Passenger Transport - June 30, 2015
UTA's Michael A. Allegra; Petra Mollet, APTA chief of staff; Angela Iannuzziello, AECOM vice president, Canada; Laurent Dauby, UITP, Belgium; and Alexander Barron, Railway and Transport Strategy Centre, London, discuss international best practices.
In celebrating Utah’s recent record of enhancing public transit, speakers at the conference’s Host Forum emphasized one point: More must be done and fast.
Making that happen means cooperation, long-range planning and the ability to look into the future and make decisions that will enhance Utah residents’ ability to get around in a state whose population is increasing.
Such a plan is already in place, said Andrew Gruber, executive director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council. “What the plan does is to bring everybody together statewide—comprehensive and balanced—adding new capacity while tending to what we have now,” he said. Now, capital investments are necessary to keep the system in good repair and make decisions for the best use of those investments.
That’s been the case in recent years, when the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and its allies extended TRAX, said Steve Meyer, UTA’s chief development officer. That effort, he said, finished two years ahead of schedule and $300 million under budget, due to “shared visions and partnerships.”
The Salt Lake Valley is home to slightly more than a million people; a total of 1.7 million live along the Wasatch Front, which runs along an 80-mile stretch from Ogden to Provo. Further, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker noted that the city’s population doubles during working hours. “Moving people is important to us,” he said.
Among the public transit corridors that Becker prizes is the North Temple Boulevard, once a car/pedestrian-only route that led to the airport. Today, it is a “multimodal corridor, a truly complete street” with TRAX, cars and trucks, bicycles and pedestrians.
The mayor, himself an avid bicyclist, also praised UTA’s streetcar, which runs from the north-south TRAX line to Sugar House, transforming that once-aging community. “The potential of the area was made reality,” Becker said. “But it’s only the beginning.”
Carlos Braceras, executive director of Utah DOT, agreed. “We need to move to more integrated transportation with collaboration, education and transparency,” he said. “Long-term goals: Improve quality of life, economic competitiveness, mobility and accessibility, safety and environmental sustainability.”
All in all, Utah has a vision and a plan to make all that happen, and fast.
The session was sponsored by Parametrix Inc.
UTA Chief Capital Development Officer Steve Meyer leads a discussion with the agency's federal, state and city partners on the future of public transportation in the grater Salt Lake City area.
APTA Chair Phillip Washington recognized the four recipients of the 2015 APTA Rail Safety & Security Excellence Awards during the June 22 Opening General Session.
“As priorities, safety and security grow more important by the day. Safety underpins every decision we make, every action we take and every mile we travel,” Washington said. “And we are all learning more—and doing more—to keep our systems secure from extreme weather, online attacks, criminal activity and other dangerous situations.”
APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy said, “This year’s winners are examples of why public transportation continues to be among the safest mode of travel for people as they go about their daily commute.
“I am honored to celebrate with these dedicated individuals who exemplify our industry’s commitment to safety and security. These transit systems have developed new approaches, harnessed new technologies and established best practices to proactively prevent crashes and incidents that ultimately result in reducing injuries and saving lives.”
APTA presented four Gold Awards: one for light rail and streetcar systems, two for heavy rail and one for commuter rail:
Gold Award for Safety, light rail and streetcar: Regional Transportation District, Denver;
Gold Award for Safety, heavy rail systems: Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore;
Gold Award for Security, heavy rail systems: MTA New York City Transit;
Gold Award for Security, commuter rail: MTA Long Island Rail Road.
For more information, visit www.apta.com and go to Resource Library.
Melaniphy, far left, and Washington, far right, present awards to winning agencies. (MTA New York City Transit was not in attendance.)
Regional Transportation District, Denver
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Long Island Rail Road
Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore
Teams from 17 North American rail transit systems competed June 17-21 in the 2015 APTA International Rail Rodeo, immediately preceding the Rail Conference in Salt Lake City.
