March 18, 2016
APTA Study: Uber, Lyft Users More Likely to Use Public Transit

The more people use shared services like Uber and Lyft, the more likely they will use public transportation, according to a new study by APTA released at a press conference and congressional briefing March 15 during the annual Legislative Conference. [More]

» The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation seeks a chief of public transportation and a transit planning and project development manager. [More]
» Arlington, VA, is looking for a transit bureau chief. [More]
» The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is soliciting proposals to help the agency plan to expand and fund vanpools and assume management and operation of the existing vanpool program. [More]
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Legislative Conference: FAST Act Details, National Policies, Partner Initiatives

More than 660 public transportation leaders convened at APTA’s 41st annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, March 13-15, to share insights and information on the FAST Act, learn more about APTA’s city and county partnerships, get an inside look at national politics and hear from national transportation experts and congressional staffers. [More]

General Session with Members of Congress: The Funding Fight Isn't Over

At their Tuesday morning General Session, five members of Congress—one senator and four members of the House—thanked APTA for its help in passing a long-term surface transportation authorization bill, emphasized that the fight is not yet over and suggested various ways of funding increased levels of infrastructure investment. [More]

Opening General Session: Chair McCall Notes APTA Legislative Achievements

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall opened the Legislative Conference by noting the association’s major accomplishments, from its efforts to pass the FAST Act to extensions for alternative fuel tax credits and installation of PTC to the inclusion of passenger rail provisions in the act and of commuter tax credits in the tax code. [More]

Public Transit's Future: Lead Change or Be Changed; Melaniphy Proposes Shared Mobility Initiative

On Monday, March 14, the opening day of APTA’s 2016 Legislative Conference, President & CEO Michael Melaniphy announced an initiative to help prepare and position APTA for the new mobility paradigm being driven by emerging technologies and changing demographics. [More]

New York Adds 2,000 Buses; Agency to Invest $1.3 Billion in New Flyer Vehicles

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced plans to add 2,042 state-of-the-art buses from New Flyer Industries to its transportation fleet over the next five years—a $1.3 billion investment of MTA Capital Program resources. [More]

St. Louis Metro Unveils Facility and Bus Service; Redesign Provides More Frequent, Direct Bus Routes

Officials of Metro in St. Louis held ribbon-cutting ceremonies March 10 to mark the completion of the North County Transit Center in Ferguson, MO, joined by FTA Region 7 Administrator Mokhtee Ahmad, ­Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. [More]

CTA Awards Largest Railcar Contract in Its History

The Chicago Transit Authority recently entered into a $1.3 billion contract with CSR Sifang America JV for 846 railcars—the largest order in the agency’s history—that also provides for construction of a $40 million railcar assembly facility in Chicago. [More]

WMATA Closed Rail System for a Day; New GM Cited Safety Concerns

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reopened March 17 after a 29-hour closure of its rail system for emergency inspections of third-rail power cables following a tunnel fire March 14. [More]

MVTA Launches New Commuter Service

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA), Burnsville, MN, recently launched peak-period service connecting the Rosemount Transit Station with downtown St. Paul, funded with federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality dollars. [More]

Foxx: TIFIA Funds Available; Repurpose Unused Earmarks

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx has invited states and cities across the U.S. to submit letters of interest for direct loans, loan guarantees and standby lines of credit for critical infrastructure projects through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. [More]

Sound Transit University Link Opens

As Passenger Transport went to press, Sound Transit was scheduled to introduce service on its University Link Extension, a 3.1-mile light rail line with two new stations: University of Washington and Capitol Hill. [More]

Valley Metro Counts Down to Light Rail Extension

As Passenger Transport went to press, Valley Metro in Phoenix was preparing for the March 19 opening of the Northwest Light Rail Extension with a community fair at the new terminus, 19th Avenue/Dunlap, and the ceremonial arrival of the first train. [More]

LA Metro's Gold Line Extension Is 'Opening Salvo in Transit Revolution'

