Passenger Transport - December 5, 2014
(Print All Articles)

NEWS HEADLINES

AMT Launches Mascouche Commuter Rail Line; New Connection to Downtown Montréal from Suburbs

The Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) in Montréal, QC, introduced service Dec. 1 on its newest commuter rail service, the 53-km (almost 33-mile) Mascouche Line.

“We are extremely proud to offer area residents a modern, efficient public transit system,” said AMT President and Chief Executive Officer Nicolas Girard. “The Mascouche Line is the largest public transit project since the extension of the [Société de transport de Montréal] Metro to Laval in 2007. This is a historic moment. … The train is a reliable, comfortable alternative to rush-hour driving.”

Robert Poëti, Québec’s minister of transport and the minister responsible for the Montréal region, called the line’s opening “great news for public transit. Residents of the eastern part of the city and the northeastern periphery—around 700,000 people—now have much-anticipated public transit service that brings the suburbs closer to downtown.”

The route begins with 9 km of AMT’s existing electrified Deux-Montagnes Line from Montréal Central through the Mount Royal tunnel, before diverging to the east. Most of the track is an existing CN freight line, but AMT also constructed 13 km of new track. The trip from end to end takes 65 minutes. The Mascouche Line serves 11 new stations, as well as three existing stations on the Deux-Montagnes Line.

AMT is operating the new route with 30 bi-level railcars and five diesel-electric locomotives, all from Bombardier.

Passengers board AMT's Mascouche Line on opening day, Dec. 1.

BART Begins Service to Oakland International

To prepare for increased traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) launched service Nov. 21 between the Coliseum in Oakland, CA, and the new Oakland International Airport (OAK) Station.

Almost 700 people rode free on opening day, which also featured music, giveaways, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting.    Ridership during the first week of the new service was 15 percent to 38 percent higher than bus ridership to the airport on the same days last year. Wait times are shorter and riders can make direct connections without having to leave the station.

“The Bay Area is making history by becoming only the second major metro area in the nation [the other is Chicago] where two or more of its airports are served by a direct train-to-plane connection,” BART General Manager Grace Crunican said at the ceremony.

The automated 3.2-mile BART to OAK connection gives Bay Area visitors “another choice to easily access either downtown Oakland or San Francisco,” Crunican said. “After the BART to SFO [San Francisco International Airport] extension opened, that airport saw tremendous passenger growth. We expect Oakland Airport will see the same.”

BART to OAK trains arrive every five minutes during peak commute hours (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) and drop off and pick up riders just steps away from both terminals at OAK. The trip takes just eight minutes.

This is the first new station to open in the BART system since 2011. BART to SFO service began in 2003.

Cutting the ribbon at BART’s new Oakland International Airport Station, from left: Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Oakland Mayor-Elect Libby Schaaf, California Transportation Commissioner and Executive Officer of Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Bob Alvarado, Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman, Port of Oakland Aviation Director Deborah Ale Flint, President of the Board of Port of Oakland Commissioners Alan Yee, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, BART Board President Joel Keller, Airport Area Business Association President Randall Whitney, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), BART General Manager Grace Crunican; California State Assembly Member Nancy Skinner, and former BART Board member Carole Ward Allen.

Celebrating 100 Years of Safety


As APTA's Bus and Rail Safety & Security Awards program marked its 100th anniversary this year, the association is honoring the industry's commitment to safety with a special publication (accessible here) that tracks 100 of public transit's most notable milestones, including the Birney Safety Car, rolled out in 1916 in major cities across the country. This lightweight streetcar is considered to be the first mass-produced standard streetcar in North America. It introduced many safety features, variations of which are standard today.

 

 

APTA Organizes Business Member Fly-In

APTA invited business members to visit Capitol Hill Dec. 3 to tell their members of Congress about the importance of public transportation.
Photos by Steve Barrett

Meeting with Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID), left, are AECOM representative Cynthia Stinger and William Slater, Wabtec Corp.


