Passenger Transport - August 7, 2015
The E Embarcadero Line operates with historic streetcars between AT&T Park and Fisherman’s Wharf.
FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan issued an online letter to the public transportation industry in late July outlining the agency’s new accident investigation role, including how FTA accident investigators operate and interact with State Safety Oversight Agencies (SSOAs) and FTA grantees, a responsibility granted to the agency by MAP-21.
FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan is confirmed as a keynote speaker at the 2015 APTA Annual Meeting, Oct. 4-7, 2015, San Francisco, and will lead FTA Update, a question-and-answer general session that has become a staple at APTA conferences and a member-favorite event.The Tuesday, Oct. 6, session will feature McMillan’s introductory remarks followed by an extended opportunity for APTA members to pose questions and share comments about FTA programs and policies.
As part of APTA’s year-long commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Annual Meeting will include two sessions devoted to ADA.
Attendees and their guests can register for Golfing for a Cause, the golf tournament hosted by APTA’s foundation—APTF—Saturday, Oct. 3, immediately before the Annual Meeting.
Tournament organizers are Stephen Banta, chief executive officer, Valley Metro, and Jack Martinson, vice president, Faiveley Transport North America, and member, Business Member Board of Governors. For details and to register a foursome, contact Pam Boswell at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Calling All Students
APTA has invited San Francisco-area colleges to encourage students to participate in the Annual Meeting by winning a chance to present during the meeting.
More in Store
The Annual Meeting also includes dozens of educational sessions, the APTA Awards presentation, Products and Services Showcase and networking receptions. To register, click here.
Caltrain in San Carlos, CA, recently received a $20 million grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to help fund electrification of the 51-mile commuter rail corridor between San Francisco and San Jose.
“The air district has been a vocal leader and a strong ally in support of Caltrain’s electrification project,” said Caltrain Executive Director Jim Hartnett. “We are honored that the air district is redoubling its commitment to the environmental benefits of electrification through the award of this $20 million grant.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) discussed the Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) Expo Integration Plan with Director of Transit Services Ed King, center, during a July 18 tour of Los Angeles Metro’s under-construction Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line Station, which BBB will also serve. At left is Geoff Bender of Skanska-Rados, who led the tour. BBB’s “Evolution of Blue” plan will inaugurate six new routes, 53,000 new annual revenue service hours and more than 230 new stops and expand the BBB fleet. These improvements will ensure first and last mile connectivity to the seven new Expo Line stations in the BBB service area.
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) partnered with Allison Transmission at a July 31 event to welcome the first of five dozen Gillig buses, becoming the first agency in the world to operate a vehicle that uses Allison’s new fuel-efficient transmission.
“We will continue to seek emerging, cost-effective technologies that foster environmental responsibility,” said Matt Carpenter, TheRide’s chief executive officer. “Allison Transmission’s solid reputation for quality and reliability have been at the forefront of our successful relationship. Pairing the brand new xFE transmission with our bus fleet will help us burn less fuel and serve as an important step as we implement both our new and improved services and our sustainability initiatives,” he added.
The new buses will replace older vehicles in the agency’s fleet and feature an updated exterior design that reflects the many service improvements in TheRide’s Five-Year Transit Improvement Program, which the agency launched in 2014.
The buses include conventional and clean diesel-electric hybrid engines; TheRide introduced its first hybrid-electric bus in 2007 and uses ultra-low-sulfur biodiesel in its entire bus fleet.
Allison is celebrating its centennial this year and has worked with TheRide for more than 20 years, according to Heidi Schutte, executive director of the company’s North America sales.
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) speaks at ceremonies to welcome the first of TheRide's buses with new Allison transmissions.
The Department of Homeland Security recently awarded $87 million in Fiscal Year 2015 Transit Security Grant Program funds for 34 public transit agencies, transportation organizations and municipalities in 19 states and the District of Columbia through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The largest grants are $22.3 million for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and $17.3 million for New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit).
