April 1, 2016
Flowers Named to Top FTA Post

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that he has named FTA Senior Advisor Carolyn Flowers to succeed Acting Administrator Therese McMillan. [More]

» TriMet seeks an executive director, transportation. [More]
» MTA Long Island Rail Road has a position for a chief mechanical officer. [More]
» The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority is looking for a contractor to design, construct and deliver two passenger-only ferries. [More]
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MBTA Opens Rebuilt Government Center Station

At ceremonies March 21, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority reopened its 118-year-old Government Center Station in Boston, which has undergone a comprehensive modernization that makes it fully accessible for the first time in its history under ADA and the Boston Center for Independent Living Agreement. [More]

Safe Travels: Public Transit Steps Up Security Measures

Public transportation agencies across North America stepped up their surveillance efforts following the March 22 terrorist attacks in the Brussels airport and a subway station, according to APTA. [More]

Foxx: Transportation Can Rebuild Urban Neighborhoods

In remarks before the Charlotte Rotary Club on March 29, DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx recounted his own experience growing up in one of the city’s neighborhoods as an example of how interstate highway construction sometimes isolated neighborhoods where minorities and people with low incomes lived. [More]

Hitachi Rail USA Opens Florida Manufacturing Facility; Miami-Dade Transit, DPW Merge

Hitachi Rail USA, the American subsidiary of Hitachi Rail Italy, recently began manufacturing railcars that will replace Miami-Dade Transit’s current Metrorail fleet at its newly opened, 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Medley, FL. [More]

Valley Metro's 'Safe Place' Expands to New Stations

Valley Metro in Phoenix expanded its “Safe Place” program for at-risk teens with the opening of its light rail Northwest Extension on March 19 by adding the three new stations on the extension to those already covered by the program, bringing the total number to 35. [More]

Foxx: Connected Networks Are Key to Seattle's Success; Speaks at Light Rail Opening

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx described Sound Transit’s efforts to use public transportation to enhance access to jobs, education and other forms of opportunity at opening ceremonies March 19 for the Seattle’s agency’s University Link light rail line. [More]

Honolulu Welcomes First Railcar

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) took delivery of its first two train cars March 24 at Honolulu Harbor following a 10-day trip across the Pacific Ocean. [More]

APTA Chair McCall Among Eno, WTS 'Women to Watch'

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall, board member, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, and chief of government and international affairs for the city of Cleveland, was named one of “The Top 10 Women to Watch in Transportation” by the Eno Center for Transportation and WTS International in commemoration of Women’s History Month in March. [More]

DOT Announces TRACS Appointments; FTA Issues Bus Funding Opportunity

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced the appointments of eight new members and one returning member to two-year terms on the Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), chartered in 2009 to provide a forum for the development, consideration and communication of information regarding public transit safety. [More]

Americans Took 10.6 Billion Trips on Public Transit in 2015

According to APTA’s recently released report, ridership on public transportation declined by 1.3 percent in 2015. This small decline was due in part to the lowest gas prices in seven years. [More]

New CEOs Named

Two public transit agencies have hired their interim chief executives to serve on a permanent basis. [More]

MTA Bus Order Clarification

The March 21 issue of Passenger Transport reported that New Flyer Industries had received a contract to provide 2,042 buses to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) over the next five years, based on a news release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The news release stated that New Flyer is manufacturing the initial buses in the order, slated to roll out this year, but did not identify manufacturers for the remainder of the order. MTA has not yet awarded contracts for the remaining buses. [More]

In Memoriam

Public transit agencies have announced the passing of a retired chief executive and a long-serving board member and chairman. [More]


Public Transportation's Data Rich World

U.S. Patent and Trademark Commissioner Charles Holland Duell is said to have proclaimed in 1899 that everything that could be invented had been invented.

Whether this quote is fact or fallacy, there’s no ­question that as a new century loomed, the Industrial ­Revolution had changed U.S. society in almost every technology sector, including transportation. But Duell—or even more visionary 19th-century pundits—could never have imagined the breakneck speed, pervasive impact or driving power of technological changes occurring in public transportation today. [More]

Intelligent Transportation Systems: 'The Heart of It All'

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have essentially transformed public transit vehicles into rolling data centers.

Passenger Transport asked several members of the ITS Passenger Transportation Systems and Services and the Research and Technology committees to offer their observations about the status of ITS implementation by responding to the following question:

As ITS components are increasingly deployed in public transit operations, how can they best be integrated into existing systems to save money and time and to increase safety? [More]

Big Ideas about Big Data

In our personal and professional lives, we’re awash in data. The same is true in transportation. But there’s more than meets the eye—smartphone location data, weather data, social media and more. …

Embrace the data. Learn what’s available and how to use it. Then, learn to integrate it. The whole idea is to recognize patterns so you need to normalize, clean and connect data. Once you get a system in place, you’ll be able to maximize the time analysts are working with data to understand patterns and trends. [More]

Smartphones Get Smarter with Near Field Communication; Expert Addresses Features, Future of NFC as Transactional Tool for Public Transit

APTA recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the nonprofit NFC Forum Inc. that will enable the organizations to collaborate on near field communication (NFC) technologies, which provide a wireless connection between mobile phones and wireless readers such as those seen in gated fare collection for public transportation systems.