APTA business members and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy visit with Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), fifth from left.

Members of House Issue Dear Colleague Letter Calling for Passage of Multi-Year Authorization Bill

Four members of Congress—Reps. Reid J. Ribble (R-WI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Tom Reed (R-NY), and Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ)—circulated a Dear Colleague letter on Dec. 3 to their colleagues calling for passage of a multi-year surface transportation authorization bill. APTA is among the numerous organizations that support the text of the letter.

“We support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place,” the congressmen wrote. The letter was addressed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but circulated to all members of the House of Representatives.

“The current extension of the Highway Trust Fund is slated to expire on May 31, 2015. This is not a long way off. We are united in our conviction that now is the time to end the cycle of short-term extensions that kick the can down the road by doing the work needed to pass a long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill,” the letter states.

Other issues addressed in the letter include the need for stable financial support to build and maintain the U.S. transportation infrastructure, the uncertainty and inability to plan that result from short-term funding fixes, and the importance of finding a reliable funding source for the Highway Trust Fund.

Ribble and Lipinski are both members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

APTA encourages its members to contact their elected leaders in Congress and support the passage of a multi-year authorization bill.

Excerpts from the letter follow:

Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives have consistently recognized the importance of a well-functioning and efficient surface transportation network in the United States. We know that our country needs robust transportation infrastructure to compete in the global economy and that without such a network, the United States will be less able to realize future economic growth.

Very simply, we support transportation and infrastructure investment because our economy needs a national system to safely move people and deliver goods from place to place. Our constituents in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and distribution sectors rely heavily on our network of roads and bridges to move the products that make us competitive around the globe.

We were pleased that Congress was able to enact the Moving Ahead for ­Progress in the 21st Century Act ­(MAP-21) in 2012, but we are more troubled by the significant uncertainty that has plagued federal highway and transit policy in recent years. In the last decade, there have been nine short-term extensions of highway and transit programs. This kind of uncertainty impedes economic growth and makes it difficult for our country to fulfill its competitive ­potential. ...

To make this happen, we support efforts to develop a long-term sustainable revenue source for our nation’s transportation network as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will not be able to enact a transportation bill that truly meets our country’s economic and infrastructure needs.

We respectfully urge you to move a responsibly paid-for multi-year surface transportation bill that will support much needed economic growth throughout our nation. We stand ready to work with you on this endeavor in the coming months.

APTA Presents Awards

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy presents the APTA National Distinguished Service Award to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) Dec. 3 at her Capitol Hill office.


Retiring Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI), center, accepts his APTA National Distinguished Service Award Dec. 4 from APTA Chair Phil Washington, left, and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy.

Photos by Steve Barrett

CUTA's Roschlau to Retire

Michael W. Roschlau, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) for the past 16 years, has announced his plans to retire in June. He joined CUTA in 1986.

“It will have been over 29 years that I’ve worked in support of public transit here at CUTA,” Roschlau said, “and nearly every moment has been gratifying and uplifting.”
He also co-chairs the Canadian Motor Carrier Passenger Council and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Public Transit Association and the QUEST Advisory Council on Urban Energy Systems. He also served five years on the Green Municipal Fund Council of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Previous to his tenure at CUTA, Roschlau spent several years with the Greater Vancouver Regional District in a variety of ­public transit planning functions.

 

New CEOs Named

 

Zanghi, Masabi
Masabi, a London-based manufacturer of mobile ­ticketing and payment solutions for public transit, has named Brian Zanghi its new chief executive officer and president. The previous CEO, Masabi co-founder Ben Whitaker, will remain with the company as head of innovation.

Zanghi comes to Masabi after serving as CEO of Awareness Inc, a provider of social marketing software. He also was CEO of Kadient and held ‘C’-level positions at software companies including SPSS, NetGenesis, and eRoom.