Los Angeles Metro’s 11.5-mile Gold Line extension, dubbed “the opening salvo in L.A. County’s transit revolution” by board Chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, has extended the Metro Rail system from 87 miles to 98.5 miles and made the Gold Line the longest in the system, covering more than 31 miles from East Los Angeles to Azusa. [More]

FTA Issues Final Rule on Rail Transit Safety

FTA announced on March 15 the State Safety Oversight Program final rule (SSO rule), which strengthens a State Safety Oversight Agency’s (SSOA) authority to prevent and mitigate accidents and incidents on rail transit systems. [More]

Women Who Move the Nation Honored at COMTO Event

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx invoked his young daughter in his remarks at COMTO’s fifth annual Women Who Move the Nation awards ceremony March 16. [More]

FRA Awards $10 Million for Crossings

FRA recently awarded almost $10 million in grants for nine projects in eight states to upgrade and increase the safety of railroad crossings along energy routes through the Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products by Rail Program. [More]

PATH Opens First Phase of World Trade Center Hub

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) recently opened the first phase of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, the Oculus, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. [More]

Santa Clarita Transit Introduces CNG Commuter Buses

Santa Clarita (CA) Transit recently introduced five commuter coaches from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) to replace five of its oldest diesel-powered commuter buses in a fleet of 13. [More]

Wrapped Bus Highlights New DART Service

Leon Tate, mayor of Glenn Heights, TX, joined Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) President/Executive Director Gary Thomas to unveil a new wrapped bus designed to highlight expanded on-call midday service in the city. [More]

Metra Commuter Rail Adds Service on Heritage Corridor

Metra commuter rail in Chicago joined CN Railway representatives and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, March 14 to mark the inaugural run of a new mid-afternoon departure from Chicago Union Station to Joliet. [More]

EE Global 2016 Spotlights Efficiency

The Alliance to Save Energy will hold its Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global) 2016, May 10-11 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. [More]


McMillan at FTA General Session: 'A Transformation Has Begun'

“Something is changing, a transformation has begun,” FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan told attendees at the Monday afternoon General Session, “Update from the Federal Transit Administration.” “We need to understand what’s going on so we can keep providing service in the midst of the shifting demographics and changing climate. America’s population is growing and growing older, while millennials now represent the single largest generation in the workforce. All of these factors are changing the mix of transportation options U.S. communities need.” [More]

General Session Roundtable: Collaboration, Partnerships Strengthen APTA

Representatives of the National Association of Regional Councils, National Association of Counties and National League of Cities shared their insights into the importance of transportation to their members—and the need to keep the momentum going following passage of the FAST Act—at a General Session moderated by APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall, who has set partnerships with other organizations as a top priority of her year in office. [More]

Message from ARTBA at Insider's Perspective General Session: 'JND'

In the packed Monday breakfast General Session, one of public transportation’s staunchest Washington, DC, partners declared that the “JND.” [More]

Analysts Share Views of Political Landscape in Welcome General Session

One word that sums up the current political scene is “assumptions,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, who shared the stage on Sunday evening with David Wasserman, election analyst, the Cook Political Report, during the conference’s traditional session featuring Washington, DC, political analysts who provide context for the meeting’s subsequent activities. [More]

FAST Act Insights from Hill Staffers

The Monday afternoon “View from the Hill” General Session brought together Senate and House committee staff members who played key roles in writing the FAST Act to share their perspectives on how the law should be implemented and respond to questions about sections of the law. [More]

APTF Establishes McCall Scholarship; Business Members Contribute $43,000

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) Board of Directors has announced the establishment of the Valarie J. McCall Scholarship in honor of the 2015-2016 APTA chair. [More]

Photo Spread: Federal Issues, Local Impact

Click here to see a photo spread of scenes from the 2016 APTA Legislative Conference. [More]

Four New APTA Reports: Shared Mobility, Investments and Partnerships, the FAST Act, the Knowledge Economy

APTA released four new reports during the Legislative Conference that demonstrate the growing importance of shared mobility technology such as Uber and Lyft to the future of public transportation, ways to build mutually beneficial partnerships with the private sector, the role of available public transit to the success of “innovation districts” where business and industry can share information and experiment and an overview of provisions of the FAST Act. [More]