Thirty-two of the recipients are APTA members. In alphabetical order by state, the member grant recipient agencies are:
California: Los Angeles Metro, Orange County Transportation Authority, Sacramento Regional Transit District, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
Connecticut: Connecticut DOT.
District of Columbia: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Florida: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St. Petersburg.
Georgia: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
Illinois: Chicago Transit Authority, Metra commuter rail, Pace Suburban Bus.
Louisiana: Regional Transit Authority of New Orleans.
Maryland: Maryland Transit Administration.
Minnesota: Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit, Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Missouri: Bi-State Development Agency, St. Louis, and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.
New Jersey: Delaware River Port Authority, NJ Transit and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
New York: New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority.
Ohio: Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
Oregon: Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland.
Pennsylvania: Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia.
Texas: Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Utah: Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City.
Washington: King County DOT, Seattle; Pierce Transit, Lakewood.
For more information, click here.
Friem, St. Louis Metro
The Bi-State Development Agency (BSDA), operator of Metro Transit in St. Louis, has named Ray Friem to the new position of executive director of Metro Transit. Friem joined Metro in 1995 and most recently held the position of chief operating officer for transit.
The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), Lancaster, CA, has promoted Len Engel, director of operations and maintenance since 2012, as its new executive director. He succeeds Julie Austin, who retired earlier this year. Engel has worked in public transit for 40 years, earlier serving as vice president and chief operating officer of Southland Transit, El Monte, CA.
Black, LYNXThe Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) Board of Directors in Orlando has named Susan Black interim chief executive officer. She will succeed John M. Lewis Jr. when he steps down Aug. 31 to become executive director of the Charlotte Area Transit System. Black, a licensed attorney with more than 25 years of experience, previously oversaw LYNX’s administrative division.
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor
When California Gov. Jerry Brown called for a 25 percent cut in the state’s water use by Feb. 28, 2016, most public transit agencies were well beyond meeting—and exceeding—that mandate.
In fact, agency leaders in the state report that their existing conservation and recycling efforts mean they will not need to take any additional measures to comply. That said, their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle continue—saving millions of gallons of water with little or no negative impact on their fleet maintenance.
Cris B. Liban, executive officer, compliance and sustainability, for Los Angeles Metro, noted that in 2010 the agency began implementing a comprehensive water action plan that ultimately should save about 200 million gallons a year. Metro had some challenges in the early years of the plan, he said, but those issues have been resolved and the agency is making up for lost time. Nonetheless, Metro operations used approximately 298 million gallons of water in 2014, 28 percent less than the previous year.
But L.A. Metro’s sustainability initiatives began long before, in 2003, he said, as part of a report on environmental considerations of the agency’s design criteria. These include installation of bioswales to infiltrate stormwater and resupply groundwater resources, introduction of water-efficient cleaning equipment for bus stop areas and planting of drought-tolerant shrubs and trees.
The agency introduced its first water use and conservation plan in 2009, which it has updated on a continuing basis since its introduction. The most recent version of this report is available at http://media.metro.net.
Regarding water use in washing its fleet—2,212 directly operated buses, 104 heavy rail vehicles and 171 light rail vehicles—Liban described how Metro uses both “downstream” and “upstream” solutions to keeping its vehicles clean. “Upstream” refers to preliminary measures that can lessen the need to use as much water: Metro is conducting a pilot project with Diamond Seal System, which has created a non-stick exterior coating that makes the surfaces more durable and easier to clean of soil and mud. “Downstream” refers to recycling and reusing water after it has been through the washing process.
Liban said the testing phase of the pilot will end in December, with ongoing evaluations through February 2016.
“Since 2003, Metro has been actively pursuing water conservation strategies in all of its construction and operations and maintenance of its system,” he said. “Particularly for bus washing, it has not only implemented downstream technologies such as the reuse and recycle of washwater, the agency is currently exploring upstream strategies such as the application of nanotechnology coating on its buses to keep the buses from getting dirty to begin with.”