“This competition was a great display of the skills our rail operators and maintainers employ every day to keep America’s railcars well maintained and operated with safety in mind,” said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. “I applaud all of this year’s winners for being the very best of the best.”
All rodeo participants were honored at a gala awards banquet June 21. In addition to the top honors, APTA also recognized winners of individually sponsored awards.
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) received the Rail Rodeo Team Achievement Award, presented to the team with the highest combined score. Team members were mechanics Jody Fairbourn, Richard Klein and David Wright and operators Logan Packer and JoAnne Sloan.
The San Francisco Area Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) team of Gary Crandell, Edward Christian and Dan Parris took first place in the maintenance competition, with Philadelphia’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) team of Gary Geyer, Cameron Massaro and Dan Compton in second and Ezequiel Garcia, Marcos Martinez and Jose L. Padillo, representing Los Angeles Metro, third. The competition judges the ability to troubleshoot maintenance problems.
Among operators, Ricky Church and Victoria Jenkins of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), Hampton, VA, placed first, followed by UTA’s Packer and Sloan in second place and Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operators Anthony Atkinson and Joseph Lynch in third. This competition measures professional skills, including train operation, knowledge of safety regulations, train equipment and track right-of-way rules and procedures.
The five-day rodeo program also included training sessions and workshops and provided opportunities for competitors to share and network. The competition was held at UTA’s Jordan River Rail Service Center.
More information about the rodeo, including score sheets, are at www.apta.com.
More than 1,200 rail industry leaders attended APTA’s Rail Conference in Salt Lake City, June 21-24, an event that featured General Sessions, educational programs, technical forums, the Products & Services Showcase, awards presentations, committee meetings, the International Rail Rodeo and a welcome reception held by LTK Engineering Services and APTA business members. Photos by Steve Barrett Photography
FRA Acting Administrator Sarah Feinberg said that safe rail systems require PTC’s full implementation in testimony she provided at a June 24 hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, chaired by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).
“FRA will enforce the Dec. 31, 2015, deadline for implementation, as mandated by Congress. If PTC is not fully implemented by Jan. 1, 2016, we can and should expect there to be accidents in the months and years to follow that PTC could have prevented,” Feinberg said, calling PTC “arguably the single most important railroad safety technological development in more than a century.”
Feinberg added that FRA does not have the authority to extend the deadline. Congress would have to pass legislation doing so.
Feinberg also said that starting Jan. 1, 2016, FRA will impose penalties on railroads that have not fully implemented PTC. “Fines will be based on FRA’s PTC penalty guidelines, which establish different penalties depending on the violation. There are many potential violations, such as $15,000 to $25,000 fine for failure to equip locomotives.
“The penalties may be assessed per violation, per day and might be raised or lowered depending on mitigating or aggravating factors. The total amount of penalty each railroad faces will depend upon the amount of implementation progress the railroad has made.”
She noted that FRA will also use enforcement tools to ensure rail systems implement PTC on “the fastest schedule possible,” including emergency orders, additional civil penalties and compliance orders and agreements, among others.
Several subcommittee members expressed concern at the hearing that fines would be counterproductive to PTC implementation.
She also noted that many rail system officials have stated publicly that numerous significant challenges remain in implementation, adding that the GROW AMERICA Act proposes that “Congress provide FRA with additional authorities that would address the safety gap that will exist for many railroads between Jan. 1, 2016, and full PTC implementation. The department requested these new authorities to allow FRA to review, approve and require interim safety measures for individual railroads that may fail to meet the PTC deadline.”
Donald Orseno, executive director/chief executive officer of Metra in Chicago, also testified at the hearing, citing progress in implementing PTC but noting the specific challenges facing his commuter rail system, which operates seven different types of locomotives and cab cars.
Among those challenges is “the limited number of firms that can provide signal design services and the limited expertise available to accelerate design and deployment,” said Orseno, also chair of the APTA Commuter Rail Committee.
“There is also the need for every railroad’s system to be interoperable with other railroads. That is a huge challenge in Chicago, which has a complicated railroad network” and is “the only commuter rail agency in the United States with such a high level of integration with freight railroads.”
