welcomes Low Floor Trolley Cars

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) recently introduced new low floor trolley cars on its Blue Line, which connects the U.S.-Mexico border with downtown San Diego. The line is the busiest in the region, providing more than 15 million passenger trips in FY 2014. [More]

Detroit DOT Unveils First Buses in New Fleet

Detroit DOT recently took delivery of the first seven buses in an 80-bus order from New Flyer comprising 70 40-foot vehicles and 10 60-foot articulated buses, which will replace older ones that have exceeded their useful lifespan. [More]

Mobility Management Center Issues Access Design Challenge

The FTA-funded National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) is accepting applications through March 27 for its Healthcare Access Mobility Design Challenge. NCMM--operated by a consortium of APTA, the Community Transportation Association of America and Easter Seals--is seeking eight community teams to design innovative solutions to common transportation challenges related to healthcare. [More]

Agencies of All Sizes Report Record Ridership

Public transportation agencies across the U.S. are reporting record ridership levels in 2014 despite falling fuel prices. Here are a few examples. [More]


Meet Huelon Harrison!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile is Huelon Harrison, principal, Legacy Resource Group, Dallas, a member of the APTA Executive and Legislative committees and Authorization Task Force; chair, American Public Transportation Foundation; and second vice chair, Business Member Board of Governors. [More]


Urbanization and Smartphones Are Killing Car Culture; Cars Once Facilitated Social Outings. Has that Role Been Filled by Technology?

The Western world's century-old love affair with the automobile is coming to an end.

People are driving less than they did before the recession, and there are fewer cars on the road. In the U.S., the number of vehicles per driver has fallen from a peak of 1.2 in 2007 to 1.15 today, according to data compiled by Schroders, an asset management firm. Young Americans are getting their drivers' licenses later than they did in 1983 or even in 2008. Fewer Britons under the age of 30 have licenses today than in the 1990s. And many young people on both sides of the Atlantic are not getting licenses at all. [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. [More]

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