Passenger Transport - October 16, 2015
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Industry Leaders Gather for Annual Meeting

More than 2,200 public transportation professionals gathered in San Francisco Oct. 4-7 to network, share best practices, discuss trends and innovations, learn about industry products and services and participate in sessions focused on industry challenges during the APTA 2015 Annual Meeting.

In addition to the dozens of concurrent sessions, technical forums, committee meetings, awards presentations and workshops were eight General Sessions that featured a wide range of topics, from advocacy to demographics, a celebration of ADA’s 25th anniversary to transformative technologies and national policy. Among the General Session speakers was DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, who addressed the benefits of investing in transportation infrastructure, among other topics.

Foxx: Transportation Drives Opportunity
“If opportunity were an iPad, transportation would be the operating system.”

Foxx used that analogy to emphasize the importance of public transportation to society during his General Session, where the audience greeted him with a standing ovation.

Foxx listed transportation among such “pillars of opportunity” as education, housing and job skills. Transportation doesn’t hire an employee, teach a student or treat a patient, he noted, but it makes all of those possible by connecting the person with the service.

But he went further, suggesting that transportation can “bring opportunity to folks’ doorstep” by enabling job creation in the neighborhoods where people live. Foxx referred to his childhood in Charlotte, NC, (where he later served as mayor) as a place where the opposite occurred: Highway construction destroyed homes and ­isolated neighborhoods.

“This generation of transportation planning can be the most restorative in our history,” the secretary said. “Imagine unleashing the ingenuity of land use planners to make facilities approachable and complementary to structures near them. … Imagine some of the most challenged areas in our country, instead of being limited, opening up again.”

Such changes are already underway, Foxx said, citing new housing and jobs in Los ­Angeles because of the light rail Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project and demolition of a highway in Rochester, NY, “to make the neighborhood more like the home it used to be.” Future efforts include a transit-oriented development initiative to revitalize economically distressed communities and workforce training programs for the next generation of public transit employees.

“Transportation creates spatial connections and, at its worst, spatial disconnections,” he said in conclusion. “The new frontier is that every person has a real shot to fulfill his or her dreams.”

Following his remarks, Foxx fielded several questions and comments from the audience in a session moderated by APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall. Questions addressed such topics as ensuring access for all riders, DOT’s Build America Transportation Investment Center, the industry’s response to Buy America regulations, PTC, workforce development and high-speed rail.

Foxx also thanked APTA and its members for their support of a long-term bill. “Keep raising your voices as individuals. Tell people what your agencies mean to those you serve,” he said. “Remind them that transit is not just an urban phenomenon; plenty of people in rural America depend on transit. Put projects on the table that will help solve this opportunity gap."

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx and APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall participate in a question-and-answer session following Foxx's prepared remarks.




Volvo Breaks Ground for Nova Bus, Prevost Customer Delivery Center

Volvo broke ground Sept. 29 in Plattsburgh, NY, for a new customer delivery center serving Nova Bus and Prevost, bus manufacturers and members of the Volvo Group.

The new facility, scheduled to open in 2016, is located in a separate building on the same campus as the Nova Bus/Prevost bus manufacturing plant. Its purpose is to provide a space dedicated to bus purchasers when they come to take delivery of their buses, including customer offices as well as 10 spaces where customer representatives can inspect buses before delivery.

“Partnerships are at the heart of our business,” said Ralph Acs, Volvo Buses senior vice president business region Americas, “and we are proud to mark a new stage in the synergy of Prevost and Nova Bus with the building of this shared state-of-the-art customer delivery center.”

Volvo said the new delivery center will benefit the economy not only in New York State, but also in neighboring states and Canadian provinces. The project is linked to growth projection that should have a positive impact on the supply chains on both sides of the border.

Breaking ground for Volvo's new customer delivery center serving Nova Bus and Prevost, from left: Ted Luck, president, Luck Brothers, a contractor working on the project; Stephane Leblanc, vice president operations, Volvo Bus North America; Ralph Acs, senior vice president business region Americas, Volvo Bus; New York State Sen. Betty Little and State Assemblywoman Janet Duprey.