Regarding costs, Orseno said implementation may cost Metra more than $350 million, funded “using the same federal and state sources that we use for other critical infrastructure projects.” He said Metra is currently targeting 2019 for PTC to be fully implemented and interoperable.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) is operating PTC in revenue service demonstration across the 341 miles of rail the system owns and intends to be in compliance by the end of the year, Russell Kerwin, deputy project manager of PTC for the authority, testified before the subcommittee.
“Full build-out and testing of Metrolink’s PTC infrastructure was completed over the past five years,” he said, “including PTC onboard equipment installed and tested on all 109 locomotives and cab cars, all antennas, wayside interface units and PTC radios are installed and operational, a robust communication network is installed and a new hardened Dispatch and Operations Center was constructed and is now operational.”
Kerwin also noted that Metrolink is working with its rail partners—BNSF, UPRR, Amtrak and North County Transit District—to ensure implementation of PTC throughout the region.
Denham provided introductory remarks. “From the beginning, the PTC mandate was going to be a daunting undertaking,” he said. “Consider that when completely implemented, PTC will require 38,000 wayside interfaces, 18,000 locomotives to be upgraded and 12,000 signals will need to be replaced.”
APTA has communicated on several occasions that funding and spectrum acquisition are the chief barriers to PTC implementation. Learn more at www.apta.com.
For copies of all testimony, go to http://transportation.house.gov/ and search on the name of the subcommittee.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) Board of Commissioners voted June 24 to begin managing public transit services for Independence, MO, for the first time since 2012.
The Independence City Council earlier approved the agreement, effective July 1, which integrates the city’s paratransit service into the KCATA system and adds the city’s IndeBus to its regional call center.
Independence will pay KCATA $685,000 to manage the city’s public transit services. The authority entered into a similar agreement with Johnson County, the most populous county in Kansas, in December 2014 as part of a regional effort to build an interconnected public transit network connecting people to economic opportunity.
KCATA President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Reardon called the contract “a real win-win for the citizens of Independence as well as for the entire region.”
Passenger Transport reports on new leadership in the public transportation industry.
The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) has named Mioshi James Moses its president and chief executive officer, effective July 1. The former head of COMTO, Julie Cunningham, died in 2014.
Moses most recently served as vice president and chief operating officer of Leadership Greater Washington. Earlier she was executive director of Jack and Jill of America Inc. and a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.
COMTO National Board Chair Robert Prince called Moses “a visionary leader … [who] brings a wealth of transformative leadership experience to the position.”
GoTriangle, Research Triangle Park, NC, has named Jeff Mann its general manager, succeeding David King. Mann is a deputy secretary with North Carolina DOT who will join GoTriangle in late July. Before joining NCDOT in 2014, he worked for Amtrak, Parsons Brinckerhoff and the N.C. Railroad Company.
Boyce, Ben Franklin Transit
The Board of Directors of Ben Franklin Transit (BFT), Richland, WA, has named Gloria Boyce interim general manager.
She previously served as the agency’s administrative services manager. Prior to her appointment at BFT, Boyce served as director of capital programs coordination and reporting at the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO) and various positions with the Sacramento Regional Transit District, including director of finance/treasury and chief financial officer.
Boyce succeeds Dennis Solensky, who previously was the general manager of Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Cruz-Aedo, Interim at CCRTA
Jorge Cruz-Aedo, an employee of the Corpus Christi (TX) Regional Transportation Authority since 2009, has been named the agency’s interim chief executive officer following the resignation of Scott Neeley.
Cruz-Aedo has 36 years of experience, including tenures as director of administration for the city of Houston and Corpus Christi assistant city manager. He opened a facilities management operation in Corpus Christi and is a former president of the Government Finance Officers Association in Texas and Arizona.
The Greater Lynchburg (VA) Transit Company’s Kemper Street Transfer Station has been awarded LEED Platinum certification, making it one of a few so-rated public transit facilities on the east coast.