Another part of Metro’s sustainability effort is solar panels, which need to be washed occasionally. Liban said the agency is considering a painted-on coating that would repel dust but not affect the operation of the panels.
Foothill Transit in West Covina has cut its water consumption by 30 percent as part of its multi-pronged Environmental & Sustainability Management System (ESMS). Other water-related elements include updating its bus washing equipment to reclaim 80 percent of wastewater via reverse osmosis and using drought-tolerant plants to reduce outdoor water use.
Foothill Transit implemented the ESMS in two years and became ISO 14001 certified in April 2013. These efforts also helped the agency raise its level in the APTA Sustainability Commitment from silver to gold this year.
“The drought touches everything we do, from how we provide quality service to our stewardship of resources,” said Doran Barnes, executive director of Foothill Transit and APTA secretary-treasurer. “Public transit already has a big footprint in improving public awareness of environmental impacts. It’s vital that as California agencies, we also provide local leadership in water use, which confirms that our commitment to environmental responsibility doesn’t end at the curb. It’s one piece of how we’re wedded to our communities.”
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) introduced water-saving measures in 2007, the last time it faced concerns about water, according to Chief Executive Officer Darrell Johnson. By installing low-flow faucets and toilets, changing its landscaping to incorporate drought-tolerant plants and reducing the frequency of bus washing from daily to twice a week, OCTA realized a 20 percent saving in water use—equivalent to 7 million gallons annually, or the contents of 10 Olympic-size swimming pools. In addition, the agency uses a treatment system that reclaims and filters bus washwater for reuse, saving about 30 gallons from each wash. The agency has 556 fixed-route buses and 248 paratransit vehicles in its fleet.
OCTA recently stepped up its efforts with the “Every Drop Counts” campaign, joining Caltrans, elected officials and representatives of the region’s two largest water districts to promote conservation to county residents. The agency is using wrapped buses that serve as “big moving billboards” and window clings for all buses in the fleet to spread the word about saving water.
Johnson also noted that OCTA—which also oversees roads in the county—has additional measures planned. The agency has completed installation of drought-tolerant plants instead of grass at its bus operations base in Garden Grove and has applied for a rebate to replace grass with artificial turf at its Anaheim bus operations base.
Measure M, Orange County’s voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also addresses water quality and runoff issues through its Environmental Cleanup Program. Two percent of Measure M money—expected to total about $300 million over the 30-year life of the measure—has been earmarked to improve and save water throughout Orange County.
Under this program, cities can apply for funding for projects such as retrofitted sprinkler systems with more advanced nozzles and controllers and irrigation systems that are set back farther from the streets, causing water savings and less runoff into storm drains. Between 2011 and 2014, Measure M funded 15 projects with water-saving features, helping cumulatively save about 56 million gallons of water each year.
Farther north in Stockton, the San Joaquin Regional Transit District cited its participation in the federally funded Environmental Sustainability Management System program as a major step toward increased sustainability. RTD General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Donna DeMartino noted that participants from the agency learned “not only from the instructors at Virginia Tech, where it was held, but also from our peers—the 10 other agencies that participated in the program.”
DeMartino continued, “Because we want to be good environmental stewards and part of our core values is environmental sustainability, we’ve made many changes in our operation.”
For example, in addition to installing low-water-use plumbing fixtures in both employee and public facilities, RTD added sensors that prevent irrigation systems from operating within 48 hours of rainfall. The agency now washes its buses once a week rather than every day and reuses the washwater for landscaping.
In response to the ongoing drought in its region, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) implemented water reduction strategies a year prior to the governor’s order. For example, the system cut its washwater use by half when it changed the train car washing schedule from every four days to every eight days, and BART recycles 90 percent of the water it does use.
“BART has made a concerted effort to significantly cut back on water usage at our stations, shops, yards and facilities,” said General Manager Grace Crunican. “We’ve been strategic in our efforts to cut back in ways that make a difference but don’t impact the health and safety of our riders and employees.”