 

Malnati, BRTA, Pittsfield, MA
The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority has selected Robert Malnati as its next administrator. He had been serving in the post on an interim basis since Gary Shephard stepped down.

Malnati has worked for the BRTA for 12 years, most recently as assistant administrator.

Boehm, MCTS
Dan Boehm has been named managing director for ­Milwaukee Transport Services Inc., operator of the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). He served in this post on an interim basis following the retirement of Mike Giugno.

Boehm joined the agency in 1997 and has been chief administrative officer since 2007. His other positions for MCTS include transit planner, contract manager in the Paratransit Department, and manager of research and planning.



 





 

Sears Dies; Past FTA Chief Counsel

William (Will) P. Sears, 48, former FTA chief counsel and founder of the transportation consulting company the Peterson Group, died Nov. 28.

President George W. Bush appointed Sears to his FTA post in 2001. Sears founded the Peterson Group in 2005, where he provided strategic and tactical advice for rail, bus, and other public transit clients and represented their interests before Congress and the administration. For a time, he supported Martin G. Hamberger & Associates in representing APTA.

In his early career on Capitol Hill, Sears worked for former Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). He earned his law degree at Washington and Lee University.

 

 

 

 

APTA NEWS

Attend BMBG Meeting in January; Market-Driven Agenda Taking Shape

Each January, the APTA Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) convenes to identify private sector priorities and set an agenda to address industry matters impacting their businesses.

The 2015 meeting, open to all business members, will take place Jan. 26-28 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Market conditions make the 2015 meeting an important and timely one. The platform for discussion, as outlined by newly elected BMBG Chair Pat Scully, will include:

A national day to support transportation: APTA Chair Phil Washington, general manager and CEO, Denver RTD, will introduce his signature initiative and develop a plan with business members to convey the industry’s message to Congress.

Legislative program: Meeting attendees will review the midterm election results to create a plan for supporting APTA’s efforts toward congressional passage of a surface transportation authorization bill.

Procurement and jobs: Job creation in large rolling stock procurements and Buy America continues to be an important topic for the private sector.

Innovative financing: Business members will discuss next steps in the industry-wide discussion on ways to develop a more comprehensive approach to financing public transportation in the U.S.

BMBG work plan: Representatives of the BMBG committees will report on their progress and together the business members will agree to a business member work plan for 2015.

The deadline for hotel reservations at the PGA National Resort is Dec. 18. Find more information at the APTA website under 2015 Meetings, or contact Beverly Hill.

APTA Promotes Public Transit Careers to Youth

APTA is seeking a diverse group of 50 rising high school juniors and seniors from across the U.S. to participate in its 2015 Youth Summit, “GenTech on Board,” June 28-July 2 in Washington, D.C.

Public transportation plays a significant role in finding solutions to the numerous challenges facing America today, including job creation, a cleaner environment, energy independence, and improved quality of life.

The Youth Summit provides participants with unique opportunities to learn about the public transit industry, to become familiar with a broad range of career choices, and to meet with industry leaders and learn how their current and future courses of study apply directly to the industry.

For the first time in 2015, the schedule includes customized career track sessions focusing on students’ interests in science, technology, mathematics, and engineering (STEM). In addition, APTA will provide opportunities for participants interested in business administration, planning, marketing and communications, operations, and maintenance.

Applications for the Youth Summit will be available here on Dec. 12 and must be received by Feb. 13. More information is available from Mariah Stanley.

Another APTA outreach program for students is National Public Transportation Career Day, scheduled for May 14, 2015.

During this event, APTA invites its members—public transit agencies and business members alike—to participate by hosting an activity for elementary and high school students that showcases the industry and exposes young people to its vast array of career opportunities.

AROUND THE INDUSTRY

Missoula's Mountain Line Unveils a New Look

The Missoula (MT) Urban Transportation District, operator of Mountain Line bus service, recently unveiled new buses with an exterior redesign inspired by the region’s natural surroundings. The exterior of each bus displays a different graphic showing people participating in leisure activities familiar to the community.