HSR Committee Says Thanks to Senators

APTA's High-Speed and Intercity Rail Committee adopted a resolution at its March 13 meeting recognizing Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), members of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation, for their leadership roles in enacting the FAST Act and for their contributions to intercity passenger rail. [More]

APTA Says Goodbye--and Hello--to McMillan

During the Legislative Conference, APTA said goodbye to Therese McMillan as acting FTA admininistrator—and hello to McMillan in her new job as chief planning officer for Los Angeles Metro. [More]


Showcase at Transit Board Members Seminar

For the first time, the schedule for the APTA Transit Board Members & Board Support Seminar, April 30-May 3 in San Antonio, will include a Business Member Showcase where local small businesses can highlight the benefits of their products and services to the public transit industry. [More]

APTA's Transportation Tuesday: Bikes, Buses and Everything In Between

Jay Walder, president and chief executive officer of Motivate, the largest bikeshare operator in the nation, was the featured speaker at APTA’s March “Transportation Tuesday,” a free monthly event that showcases leaders in the public transportation industry and related fields that is open to everyone. [More]

APTA Welcomes Its Newest Members

Click here to see the list of APTA members who joined between Dec. 15, 2015, and Feb. 29, 2016. [More]


Meet Jarod Varner!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing APTA members. The subject of this profile isJarod Varner, executive director, Rock Region METRO, North Little Rock, AR, a member of the APTA Board of Directors, Marketing and Communications, Small Operations and Bus Operations committees and a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2009. [More]

DTC Breaks Ground on Lewes Transit Center

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan joined Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) Chief Executive Officer John Sisson and other state and local officials March 9 to celebrate the start of construction on the Lewes Transit Center, a facility that will provide improved service to the Delaware beaches and enhanced connections among DART First State fixed routes and paratransit, Greyhound buses and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Shuttle. [More]

Two Years of Planning Pays Off for a Day-Long Event; How VTA and Its Partners Pulled Off a 'Super Day'

There’s a motto we live by at VTA: “Plan the work, then work the plan.” [More]

LA Metro: Open for Business by Opening Doors; New Partnership Forum Focuses on Ideas, Innovation

Among our chief goals at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) is to bring best practices in transportation from around the world to Southern California. With that in mind, we recently hosted nearly 400 business and industry leaders for a groundbreaking Industry Forum—Transformation Through Transportation (T3 Forum)—in downtown Los Angeles. [More]

SEPTA: Striving Toward the Summit of Safety

As part of its ongoing efforts to create a safety culture for its staff and riders, Philadelphia’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) recently hosted its second annual Safety Summit attended by 80 senior management employees. [More]

Metro Transit Renames Station for Stadium

Metro Transit in Minneapolis/St. Paul is changing the name of its Downtown East/Metrodome light rail station to the U.S. Bank Stadium Station after the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. [More]

New BART Railcar En Route Cross Country

The first railcar of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District’s (BART) Fleet of the Future has completed its testing and is making its way across the country on a flatbed truck, taking a 3,600-mile trip from the Bombardier Transit Corporation manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh, NY, to a BART testing facility in Hayward, CA. [More]

KCATA Launches Partnership with Bridj

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO, recently introduced its new Ride KC: Bridj microtransit service, which uses billions of data points to determine where customers want to go and the most efficient way to get them to their destination. [More]

Pace Bus Launches Dial-a-Ride

Pace Suburban Transit, Arlington Heights, IL, expanded its service to older riders and persons with disabilities to three townships and two villages in central Lake County with the recent launch of Ride Lake County Central Pace Dial-a-Ride. [More]

NTI's Transit Academy: June 6-10 in Philadelphia

The National Transit Institute invites public transportation decision-makers to attend Transit Academy 2016, its practical hands-on workshop, June 6-10 in Philadelphia, hosted by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. [More]

Industry Briefs

Here are some brief news items from APTA member public transit agencies and businesses. [More]


Who's Doing What in the Industry

Passenger Transport announces 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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