BART’s other water conservation steps include reducing its irrigation schedule by approximately two-thirds since February 2013, updating the landscape design to integrate low-water, low-maintenance plants, introducing upgrades for toilets at its facilities and promoting awareness of water use by employees when not on the job.
But even with these conservation strategies in place, public transit agencies will always need water for a variety of purposes, including washing their vehicles. How has the California drought affected the manufacturers of vehicle washing equipment?
Bitimec manufactures small washing units on wheels, attached to a hand-held power brush that strictly limits the amount of water. Customers can wash a vehicle with only 25 gallons of water, applied just before and after using the brush, compared with 100-120 gallons used in permanent washing units. “We literally use only enough water that the brush needs,” said Bitimec President Bruno Albanesi.
Albanesi explained that his units also eliminate water waste by parceling out the water as needed, unlike systems with pressure washers that may not have a shut-off valve and may keep the water running even when it is not needed. He noted that the SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, CA, is among Bitimec’s customers, along with school bus and university fleets.
NS Corporation, a manufacturer of free-standing bus and railcar wash units, incorporates water reclamation systems into its products. Francis Tenggardjaja, executive vice president, explained that these units collect the used washwater, let it sit in two or three tanks to allow dirt and other suspended solids to settle out, then filter it in preparation for reuse. That water can be reused repeatedly, he said. Clean water is used for the final rinse, but that accounts for only 15 percent of the total amount of water used in the process.
Tenggardjaja also said his company is implementing more efficient technologies that allow for less water use. Earlier washers, he said, mixed soap into water and then sprayed the mixture onto the vehicle. Now, by mixing the soap with air to create a foam, it sticks better on the vehicle and lessens the need for water. Another water-saving measure comes from using smaller nozzles.
Other innovations keep water from flowing off the washed vehicle and into a storm drain, he added. In the past, bus washers used forced air to dry the vehicles at the end of the wash; newer technologies integrate a squeegee with the air blower to suck up the remaining droplets before the vehicle leaves the washer.
An OCTA bus wrapped in the message “Every Drop Counts—Join Us In Saving Water” was unveiled outside agency headquarters, launching a public awareness campaign supported by several other public agencies, including Caltrans.
Los Angeles Metro is currently testing a non-stick exterior coating designed to ease the cleaning process and allow less water use.
APTA is urging all of its members to reach out to their congressional representatives during the August recess to thank them for taking action to approve short-term funding for MAP-21 (which expired on July 31) and to emphasize the importance of investing long-term in road and public transportation infrastructure before the program’s next deadline on Oct. 29.
The Senate has moved forward with the first step in the process by providing funding for a three-year bill. Now the focus is on the House, and APTA is advocating for House members to pass a bill that provides six years of funding
Three APTA members who are public transit agency general managers have been appointed to UITP governing bodies representing the U.S. and North America.UITP (the International Association of Public Transport) is an international organization for public transportation authorities and operators, policy and decision makers, scientific institutes and businesses and suppliers. All three appointments are for two-year terms and are part of a long-standing collaboration between the two organizations.
To learn more, click here.
APTA Sustainability Committee Chair Susannah Kerr Adler, general manager-regional operations, SYSTRA Consulting Inc., accepts congratulations from Peter Varga, APTA’s immediate past chair and chief executive officer of The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI, at the 2015 Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop in Portland, OR. Varga presented Adler with a certificate of silver-level recognition for SYSTRA’s participation in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. For details about the workshop and the Sustainability Commitment, click here.
The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) welcomed Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State and former Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), center, to its LEED Platinum-certified DART Central Station on July 27. Clinton, joined by DART General Manager Elizabeth Presutti, left, and Keith Welch, building supervisor, examined the building’s sustainable features, including the well-loop return for heat pumps connected to geothermal wells that help heat and cool the facility. “We are proud of DART Central Station’s environmentally sustainable site development and construction and enjoyed sharing highlights of the building with Hillary Clinton,” Presutti said. “We are always open to sharing our experiences in public transit, including our efforts in the area of energy efficiency, with community, business and political leaders.” Since its opening in 2012, DART Central Station also has generated more than 86,000 kilowatt hours of energy with rooftop photovoltaic panels and reused 2.8 million gallons of cleaned and reused rainwater—almost half of all the water it used—for tasks such as washing bus platforms.