“We at Mountain Line are thrilled to be unveiling a new look for our agency,” said spokesperson Topher Williams. “Providing high-quality, high-frequency transit that Missoula can be proud of is something that benefits us all.” The new buses will enter service Jan. 5.

“Missoula is an amazing place to live, work, and play,” said Tia Metzger, account executive at Montana Marketing Group, which designed the new look. “We wanted to make sure that Mountain Line reflects the adventure in our lifestyle.”

In 2013, voters approved a property tax mill levy—or $19.11 on a home valued at $100,000—that has allowed Mountain Line to expand its service, which includes adding vehicles to the fleet. The new buses will serve two high-frequency BOLT! routes, which will connect all parts of the city with 15-minute headways. The millage also supports extending service until 10 p.m. on four popular routes and upgrading paratransit operations.

Also on Jan. 5, Mountain Line will launch a three-year zero-fare demonstration project throughout the fixed route system, sponsored by a coalition of local businesses and government agencies.

“The new buses we have acquired are needed to meet the increased ridership demand that we are anticipating,” Williams said. He noted that the buses are equipped with red interior lighting, which he said would enhance passenger safety because the light reduces glare on the windshield while allowing passenger visibility.

“With expanded services from the levy combined with zero-fare transit, we are projecting about a 45 percent increase in our ridership over the next few years. We are excited to grow Mountain Line and be a national example of what a small urban transit system can accomplish,” he added.


Kayaking is among the outdoor activities showcased on Mountain Line’s new buses.

 


COMTO Chapter Honors AC Transit

The Northern California Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) recently recognized AC Transit, Oakland, CA, as its Transit Agency of the Year.

The chapter explained that AC Transit received the honor because it has championed COMTO’s ideals: to provide equal access to transportation careers and advance the transportation interests of communities of color.

The agency recently replaced one-third of its fleet with more than 200 new buses, added 120 employees, introduced an internship program, and increased its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation to 22 percent.

“It is particularly gratifying to be honored for the work we are doing to improve transportation options and business opportunities for the people in the neighborhoods we service,” said Joe Wallace, AC Transit board vice president and Operations Committee chair. “We are proudly improving operations at all levels, as borne out by our recent 8 percent increase in ridership. We’re moving in the right direction.”

As the third largest transit agency in California, AC Transit has a $320 million annual budget, serves nearly 200,000 daily riders, and employs 1,750.

Valley Metro Begins Solar Project

Valley Metro recently began installing solar panels on the roof of its light rail operations and maintenance facility in Phoenix. When the plant goes online in the spring, it will be capable of generating 780 kilowatts of energy annually while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

It is estimated to save the agency approximately 16 percent ($100,000 average per year) of the energy consumption at the facility.

“Adding solar as an energy source expands our menu of daily sustainable practices at Valley Metro, which includes low-emissions fleet and water reclamation systems,” said Steve Banta, the agency’s chief executive officer. “We constantly strive to be a watchful consumer of energy and appreciate that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is supporting our entrance into solar power utilization.”

Valley Metro received $2.7 million in federal Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas & Energy Reduction (TIGGER) funding for construction and installation of the plant. In addition, the Arizona Public Service Company’s Schools and Government Incentive program provides $85,000 per year in Renewable Energy Credits for 20 years up to 40 percent ($1.36 million) of the total project cost.

Valley Metro’s solar panels on the roof of its light rail operations and maintenance facility in Phoenix.


Riverside Opens Upgraded Bus Stops


The Riverside (CA) Transit Agency (RTA) recently held ribbon-cutting ceremonies to celebrate the opening of six new bus stops and shelters at the Galleria at Tyler, a shopping mall in Riverside. Three of the new stops are located on the mall access road and the others are just outside the mall, allowing for improved pedestrian flow. Other upgrades include solar lighting for enhanced customer safety and digital signs that display real-time bus arrival times. In the near future, RapidLink express bus service will also connect with this site.