The station, which opened last June, features state-of-the-art design and multimodal connectivity. “I am so proud of the accomplishments of GLTC in obtaining this status,” said General Manager Josh Baker.
“It reflects our ongoing mission to provide top quality service to our customers in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way. This award reflects the hard work of all those involved in the development and construction of the facility from start to finish, and ultimately serves to better the lives of residents and visitors of the city of Lynchburg and surrounding areas,” he said. “Long-term benefits of this facility achieving this status will likely reflect significant cost savings for operations and ultimately a much smaller carbon footprint for the facility.”
The station’s sustainability design features recognized in the LEED certification include site selection and design, the use of locally sourced materials, water conservation practices and storm water management, electric vehicle system integration, photovoltaic power systems, enhanced indoor air quality, lighting and high performance HVAC systems
The following news items briefly recap some recent news, events and activities in public transportation.
Spheros North America Opens Tulsa Facility — Spheros North America (SNA) recently opened a new bus air conditioning installation facility in Tulsa, OK. The 36,000-square-foot building can accommodate up to 25 buses, along with a parts department and office space.
AVTA Gets People to Job Interviews — The Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Lancaster, CA, (AVTA) entered into a partnership with L.A. County 211 and the county Department of Social Services to provide curb-to-curb trips for area residents traveling to job interviews. The program was initially funded through a three-year, $550,000 federal grant to AVTA and subsequently was supplemented by L.A. County 211 funds to improve transportation for residents seeking employment in the area.
How Hot Is It? — The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has launched a campaign to help its riders beat the heat. The campaign features a poster and three simple tips to stay cool and safe during the Las Vegas summers, which can often exceed 100 degrees in July and August: Travel with plenty of water, arrive at a bus stop no more than 10 minutes before a bus’s scheduled stop and protect exposed skin with hats, umbrellas and sunscreen.
Centro’s New Fareboxes — The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority (Centro) recently introduced new GFI Odyssey Plus fareboxes to replace its 18-year-old farebox system and to provide its riders with greater payment flexibility. The new fareboxes have a display screen that shows customers how many rides remain on their pass and will verbally alert customers when their passes have expired or they have run out of rides. “These new fareboxes will make the riding experience of the Centro customer easier and more convenient,” said Steve Koegel, vice president of business development and corporate communications.
Safety on the Rails — Chicago-based commuter rail agency Metra received more than 4,800 entries from elementary and secondary school students for “Unplug for Safety, Look Listen Live,” its 2015 Safety Poster and Essay Contest, an initiative now in its ninth year. “Electronic distractions are a part of all our lives but not being aware of our surroundings can have serious consequences, especially near railroad tracks,” said Metra Executive Director and CEO Don Orseno. The agency selected first, second and third-place winners from each grade level. First-place poster and essay winners receive an iPad and second- and third-place poster winners receive $250 and $100 gift cards.
Safety on the Streets — San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee recently announced WalkFirst, the city’s effort to improve pedestrian safety, and “Be Nice, Look Twice,” a trilingual multimedia campaign that addresses safety messages and illegal behaviors. “Any pedestrian death or serious injury is one too many,” Lee said. “By looking out for each other and by driving more slowly and carefully, we can make a big difference in improving safety for people walking in San Francisco.”
BY KATHY GOLDEN
APTA Director of Publications
In the opening chapters of her best-selling book, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert describes the pleasures of food, wine and nature on a journey through Italy. But she missed one important pleasure; had she traveled by high-speed rail, she might have added the verb “Ride” to her title.
In a country known for producing works that appeal to all of the senses dating back to the Renaissance, railcar manufacturer Alstom Transport has set a new standard—in speed, convenience and luxury.
On a recent summer press sojourn from Milan to Bologna, I had the pleasure of riding through the 15th-century Lombardy countryside on the newest 21st-century train technology—the Alstom AGV (Automotrice Grande Vitesse) .italo.
From sipping my first cappuccino in a plush leather seat (manufactured by the same company that supplies Ferrari) to the whisper-smooth 40-minute trip at 300 k/ph (186 mph), I knew I was experiencing the future of public transit.