JTA's Ford Named Champion of Change

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer, Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority (JTA), was honored Oct. 13 honored as one of 11 White House Transportation Champions of Change—and the only one representing ­public transportation.

The White House is honoring Ford for his leadership in overhauling JTA’s public transportation system by implementing the Route Optimization Initiative, which has increased ridership, decreased travel times and made safety upgrades to buses and stations. His efforts have transformed JTA into a more reliable, efficient and safer system for the people of Jacksonville.

“Public transportation is essential to the quality of life,” Ford said. “I am honored and grateful to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change for the implementation of ROI. This award belongs to the entire JTA team of professionals that I have the honor of working with. I want to thank the JTA Board of Directors, our staff and our customers.”

President Barack Obama created the Champions of Change program, part of his Winning the Future Initiative, as an opportunity to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities in a broad range of fields.

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., left, shakes hands with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx during ceremonies honoring him as a White House Champion of Change.


Cuomo, De Blasio, Prendergast Agree on MTA Capital Funding; $26.1 Billion Committed for Nation's Largest Transit System

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Chairman Tom Prendergast announced an agreement Oct. 10 on the remaining funding for the MTA Capital Program: the state has committed to provide $8.3 billion and the city $2.5 billion, comprising $1.9 billion from direct city sources and $600 million through alternative non-tax-levy revenue sources.

The program, which totals $26.1 billion, outlines the next five years’ worth of vital investments to renew, enhance and expand the MTA network. This marks the largest investment in MTA infrastructure in history.

At the state’s direction, the MTA recently reduced the Capital Program Review Board component of the Capital Program from $29 billion to $26.8 billion through alternative delivery methods. MTA will seek further efficiencies or necessary program reductions to close the remaining $700 million difference between the program scope of $26.8 billion and the agreed-to $26.1 billion.

Cuomo called the MTA “the lifeblood of New York” and said the capital plan “is what we need to make the system smarter and more resilient, facilitating major upgrades, expansions and building crucial pieces of equipment so that ­riders are not forced to accept the failures of outdated infrastructure. This plan will mean a safer, stronger, more reliable transit system for people all over New York and is crucial in supporting our growing economy. And this program would not have been possible without everyone stepping up to pay their fair share. Today with this agreement, we are making an historic investment not only in the MTA, but in the future of New York.”

De Blasio said, “Our transit system is the backbone of New York City’s, and our entire region’s, economy. That is why we’re making an historic investment—the city’s largest-ever general capital contribution.”

Prendergast said the impact of Superstorm Sandy three years ago “dramatically demonstrated two important truths: the absolutely essential role that the MTA’s integrated transit system plays in the regional economy and the challenges of keeping the assets of such a trillion-dollar system running safely and reliably. Today, with agreement on the largest capital program ever committed to the future of the MTA, we take a giant step toward making sure that this one-of-a-kind jewel of a system will continue doing what it must—keeping New York and the region moving, and moving ahead.”

LANTA Opens Transit Center in Easton, PA

The Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority (LANTA), Allentown, PA, recently dedicated its new Fred A. Williams Transit Station in downtown Easton.

More than 100 guests attended the dedication ceremonies, led by LANTA Executive Director Owen O’Neil, and board Chairwoman Michelle Griffin-Young and recently retired Executive Director Armando Greco.

The new station will serve as the central hub for five LANTA routes, as well as New Jersey Transit Corporation buses to neighboring Phillipsburg, NJ, and intercity buses from Trans-Bridge Lines, Susquehanna Trailways and Greyhound.

Williams, the facility’s namesake, is a longtime business and civic leader in Easton and a member of the LANTA board since 1987, currently serving as its treasurer.

The transit station is one component of the Easton Intermodal Transportation Center, which also houses Easton’s City Hall, a public parking deck, a restaurant and retail space.

LANTA Executive Director Owen O’Neil, left, and board Chairwoman Michelle Griffin-Young join longtime board member Fred A. Williams at dedication ceremonies for the system’s new public transit hub named for Williams.

Photo courtesy of LANTA

FTA to Oversee WMATA's Metrorail Safety Operations

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced on Oct. 9 that he has directed FTA to immediately assume safety oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metrorail operations.