Nova Bus Partners with Metrolinx

Nova Bus has entered into an $80 million (Cdn,) contract with Metrolinx, which coordinates transit vehicle purchasing initiatives for 13 municipalities in Ontario. Through this agreement, the manufacturer will deliver up to 188 40-foot buses and 15 articulated buses to cities in Metrolinx member cities between 2015 and 2017.

Since vehicle specifications vary greatly from one city to another, the Metrolinx-Nova Bus agreement comprises various types of propulsion technologies such as clean diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, and compressed natural gas. The vehicles will be entirely assembled in Canada and will include a high level of Canadian content.

DART Rail Safety Campaign Reaches Out to Homeless

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) recently launched an outreach campaign with Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) and local advocates for the homeless community to talk about dangers the homeless can face around rail tracks. DART used funds from an OLI grant to support this effort; the other 10 grant recipients are preparing public awareness and safety education projects with different emphases.

“Operation Lifesaver tells us, about every three hours a person or a vehicle is hit by a freight or passenger train in the U.S. That’s too many,” said DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas.

OLI emphasizes the importance of rail safety with its “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign. DART is using that message to engage persons who are homeless about the risks of walking on tracks and setting up campgrounds near rail right-of-way.


Introducing DART’s rail safety outreach to the homeless community during ceremonies at Dallas Union Station, from left: DART President and Executive Director Gary Thomas, Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance President and CEO Mike Faenza, and DART customer and advocate for the homeless Ricky Redd.


Industry Briefs

Fare Update Program Branded as ‘SEPTA Key’—The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia has selected “SEPTA Key” as the official name for its fare modernization program. Through this initiative, SEPTA will replace current fare instruments such as tokens, paper tickets, and magnetic stripe passes with contactless payment devices. The agency is currently testing the new technology and related equipment, including card readers, new fare gates, and fare kiosks.

‘Van GO’ Program Provides Retired Transit Vans to Nonprofits—Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA, recently donated retired vanpool vans to 11 nonprofit organizations in the county through its Van GO program. Recipients of the vans include organizations serving older residents, children, and residents with health issues. Community Transit has provided 116 vehicles through this program since 2000.

Hill International Acquires Cadogans—Hill International, based in Marlton, NJ, has acquired the engineering firm Cadogans, the trading name of Angus Octan Scotland Ltd. and its subsidiary companies Cadogan Consultants Ltd., Cadogan Consult Ltd., and Cadogan International Ltd. Cadogans’ senior management team will continue with the company, which will operate as part of Hill's Construction Claims Group.

Audit Gives High Marks to The T—The Fort Worth (TX) Transportation Authority (The T) recently received high marks on an independent performance audit of its operations related to plans for the future TEX Rail commuter rail line. The auditor, TransTech Management Inc., called The T “one of the best [public transit agencies] we have examined,” scoring “well above average in most functions and activities.”

UTA Introduces Apple Pay for Fare Payment—Utah Transit Authority (UTA) customers with the iPhone 6 can use Apple Pay to pay their fares throughout the system. UTA buses and rail stations are equipped with near field communications (NFC) readers and accept payment from contactless electronic cards and NFC smartphone payment apps.


COMMENTARY

Let's Restore Parity for the Commuter Tax Benefit

BY CARL SEDORYK
General Manager/Chief Executive Officer
Monterey-Salinas Transit


About 30 years ago, a series of smart public policies was placed into effect allowing workers to defray public transportation costs through their employers’ benefits packages, helping to reduce public costs of traffic congestion and improving air quality.

In 1998, Congress amended the tax code to allow employees to take advantage of the benefit using pre-tax dollars, and in later years similar benefits were provided to both active-duty and civilian personnel with the Department of Defense. By 2009, the monthly tax-free cap commuters could spend on the public transit benefit was raised to $230, making the benefit equal to the auto­mobile parking portion. In addition, bicycle commuting was incentivized through the addition of a $20 per month benefit.