The first AGV .italo trains began commercial service in 2012. Today they offer 50 connections among such popular destinations as Rome, Florence, Bologna, Padova, Venice, Ancona, Milan, Turin, Naples and Salerno. Thanks to AGV, Italy’s major population centers are no more than three hours apart.
Traveling at 300 k/ph, safety is integral to AGV’s basic design. Take the articulated trainset architecture: Each car shares a bogie (or chassis) with the adjacent car, creating a semi-rigid link between coaches. In addition to providing less noise and vibration, this innovative design limits the risk of derailments. In the event an accident does occur, the train is devised to stay intact and not create a pile-up.
The AGV was conceived to lower operating costs by saving energy and reducing the need for maintenance. Its aerodynamic design and low mass allow the train to use 20 to 30 percent less fuel than other trains and to generate 70 times less CO2 emissions than an airliner, making for an exceptional, environmentally-friendly method of travel.
The AGV trains are assembled in Alstom’s Savigliano (Italy) and La Rochelle (France) facilities. This may explain why la dolce vita (the sweet life) or la joie de la vie (the joy of life) of rail travel was not an afterthought. Passenger amenities include free Wi-Fi, intelligently-placed power sockets, at-seat catering service and vending machines, private lounges, leather-covered walls for comfort and privacy and one car dedicated to persons with reduced mobility.
In 2014, more than 4.5 million passengers traveled on AGV .italo trains, definitive proof of their popularity. Clearly, taking the AGV .italo isn’t just about getting from one place to another more efficiently; rather, it’s a moveable feast of experiences that one wants to enjoy again and again.
It’s impossible to ride the Alstom AGV .italo and not feel like Angelina Jolie in The Tourist or Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. For an American like me, it was an extraordinary glimpse of how public transportation can marry old-world style with new-world technology. So, move over Prada bag, Armani tux, Hermes perfume, the Alstom AGV .italo is Italy’s and France’s newest influential export, but one that everyone can appreciate.
High-speed travel at 300 k/ph.
Plush leather seats provide a luxurious experience for passengers.
The Alstom AGV .italo departs the station.
APTA Chair Phillip Washington has appointed the nominating committee that will recommend individuals to fill APTA leadership positions to the membership for approval at the APTA Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers. The committee is accepting nominations through Aug. 10.
The slate of nominees selected by the committee will stand for election at the annual business meeting and election, noon, Saturday, Oct. 3 in San Francisco.
APTA will hold the meeting and election just prior to the start of the Annual Meeting. This will allow the newly elected board to begin its term and its work immediately following the election. Members and prospective members of the board will kick off the day with training in the morning, with the election held at noon and a full working session right after.
APTA electronically mailed a nomination packet to all members on June 29. Components of the packet include the nominating committee roster, the list of officer and director positions to be filled, directions on accessing this year’s nomination and authorization form and a form to appoint a proxy for any member unable to be represented at the annual business meeting.
APTA continues to streamline and improve the nominating process. Consistent with APTA’s sustainability commitment, this year’s nominations will be submitted entirely on line. Even those letters of support that used to go out in a dozen-plus hard copies to be sure each member of the nominating committee got them will again be simplified. Those letters can simply be uploaded to the APTA website for direct, immediate delivery to the full nominating committee. All documents and easy to follow instructions are available on APTA’s website at http://www.apta.com/about/governance/noms/Pages/default.aspx.
The APTA Executive Committee has set the following campaign guidelines to provide guidance to candidates seeking election to the APTA Board of Directors and Executive Committee:
Personal letters, e-mails, personal conversations and phone calls are acceptable campaign strategies;
Campaign events and distribution of campaign materials are not permitted during or in conflict with any APTA meeting or conference event. Campaigning may occur before or after an APTA meeting or conference event; and
APTA staff members or other APTA resources are not to play any role in campaign activities.