From restaurants to residential development, 204 projects totaling more than $8.2 billion in private and public capital investment have been built adjacent to or near Valley Metro’s initial 20 miles of light rail that extends from Phoenix and Tempe into Mesa, with another $346 million in commercial and residential building in the planning stages, most from private developers.
“Transit provides the means to kick-start areas along light rail that are seeking redevelopment,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro chief executive officer. “A viable transportation system attracts people, which translates into a healthy, diversified economy that supports new commerce.”
Valley Metro and its partners released the data during an event at Phoenix’s DeSoto Central Market, a new downtown venue intentionally located near a light rail station. The data demonstrates public transit’s significant impact on the local economy and underscores why locating near Valley Metro Rail is a critical business strategy.
“Big things are happening in Phoenix because of light rail, and big things are going to continue to happen,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Light rail has been transformative for our downtown and our economy. With it we’ve linked jobs, education, arts and culture in a way that would not have been possible otherwise.”
Economic development within one-half mile of the system has been stimulated by ridership that has exceeded original projections, agency officials said.
“Investment in transit does more than improve neighborhoods; it improves lives,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, also vice chair, Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors. “More than $3.4 billion has been invested in Tempe around light rail since construction began in 2005. Everyone benefits from public transportation.”
Also speaking at the event were Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, Councilmember Kate Gallego and many of the agency’s other private- and public-sector partners.
Valley Metro began compiling economic development activity in a database since it started construction in 2005. The $8.2 billion in projects completed or under construction include commercial and mixed-use office space, multi-family residential units, hotel rooms and educational facilities, among others.
The agency’s 3.1-mile Central Mesa Extension is set to open Aug. 22, spurring another $90 million in public and private development since its construction started in June 2012.
Valley Metro Rail celebrates $8.2 billion in development along its light-rail corridor, with more to come. Attending a recent event were, from left, Phoenix Public Transit Director Maria Hyatt, DeSoto Market owner Shawn Connelly, Phoenix Vice Mayor Daniel Valenzuela, Phoenix Community and Economic Development Director Christine Mackay, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix Councilmember Kate Gallego, Glendale Councilmember and Valley Metro Vice Chair Gary Sherwood, Tempe Mayor and Valley Metro Vice Chair Mark Mitchell and Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta.
New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) recently authorized the purchase of 772 buses from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) for $395 million, with delivery spread over six years beginning in 2016.
The order for 45-foot clean diesel commuter coaches is the latest in a 33-year relationship between NJ Transit and MCI during which the company has delivered more than 2,000 buses. Each of the new buses provides seating for 57 passengers with amenities such as individual airflow controls and reading lights.
Business, community and public transit leaders from Lansing, MI—including Sandy Draggoo, front row fourth from right, president and chief executive officer, Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA)—recently toured the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s HealthLine BRT. CATA is considering implementing BRT on an 8.3-mile route serving sites including the Michigan State Capitol, Michigan State University and the downtowns of Lansing and East Lansing. HealthLine transported more than five million riders in 2014 on its 6.8-mile route.
Four APTA business members—Wabtec, Faiveley Transport, Hallcon Corporation and GlobeSherpa—have been involved in recent acquisitions.
Wabtec Corporation, Wilmerding, PA, plans to acquire Faiveley Transport S.A. through the purchase of approximately 51 percent of that company’s stock. Upon completing the purchase, Wabtec will introduce a tender offer for Faiveley’s remaining publicly traded shares.
The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), Reno, NV, and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Austin, TX, are among eight honorees in the 2015 Transportation Planning Excellence Awards Program developed by FTA and FHWA.The program recognizes and celebrates the innovative transportation planning practices of planners and decision makers in communities across the country.