Foxx announced the plan in a letter to Christopher A. Hart, chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, in response to “urgent recommendations” the board issued earlier in October that proposed Congress transfer oversight of WMATA to FRA. Foxx said the transfer to FRA would have created “confusion and a greater risk of slowing down improvements.”

The plan permits FTA to conduct unannounced safety-related inspections, issue directives to WMATA officials to quickly address problems and intervene when issues arise but leaves Metrorail’s day-to-day operations in the hands of the agency. “This increased oversight means that FTA will now directly enforce and investigate the safety oversight of Metrorail,” Foxx stated.

FTA will assert this authority, granted by MAP-21, in lieu of the existing Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), which was previously responsible for the safety oversight of Metrorail but lacks “sufficient resources, technical capacity and enforcement authority to provide the level of oversight that is needed,” Foxx stated.

Further, he said, FTA will retain the safety authority until an effective State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) can be established to replace the TOC and will also coordinate “a robust level” of funding from existing resources to carry out the oversight.

Jack Requa, WMATA’s interim general manager, said he welcomed Foxx’s action. “We will continue to work closely with the FTA to improve safety of the WMATA system and are fully engaged in implementing corrective actions recently approved by the agency,” he said. “We appreciate Secretary Foxx’s continued support and his leadership on safety oversight.”

See the letter here and click on “News” under “About DOT.”

New CEOs Named

Jackson, Lane Transit District

The Lane Transit District (LTD), Eugene, OR, has named Aurora “A.J.” Jackson, general manager of Montebello (CA) Bus Lines since 2008, its general manager effective Nov. 30.

Jackson, who succeeds retiring LTD General Manager Ron Kilcoyne, will be the agency’s sixth general manager. She began her public transit career at Montebello as a bus operator working to pay her way through college, served in multiple positions at the agency and was an employee of Los Angeles Metro before returning to Montebello in the top job.

Bogren, CTAA

Scott Bogren, communications director for the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), will succeed longtime Executive Director Dale J. Marsico in the spring of 2016. Bogren is a 28-year employee of CTAA, working at numerous jobs, and Marsico has served as the association’s executive director since 1995.


Snohomish County Adds Capacity with 'Double Tall' Buses

Community Transit in Snohomish County, WA, recently introduced four of its 22 new Double Tall double-decker buses to service on commuter routes to downtown Seattle. The bus order from Alexander Dennis includes 17 buses replacing 60-foot articulated buses—each providing 20 more seats than the buses they are replacing—and five additional vehicles to expand the fleet. “Our commuter service to Seattle is very popular and most trips are standing-room only,” said Emmett Heath, chief executive officer. “Double Tall buses allow us to increase our passenger capacity without added operational costs, plus these buses handle much better in the snow than the articulated buses they are replacing, and our riders love the views.” State and federal grants provided 80 percent of funding for the replacement buses, while the agency covered all costs for the expansion buses.

Wabtec Acquires Track IQ

Wabtec Corporation, Wil­merding, PA, has acquired the assets of Track IQ, a manufacturer of wayside sensor systems for the global rail industry, with annual sales of about $15 million.

Wabtec Corporation manufactures a broad range of products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles, builds new locomotives up to 4,000 horsepower and provides aftermarket services. It was formed through the 1999 merger of Westinghouse Air Brake Company and MotivePower Industries Inc. Its history dates to 1869, when George Westinghouse established the original Westinghouse Air Brake Company.

Based in Australia, Track IQ has additional product support offices in the U.S. and Europe. Its customers include Class I railroads in the U.S. and other large rail networks in Europe and Australia.

In the Pink: CDTA Fights Breast Cancer

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) in Albany, NY, is joining the American Cancer Society in its fight to bring attention to the disease by turning one seat pink on each of its BusPlus BRT buses during October. “We are happy to join the community in taking on breast cancer,” said CDTA Board Chairman David M. Stackrow. “We all know someone who has been affected by this disease, some of us more personally than others. For that reason, we wanted to join forces with the American Cancer Society and use our reach to create awareness and educate the public in a unique way.” CDTA also promoted a breast cancer walk with pink hangtags in buses and by providing transportation for walkers.