Direct questions regarding the election process, the election guidelines and eligibility requirements to Jim LaRusch at (202) 496-4808 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Register for the Annual Meeting at www.apta.com.
Nominating Committee Members
The members of the nominating committee, appointed in accordance with the APTA bylaws and approved by the APTA Executive Committee, are:
Chair: Peter Varga, chief executive officer, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI;
Bill Carpenter, chief executive officer, Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, Rochester, NY;
Joseph M. Casey, general manager, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia;
Lydia C. Grose, director of engineering and design civil engineering, SEPTA;
Angela Iannuzziello, vice president, Canada National Transit Market Sector Lead, AECOM, Markham, ON;
Thomas C. Lambert, chief executive officer, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston;
Neil S. McFarlane, general manager, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland;
Diana C. Mendes, senior vice president-director, Americas Transit, AECOM, Arlington, VA;
Raquel Olivier, president, Olivier Inc., Dallas;
Nicholas E. Promponas, senior vice president, First Transit, Inc., Tempe, AZ;
Leanne P. Redden, executive director, Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago;
Joseph E. Reed, vice president of alternative delivery, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc., West Covina, CA;
Janet S. Rogers, vice president, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc., Alameda, CA;
Jonnie L. Thomas, chief executive officer, Triunity Engineering & Management Inc., Denver;
Jeff Walker, secretary, Regional Transportation District, Denver;
Eve Williams, president/chief executive officer, Dikita Engineering, Dallas; and
Maxine Wortham, vice chair, board of trustees & chairperson of program development, Greater Peoria Mass Transit District, IL
During the recent Rail Conference, Eduardo Romo, left, president, Fundación Caminos de Hierro, and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy signed a Memorandum of Understanding between their organizations. Fundación Caminos de Hierro is a Spanish nonprofit dedicated to research into the field of engineering and railway technology.
APTA recently received two Association Media & Publishing (AM&P) EXCEL Awards, the largest and most prestigious award program that exclusively recognizes excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, marketing and communications, and Passenger Transport specifically received three APEX Awards of Excellence from Communications Concepts.
AM&P’s EXCEL Awards: Passenger Transport won the gold award in the Newspaper Feature Articles category for “Pace Sets the Pace,” which examined how service, partnerships and technology keep Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, IL, efficient and growing through innovation.
The association also received AM&P’s silver award for its direct mail piece—the 2015 APTA Conference Schedule.
Passenger Transport’s three APEX Awards recognized the Jan. 13, 2014 issue, which featured information from many APTA members regarding their plans for the year ahead; “Fit for Duty,” an article in the Sept. 8, 2014, issue about employee wellness programs at the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority and other agencies; and the special publication to celebrate 100 years of safety and security in recognition of APTA’s centennial anniversary of its safety and security initiative.
In addition, APTA received a “Telly” Award for its video, “The Voices for Public Transit.” APTA was selected in the political advocacy area for this national award.
APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy and the Communications and Marketing team led by Vice President Rose Sheridan celebrate APTA's recent awards at a gala in Washington, DC.
BY SARAH DICKENS
It was a day of conservation on June 18, “Dump the Pump Day,” when public transportation systems and other groups across the U.S. promoted using transit instead of driving cars.
APTA reported that a record number of organizations participated in the event—176 public transit agencies and 46 other groups.
“Anytime we can have an opportunity to get the word out to encourage people to take public transit, I am a huge supporter of anyone that wants that,” said Shirley Harris, president of the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) Board of Directors in San Carlos, CA. “That’s what Dump the Pump is all about.”
SamTrans held several activities that day, hosting a photo booth and a social media promotion through Twitter. Users of the #dumpthepump hashtag were eligible to win a branded messenger bag.
“Customers who tweeted the photos using the photo booth got to put their names in a raffle and that gave them the chance to win the messenger bag,” Harris said.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) held its third annual scavenger hunt for Dump the Pump Day, with 39 four-to-six-person teams.