Over its life, the popularity of the commuter benefits has grown; multiple employee surveys have ranked it—along with health, retirement, and disability insurance—among the top benefits offered by companies.

However, equity between the benefit’s public transit commuter portion and the parking portions was short-lived. By 2012, the transit portion was reduced to $125, then raised to $245 in 2013, and then cut to $130 in 2014. Over the same time, the monthly parking benefit has steadily increased to $250 per month. The current tax policy unfairly penalizes both the commuters who use public transit and the companies that employ them, and it provides an incentive for auto­mobile commuters, adding more congestion to overburdened highway infrastructure and increasing traffic ­congestion and emissions.

A lesser-known population that has been adversely affected by reductions in the commuter benefit is the hardworking men and women of our armed services and Department of Defense. Instead of a receiving a pre-tax benefit for commuting, qualifying military and DOD personnel receive a monthly cash stipend in the form of a check or debit card they can use to purchase a transit pass from their local public transit operator.

Dozens of military bases and installations have partnered with their local public transit operator in communities large and small throughout the U.S. Tens of thousands of active duty military and civilian defense employees are seeing their annual income reduced by thousands of dollars each year that Congress fails to extend the benefit.

High Value of Full Benefit
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) provides just one example of how the increased ­public transit benefit positively impacted a community. When the commuter ­benefit program received a funding boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase from $110 to $230 monthly, MST was able to create a sustainable model to fund partnerships with local military bases and create express routes that serve the Presidio of Monterey, Naval Postgrad­uate School, and Fort Hunter Liggett.

More than 1,000 military personnel signed up to use the bus service in its first month, and more than 122,000 ­passengers boarded the service during its first year. At its peak (when the commuter benefit program increased to $240 per month), MST had 16 new routes connecting military personnel and the general ­public to work, school, and shopping destinations, with ridership growing to more than 530,000 annual boardings.

In addition to dramatically reducing vehicle miles traveled, carbon emissions, and traffic congestion, this growth helped create and sustain 26 new jobs at MST, with wages adding $2 million annually to the local economy.

When the transit benefit was reduced overnight to $130, MST was forced to dramatically reduce service to our military community and the general public to close a $800,000 deficit that was created by the loss of transit-benefit-funded bus pass sales.

This scenario is being repeated in defense communities across the nation, decreasing the quality of life both the military members and the residents of the communities that support their activities. Every year, the continued success of these very popular programs is dependent upon Congress continuing the commuter transit benefit at a rate that is comparable to the current parking benefit.

Nonpartisan Support
The Frontier Group, a nonprofit organization that provides policy guidance on a range of issues, including transportation, offers three recommendations:

* Increase the maximum value of the public transit tax benefit to restore parity with parking tax benefits;

* Require employers that offer tax-free parking to their employees to also offer transit benefits or empower their workers to “cash out” the value of the subsidized parking they receive by converting it to cash income; and

* Expand the scope of commuter tax benefits to include benefits for bike sharing and car sharing and to ­provide parallel benefits for workers who carpool.

The Joint Committee on Taxation—a nonpartisan committee of the Congress—issued a new “score,” or rating, of the cost of establishing parity. The score estimated that by equalizing the benefits at $235 a month, the nation would experience a savings to the federal treasury of $131 million over 10 years.

In addition, all of us—public transit leaders in the public and private sectors—know that the nation would also experience increased ridership, reduced traffic congestion, and improved air quality.

Now is the time for Congress to act—once and for all—to establish permanent parity between the transit and parking benefits, to eliminate subsidies that promote traffic congestion, and enact policies and incentives that support the nation’s transportation policy goals and fiscal priorities.