'The Comet' Provides Support Following Columbia, SC Flood

BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

Residents of Columbia, SC, are beginning to recover from the catastrophic flooding that struck Oct. 3-4—and the Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (the Comet) has been pitching in to help since the emergency began.

“We were in great shape” despite rain throughout the day Oct. 3, said the agency’s executive director, Robert Schneider. However, several small dams broke that night, one after another, causing massive flooding and leaving the Comet unable to enter service the morning of Oct. 4. “Our driver complement came out,” he said, “but the conditions were beyond what would be safe for our drivers or our passengers.”

However, while the Comet suspended its regular service until Oct. 7, the agency was providing evacuation services in the aftermath of the flooding under the supervision of emergency management personnel.

“On Sunday [Oct. 4], we were called out under the watch and attention of emergency management. They contacted us at 6:30 a.m. to say they needed our help in evacuating the residents of an apartment complex; that’s the first thing we did,” Schneider said. He noted that Comet buses evacuated residents from several locations that lost power and water because of the flooding and even had to transport evacuees from one shelter to another when conditions at the first site became unlivable.

The flood waters began to recede on Oct. 6, Schneider said, and the Comet started restoring baseline services the next morning. By that afternoon, the system was operating at 95 percent of its pre-emergency levels, where it has stayed since then. One concern he cited in the resumption of service at 100 percent was that some areas remained inaccessible as Passenger Transport went to press. In addition, he noted that city and agency officials questioned whether the flooding had further weakened roads to the point that full buses might cause them to collapse. He explained that the South Carolina legislature has not taken action in the past two years regarding a lack of infrastructure maintenance.

The restored service continued to operate fare free through mid-October. Schneider explained that victims of the flood emergency might not have been able to get to work or access their paychecks and many have lost their homes; they can access food and supply distribution centers located on Comet routes and it would not make sense to charge a fare.

“One or two areas of our service area were so affected that we either can’t operate there at all or must use a detour,” he said. “This situation will remain until the roads are repaired. The state is beginning to assess and prioritize road repairs, but we don’t know how long that will take.” On the other hand, he said, the Comet extended its weekday-only service to weekends to serve one particularly hard-hit community.

Schneider said the agency itself had made evacuation plans it ultimately did not need; its facility is located near a large river that did not flood. Some employees lost power for a few days or had to boil their water, he said, but “none was really hard hit.”

Industry Briefs

HART Overhauls Website — The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, Tampa, FL, recently completed a thorough overhaul of its website to enhance ease of use for customers. The redesigned website allows access to more direct information with fewer clicks and new tools from a search function to a translator.

CTC Inc. Moves to New Headquarters — CTC Inc., a rail communications and signaling engineering firm in Fort Worth, TX, has moved into its new corporate headquarters approximately nine miles from its previous location. The new facility accommodates personnel growth and increasing demand, with 12,000 square feet of office and warehouse space.

Sacramento Adds Refurbished Siemens Railcars to Blue Line Extension — The Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) has introduced the first newly refurbished light rail vehicles to the recently opened Blue Line extension. Siemens is refurbishing 21 vehicles, originally built by Urban Transportation Development Corp. and operated by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority from 1987 to 2003, when RT acquired them and placed them in storage. The vehicles will increase capacity on the Blue Line and throughout the RT light rail system to maintain service levels.

NJ Transit Selects Apollo Video Technology — New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) has selected Apollo Video Technology to provide video recording systems with inward-facing cameras for the agency’s fleet of locomotives and railcar cabs. This contract provides for installation of 1,200 cameras and recording equipment across 230 locomotives, cab cars and electric railcars.


Welcoming Remarks from Valarie J. McCall

The following remarks were delivered by APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall at the Opening General Session of the APTA Annual Meeting ­October 5 in San Francisco.

Good morning. Good Morning APTA!

Thank you for that kind introduction, Phil {Immediate Past Chair Phillip Washington}. You have been a great leader for APTA and for that we will always be grateful. Phil’s Stand Up for Transportation Day helped to put the funding needs on the agenda at the same time across the nation. Thank you again, Phil.