The program is cosponsored by the American Planning Association. For more information, click here.
Most of the fatalities that occur on public transit properties are due to incidents on platforms, people or bicyclists trespassing near tracks and collisions at crossings—accounting for 71 percent of such incidents in 2012, according to the National Transit Database.
Even the best-trained public transit employee cannot change the laws of physics: Depending on the type of vehicle, it can take a passenger rail train anywhere from 600 feet (two football fields) to a mile (that’s 18 football fields) to come to a stop after the operator applies the brakes.
“These startling facts show how critical it is that people are educated and empowered to keep themselves safe when interacting with transit tracks and trains,” said Joyce Rose, president, Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI), the nation’s rail safety education organization and longtime APTA partner. “Working with Operation Lifesaver, transit agencies across the country are making important strides in educating the public and raising awareness about how to stay safe.”
Much of that collaboration is facilitated through OLI’s public transit safety education grants, an annual program the organization conducts in partnership with FTA. The 2015 grant application deadline is Aug. 31.
OLI offers grants to transit agencies, local governments and Operation Lifesaver state programs to support safety education and awareness campaigns tailored to their specific rail transit systems and target populations.
Last year, OLI awarded $162,500 on a competitive basis to 11 public transit agencies; in 2013, it awarded $190,000 to eight agencies.
The following vignettes represent a sampling of recent successful campaigns.
Chicago’s Metra commuter rail and New Jersey Transit Corporation used Operation Lifesaver’s national “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign materials to conduct public safety outreach initiatives. The materials include train banners, highway billboards, digital signage, ticket pouches and social media tools.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) conducted a safety campaign using OLI’s “See Tracks? Think Train!” materials that targeted the homeless population in Dallas and surrounding areas through an innovative partnership between the agency and social service organizations.
DART activities included conducting safety presentations, distributing rail safety-themed merchandise to homeless individuals and families and incorporating rail safety messages in the Dallas County directory of services for them.
Utah Transit Authority conducted safety campaigns emphasizing direct outreach to communities and community centers near its Sugar House Streetcar line.
St. Louis Metro targeted its safety messages to people crossing train tracks at locations other than designated crossings. The agency displayed safety messages at stations and on trains and buses to increase visibility among drivers and pedestrians. The agency saw a 38 percent reduction in trespassing occurrences as reported by operators between February and April 2015—the campaign’s duration—compared to the same time in 2014.
Portland’s TriMet launched a campaign targeted at millennial males and distracted behaviors, with slogans such as “Don’t let LOL become DOA” and “Don’t let your smartphone make you stupid.” Campaign elements included ads on train bulkheads, buses, shelters, restrooms, online, TV and radio.
One of the most powerful—and attention-getting—campaign elements was a video message from Ian Sutherland, a 29-year-old TriMet rider and bicyclist who was hit by a MAX train, who provided a peer-to-peer testimonial of the risks of wearing earbuds and not paying attention to oncoming trains.
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT), Washington, DC, rolled out a safety campaign targeted to schools in the neighborhood of its new DC Streetcar, seeking to raise safety awareness before the streetcar begins revenue operations. DDOT officials spoke at school assemblies and created an educators’ toolkit featuring flyers and activity sheets on “streetcar smarts.”
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ran an “Eyes Up, Phone Down” campaign aimed at college students who ride the Green Line. The campaign included safety events at Northeastern and Boston universities, radio PSAs on college radio stations, print ads in student newspapers and a Twitter outreach initiative.
For details about the 2015 grant application process and pending deadline, selection criteria and other successful campaigns, click here.
New Jersey Transit Corporation brands a train with Operation Lifesaver’s national “See Tracks? Think Train!” campaign materials.