Passenger Transport
asked NFC Forum Executive Director Paula Hunter to provide some insight into the technology and what it means for public transportation. [More]

Climb Aboard the Connected IoT Train

One rapidly emerging technological reality today is the “Internet of Things” (IoT)—vast networks that connect people, processes, data, systems and objects. The following article explores one implication for public transportation. [More]


Meet the Information Technology Committee!

This is the latest in a series of columns showcasing APTA committees. The subject of this profile is the Information Technology Committee, chaired since 2014 by William Tsuei, chief technology officer, Valley Metro. [More]


Engaging Our Community in Public Transit's Future; How Fort Worth Is Planning Forward by Advocating Today

When we considered our level of service and the many ways we could expand and improve, we knew it was time for a master plan that would reach far into the future, but also have an immediate impact. [More]


Meet Eugene F. Reed!

This is the latest in an ongoing series of columns showcasing members of the APTA staff. The subject of this profile is Eugene F. Reed, program manager-standards support, Member Services Department. [More]

Vice Chair Barnes Greets APTA Staff

APTA Vice Chair Doran Barnes, executive director of Foothill Transit in West Covina, CA, described his agency and fielded questions during a recent special visit to the APTA offices. [More]

Bus Conference Panel on Mobility and Partnering

APTA’s ongoing consideration of how new transportation technologies such as shared mobility options will affect public transit will continue at a May 17 General Session during the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, NC, May 15-18. [More]

APTA, Partner Discuss Transit and Tolls

APTA senior leaders recently met with senior leaders of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association to discuss several areas of mutual interest, including the important role tolls play in helping to fund public transportation and the growing emphasis on shared mobility, as reported in APTA’s new study, “Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit.” [More]

Sustainability Call for Presentations Deadline Extended

APTA has extended the call for presentations deadline for the Sustainability & Public Transportation Workshop until Tuesday, April 5. Individual abstracts will be considered for both traditional panel presentations and peer-to-peer roundtable discussions. [More]

APTF 2016 Scholarship Applications Available

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is now accepting scholarship applications for 2016.

APTF will award a minimum of 20 scholarships of at least $2,500 each to individuals enrolled in public transportation industry-related fields of study. Renewal applications for previous scholarship recipients are also available. [More]


Public Transit Police, Employees Honored for Lifesaving Actions; Reaching Out to the Community in Many Ways

Public transit employees in cities throughout the U.S. recently received recognition for their efforts that saved lives. [More]

Smart City Challenge Finalists Focus on Public Transportation

Following the announcement of the seven finalists for DOT’s Smart City Challenge selection by DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx at a recent event in Austin, TX, the cities—Austin; Columbus, OH; Denver; Kansas City, MO; Pittsburgh; Portland, OR; and San Francisco—are preparing to enter the second phase of the competition. [More]

Chair McCall to Address Ohio Association

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall is a special featured speaker at the Ohio Public Transportation Association’s Annual Conference, April 19-21 at the Columbus Convention Center. [More]

FTA, FRA Announce News, Events

FTA and FRA recently released the following notices about a webinar, a grant funding opportunity, a staffing change for railroads and a new rail safety website. [More]

Public Transit Worker Appreciation Day: Saying Thanks

Public transportation agencies across North America invited their passengers to say thanks to their operators March 18 for Transit Worker (or Driver) Appreciation Day. [More]

DCTA to Launch Service in Highland Village

The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), Lewisville, TX, will launch two pilot services--Connect Shuttle and Community On-Demand--in the city of Highland Village on April 4 to provide additional travel options in the city and improved connections to other DCTA services. [More]

SFMTA Turns Parking Space into Art

Artist Kristin Farr recently partnered with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to create the city’s first on-street mural in a former parking space. [More]

Collision Avoidance Pilot Program in Washington State

Eight Washington State public transit agencies—King County Metro Transit, Community Transit, Pierce Transit, Intercity Transit, C-TRAN, Kitsap Transit, Ben Franklin Transit and Spokane Transit—are collaborating on a pilot project to test and analyze a collision avoidance system that could help bus drivers reduce the number and severity of collisions with pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. [More]

Capital Metro Renews Contract with McDonald Transit

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) in Austin,TX, recently entered into a new four-year contract with McDonald Transit, a subsidiary of RATP Dev America, to provide fixed route bus service over 55 routes operating a fleet of 263 buses. [More]

'Forbes' Recognizes Transit as 'Best Employers'

Four of the largest U.S. public transit agencies and Amtrak are among the 500 “America’s Best Employers of 2016” representing 25 industries recently announced by Forbes magazine. [More]

SCRTTC Receives NTI Award

The Southern California Transit Training Consortium in Los Angeles recently received the National Transit Institute’s Achievements in Transit Training Model Program Award for its National Innovative Transit Training Learning Model. [More]

Industry Briefs

Here are some brief news items from public transit agencies. [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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