“[The scavenger hunt] gives them the opportunity to explore their city with MARTA,” said Director of Marketing Jennifer Jinadu. “We kept most of [the hunt] the same. We used modifications from the participants for feedback on the scavenger hunt in order to keep them engaged.”
Another creative idea, from the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (GDRTA), was a “breakup” with gasoline through text messages along with free rides on the transit system.
“We focused on kind of a fun way to get the information out there,” said Nathan Owens, GDRTA ridership developer and marketing analyst. “We were hoping that the [free rides] would encourage people to ride transit. There is never an easier way to try transit than when it’s free.”
Jinadu is proud of the successful results that Dump the Pump Day produced in Atlanta. “It’s a lot of logistical work on the back end,” she said. “Just getting feedback from the teams and them exploring the city and MARTA having a key part in that makes all the effort worthwhile.”
Learn more about Dump the Pump Day at www.apta.com.
The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority encouraged riders to "break up with driving" with a text.
IndyGo launched a month-long campaign of events and prizes, including winning free rides for a year and bikeshare memberships.
SamTrans offered riders a chance to put themselves in the bus operator's seat in a special photo booth.
Meet Stephen E. Schlickman
Member, Legislative, Sustainability, Public-Private Partnerships, and Human Resources committees; member, Higher Education Subcommittee
Please describe your organization’s scope. The Urban Transportation Center (UTC) is a research center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. UTC is part of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and one of the top 10 research centers at the entire university. UTC conducts research, supports education and provides technical help on urban transportation planning, policy, operations and management. We do sponsored research on topics that run the gamut—planning to finance, data analysis, ridership studies—all aimed at emphasizing the immediate impact of good research on some of the industry’s urgent challenges. Sponsored research means that organizations hire us or we get grants to conduct this work.
Meet Michael Fimmano
What are the job elements you focus on the most—your primary responsibilities?
As a legislative analyst, one main focus of my job is to track federal legislation and regulatory changes that could impact the public transportation industry. This often means I follow the actions of congressional committees with jurisdiction over issues of interest to APTA, along with specific members of Congress who like to champion our issues.
Members of the Government Affairs staff monitor congressional hearings and communicate information from some of these hearings to the APTA membership. We will reach out to APTA members, asking them to actively engage with their members of Congress about specific causes such as long-term sustainable funding for public transportation—especially if their representatives are on specific important committees.
I also help prepare testimony on behalf of APTA, draft Legislative Alerts and other communications to the membership, research transportation policy and meet with congressional staff to help advocate for APTA’s interests.
BY ROSABETH MOSS KANTER
Suffering was acute in Greater Boston this past winter. … [T]he worst blow was the shutdown of the region’s famed public transit system, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). …
Infrastructure failures can always be blamed on poor management. A panel convened by newly elected Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker pointed to financial mismanagement and governance weaknesses behind the T shutdown. But chronic underinvestment is clearly a major culprit. The MBTA, America’s first and oldest subway, has long operated with aging systems that politicians felt taxpayers were reluctant to pay to renew or reinvent.
The T’s winter shutdown is just one instance of numerous U.S. infrastructure problems that stem from a failure to invest. … By 2023, one in four U.S. bridges, which are typically designed to serve for 50 years, will be more than 65 years old.
The average American commuter wastes 38 hours a year sitting in unnecessary traffic—and undoubtedly more than that in the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C. In May 2013, a commuter train crash in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which injured 76 people, closed all eastbound rail traffic between New York and Boston. An estimated 30,000 people who normally took the train to work took to the highways instead, exacerbating already-legendary traffic jams. The problem was traced to a single broken rail, although that was just one of many trouble spots resulting from years of deferred maintenance of components dating to the late 1800s, such as overhead catenary wiring that is more than 110 years old. Upgrades have been under construction for 20 years.
It could take big bucks just to repair, let alone modernize, existing infrastructure—almost $2 trillion during the next five years, according to estimates by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Delays in every transportation mode bring costs to the economy and lost opportunities for productivity and quality of life … .