Winners of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s 52nd Muni Cable Car Bell Ringing Contest are, from left, Leonard Oats, third place, Trini Whittaker, second place, and Byron Cobb, who received the grand prize for the sixth time. The contest also honored amateur bell-ringers who competed on behalf of the charity of their choice; the winners in that category were Scotty Bastable of CBS, first; a tie for second place between Lil’ Miss Hot Mess, a San Francisco celebrity and performer, and Brandon Mudd from Comcast Spotlight; and third place, Shaaron Resendiz of La Opinion de la Bahia. Their prizes will be donated to these respective charities: AIDS Research Institute at UCSF, Causa Justa-Just Cause, United Way and San Mateo County Sheriff’s Youth Program Fund.
In the past decade, several cities have transformed their streets by adding bus and bike lanes, creating new pedestrian plazas and emphasizing the movement of people instead of cars—changes initiated by local-level advocacy, according to A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation, a new report released by TransitCenter.The report studied recent innovations in transportation practice in six major metropolitan areas in the U.S.—New York City, Portland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Denver and Charlotte—and found that local advocacy and civic engagement were necessary for revitalizing urban transportation.
While many public transportation leaders are expressing appreciation for the newly signed short-term funding extension and the Senate’s long-term bill, they are also stepping up local advocacy initiatives to build momentum for a new measure when Congress returns from its August recess to a jam-packed agenda. (See APTA’s advocacy story in this issue.) Several APTA leaders share their thoughts about next steps.
APTA President & CEO
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles Metro
J. Barry Barker
Transit Authority of River City
Chair, APTA Legislative Committee
Senior Vice President
Director, DCS Americas Transit/Rail
Vice Chair, APTA Legislative Committee
Valarie J. McCall
Member, Board of Directors
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA)
APTA Vice Chair; Chair, Transit Board Members Committee
Anna M. Barry
Connecticut Department of Transportation
PASADENA, CA—David Nichols, former director of Missouri DOT, has joined Parsons as vice president and transportation program director. Nichols worked for Mo. DOT for more than 30 years.
DES MOINES, IA—The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority has elected a new slate of officers. Windsor Heights City Councilman Steve Peterson is chair, succeeding Polk County Supervisor and former Ankeny Mayor Steve Van Oort. Vice chair is Urbandale City Councilman Tom Gayman and secretary/treasurer is Des Moines Councilman Bob Mahaffey.
Richey Thompson, Theresa Smith
FORT WORTH—The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) has named Richey Thompson chief rail engineer for the TEX Rail project. Thompson is a professional engineer with 15 years of experience, joining The T after working for CH2M HILL, URS and CP&Y.
Also, Theresa Smith has been appointed director of TEX Rail procurement. Working for the subcontractor Solis Group, she has been with the project team since 2011 as senior document control specialist.
Donna DeMartino, Karen Philbrick, Nuria Fernandez, Grace Crunican, Stephanie Pinson, David Turney
SAN JOSE, CA—The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) recently honored Donna DeMartino, chief executive officer and general manager, San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA, as alumna of the year in SJSU’s master of science in transportation management program. DeMartino, a 2001 graduate of SJSU, teaches transportation management classes there and elsewhere.
MTI Executive Director Karen Philbrick received a commendation from the city of San Jose and Mayor Sam Liccardo for excellence in transportation policy leadership.
The MTI Board of Trustees elected Nuria Fernandez, chief executive officer, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, to a two-year term as its chair. Grace Crunican, chief executive officer, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, will serve a similar term as vice chair. The trustees also recognized retiring Trustees Stephanie Pinson and David Turney as trustees emeriti—an honor previously presented only six times in MTI’s 25-year history.
CINCINNATI—Maurice Brown, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) Local 250 representing city employees, has joined the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees. He has been a city employee since 2007.
CLEVELAND—Nancy Lyon-Stadler has been named a senior principal engineer in the Cleveland office of Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB). She comes to PB with more than 27 years of engineering experience, working as a consulting engineer for 19 years after serving in the U.S. Air Force.
CANTON, MI—Spheros North America has named Drew Goaley regional sales manager for the southern territory. He previously was southern regional sales manager for Radio Engineering Industries in Omaha and subcontracted with Spheros over the past year.