This “Commentary” section features different points of view from various sources to enhance readers’ broad awareness of themes and views that affect public transportation.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Who's Doing What in the Industry

King to Retire from ­Triangle Transit

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC—David King, general manager of Triangle Transit, has announced his plans to retire next year following eight years in the post.

Before joining Triangle Transit in 2006, King worked 33 years at North Carolina DOT, most recently as deputy secretary, responsible for the department’s five multimodal divisions including Public Transportation and Rail.

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.

JACKSONVILLE, FL—Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, has been elected treasurer of the Transportation and Expressway Authority Membership of Florida. The organization was formed in 1997 to facilitate the exchange of information among toll agencies and the transportation industry.

Ford has more than 30 years of transportation industry experience, including chief executive positions with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. He is a member-at-large of the APTA Executive Committee.

 Vera Bumpers

HOUSTON—Vera Bumpers, an employee of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) for more than 30 years, has been named the agency’s first female police chief. She ­succeeds Tim Kelly.

Bumpers joined the security department of METRO in 1981, before the system established its own police force. She is the agency’s first woman to serve at every level of command: officer, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and assistant police chief.



John H. Robinson, Robert Perrine

WASHINGTON, DC—Operation Lifesaver has named John H. ­Robinson the new state coordinator in New Hampshire and Robert Perrine to head operations in Delaware. Robinson succeeds Lyman Cousens and Perrine takes over from Bob King.

Robinson, a third-generation railroader, worked 23 years for a metropolitan New York commuter rail system and currently serves New Hampshire DOT as a rail safety inspector/investigator. ­Perrine is railroad program manager with ­Delaware DOT.

Amy Dobrikova
INDIANAPOLIS—Crosspoint Kinetics announces the appointment of Amy Dobrikova as director of strategy and business development. She joins the firm from Echo Automotive, where she was vice president of sales and business development.


Amy Hockman
COLUMBUS, OH—The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) announces the appointment of Amy Hockman as director of mobility management. She has more than 22 years of management experience, working most recently as general manager for MV Transportation’s IndyGo paratransit contract in Indianapolis and general manager for MV Transportation’s contract with the city of Lancaster, OH, Public Transit System.






Charles R. Lynch, Jeffery A. Hurley

SAN FRANCISCO—Charles R. Lynch and Jeffery A. Hurley have joined ­Gannett Fleming’s team in San Bruno, CA.

Lynch, a vice president of the firm’s Transit & Rail Systems Division, was formerly based in Jacksonville, FL, with more than 35 years of experience. He will serve as project manager for the firm’s work to support Caltrain’s extensive modernization program.

Hurley will serve as deputy project manager on the Caltrain project. With more than 20 years of transit engineering and construction project management experience, he comes to Gannett Fleming after working extensively on transit projects throughout California.

Jack Burton
ANCHORAGE, AK—Jack Burton recently marked his 50th anniversary as an employee of the Alaska Railroad. He joined the railroad as a track laborer in April 1964 and, during the past five decades, has worked in numerous capacities. He also has served since 1994 on the railroad’s board of directors in a position appointed by the governor to represent the employees.

Burton was president of Local 183 Alaska Railroad Workers/American Federation of Government Employees from 1980-94.

The railroad renamed the rail siding in Burton’s hometown of Moose Pass in his honor.

Following Burton’s example, two of his brothers, one daughter, two sons, and one grandson have also worked for the Alaska Railroad.

Marc Renaud, Arjan van Andel, Stefan Gemperli
MONTREAL, QC—GIRO announced the hiring of Marc Renaud as general manager of services engineering and Arjan van Andel as director of business development.

Renaud joins GIRO after serving as group chief information officer for a global public transportation operator. He also worked for Veolia Environment and IBM.

Van Andel previously held high-level positions with software and technology companies in the public transportation sector.

Also, the company named Stefan Gemperli director of public transport software for the Canadian market. He most recently worked for SNC-Lavalin and had a 20-year career with a public transportation software and technology company in Switzerland.