I discovered the mind-numbing magnitude of these problems after embarking on a nearly two-year effort to understand transportation and related communications infrastructure issues by conducting interviews and site visits across America and by convening a national leadership summit as part of the Harvard Business School U.S. Competitiveness Project … . In the 2013-14 survey, business leaders identified infrastructure as a major area in which America lags: 82 percent of respondents said that U.S. transportation infrastructure had not improved or was getting worse than it was three years earlier—and a majority believed it was falling behind that in other advanced economies. …
The state of transportation infrastructure touches every important societal issue: health and safety, air quality, family budgets, productivity and use of time, inequality and social mobility, the nature of cities, jobs for today and jobs for the future. Public transportation in particular, I found, is an important ride out of poverty and into the middle class if it provides access to jobs and education.
Change requires political will, public support, and private sector savvy. In the absence of a strong national will, governors and mayors are taking the lead. In Chicago, the $3.2 billion CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) Program, conceived more than a dozen years ago with a push from the business community, is building dozens of new under- and overpasses to segregate freight rail from passenger rail and vehicles, while installing a computerized control system to move trains more safely and efficiently. (The overall project remains partially completed and partially funded.) Mayor Rahm Emanuel, meanwhile, has introduced America’s first metropolitan infrastructure bank, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, to attract private investment for vital city assets… . California Governor Jerry Brown is championing high-speed rail. Atlanta’s airport modernization is accompanied by mass-transit connections. Mayors are asking cars to move over to return streets to pedestrians, bicycles, and buses.
Experts estimate that private capital, e.g. from long-term investors such as life-insurance and pension funds, could provide as much as $2.5 trillion for infrastructure globally by 2030—and the United States could be a major beneficiary. Well-conceived and executed public-private partnerships can deliver much-needed public goods at low cost while providing attractive opportunities for private investment. …
Beyond desperately needed modernization of physical infrastructure, we must invest to take advantage of new technological opportunities to improve transportation and enhance our economic prospects … .
Finding the will for infrastructure investment requires a new national narrative. I urge a focus on mobility as essential to opportunity. Rebuilding infrastructure and reinventing it using new technologies are essential to a new American Dream for the twenty-first century. Baby boomers who enjoyed the fruits of post-World War II investments must ensure that their children and grandchildren are not left stranded by winter storms or a failure to reinvest. Leaders must inspire by invoking a higher purpose and a vision that people can endorse. We need to tell the positive stories: how regions are taking matters into their own hands, entrepreneurs are helping us innovate our way out of traffic jams, and private-sector leaders are working with public authorities for the common good.
Do we want twenty-first-century transportation and infrastructure to be people-centered, technology-enabled, environmentally friendly, opportunity-focused, safe, and efficient? Then let’s get moving.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter is Arbuckle professor of business administration and chair and director of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. This article first appeared in the July-August 2015 issue of Harvard Magazine. Based on Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Article and book copyright © 2015 by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Reprinted and excerpted with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This “Commentary” section features different points of view from various sources to enhance readers’ broad awareness of themes and views that affect public transportation.
Gardena, CA—Jack Gabig, transportation director of Gardena GTrans for the past five years, announced his retirement from the agency effective July 5. His transportation career has spanned more than 40 years, beginning in 1975 when he was a transportation planner with the city of Beloit, WI. In 1976, he joined McDonald Transit Associates, working in Fort Worth, TX, and Athens, GA.
Gabig moved to Long Beach Transit in California in 1980, serving as planning and marketing director and maintenance manager. Beginning in 1989, he was transportation director for Montebello Bus Lines until 2002, when he became LA Metro’s sector general manager for the San Gabriel Valley until joining GTrans in 2010.
Freddie C. Fuller II
WASHINGTON, DC—CH2M announced the hiring of Freddie C. Fuller II to lead the public transit and rail market in Virginia, Washington and Maryland through the company’s Transportation Business Group. He has more than 18 years of experience in the transportation industry. He is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 1999, an at-large member of the APTA Board of Directors, vice chair of the Business Member Government Affairs Committee and a member of several other committees.