I am honored to stand here today as your new APTA chair.

It is going to be an exciting year for APTA and I look forward to working with each of you and of course, our new Executive Committee.

Please join me in congratulating these leaders.

In addition, I would like to thank all of the past members of the Executive Committee and Board of APTA, those who have served before and with me and those who are rotating off this year.

I follow in the footsteps of all the past APTA Chairs and many other great leaders. Special thanks to George “Big Daddy” Dixon, who, along with Jesse Anderson, dropped me off, like a kid on the first day of kindergarten, a little over nine years ago, to the Transit Board Members Meeting, where our own BMBG Member Hugh Harrison was then Transit Board Member Chair and said, “bye-bye.”

Now, here I stand as Chair. With APTA, all things are possible.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment of personal privilege to give a few more important thank you’s.

First, a big thank you to Mary C. Booker, my 94 year old sidekick, who could not be here today, but is supporting me from home in Cleveland, along with Kapono Gabriele McCall, my wonderful mini poodle. Mary is the matriarch of our family, my biggest fan, my heart, whom I would be lost without.

Next, I want to thank my boss, yes, my boss is here. The Honorable Frank G. Jackson, the best Mayor in the history of the City of Cleveland. Had Mayor Jackson not appointed me to GCRTA’s Board, I would not be here today.

Thank you, Mayor, for your ongoing trust and support of me and for being the best boss ever, the best mentor and a true example of good leadership. I promise to be back in the office, first thing Thursday morning (unless you want to give me Thursday off. No? Ok!)

To my team at GCRTA, can you all please stand. Without your support and encouragement, I could not be here and I want you to know that I am honored to serve the citizens of Cleveland on the board of the nation’s best transit system in the whole, wide world. Thank you for being here.

To my sister and bff, Ms. Traci Clark, who is here today, true friendship is really hard to find. I truly appreciate you and thank you for being my sister and best friend. And thank you, Mr. Al ­Gulley, for being here too!

I would like all Transit Board Members to please stand. Being a transit board member is one of the most important jobs that we have. We are responsible for making decisions and providing leadership and policy guidance of our great CEOs to ensure that we deliver good, quality public transportation. Thank you for allowing me to stand here today.

We cannot do the job before us without good transit CEOs. Can I have Joe Calabrese and all Transit CEOs stand and allow us to applaud each of you for the hard work that you do day-in and day-out for our public transit riders?

While we know we have awesome and fantastic Transit Board Members and phenomenal Transit CEOs, none of this could happen without the support of our Business Members.

Patrick Scully, can you and all members of the BMBG stand and be recognized for the level of experience, support and expertise that BMBG brings to APTA as a whole? We could not do this without each of you.

Last, but certainly not least, Michael and all of the APTA staff who provide great work 24/7/365—yes, I know that is redundant—that is second to none. Thank you.

Long before I became a member of APTA’s board of directors or a trustee for the Greater Cleveland RTA, I knew first-hand how critical public transit is for millions of people.

Growing up in Cleveland, the bus did not just take me to a stop along the line; it gave me a glimpse of what was possible. The #10 and #8 took me to school; the #3 took me to my job at McDonald’s, while the Rapid took me downtown and beyond. They all offered access to opportunities. I truly believe that public transportation helped shape me into the independent woman I am today.

One of the enduring strengths of the public transportation industry—our industry—is that it depends on public and private partnerships. Without the support of our communities, there is no public in public transportation!

Today, our industry faces more serious challenges and exciting opportunities than ever before. There is so much going on in the world today: so much chaos and confusion, too many competing agendas, none of which should surprise any of us.

Changes in technology, customers’ needs, funding sources, government rules, the skills of our workers . . . all of these trends are going to make public transportation a very different industry in ways we never imagined.

APTA must continue to lead where the world is going in public transportation. We have to be ahead of the curve. If we are not, like missing the bus, we will be left behind.

APTA has to stay the course. We must resist the temptation to become a social club, which is not what we do.
In Cleveland, we don’t run from challenges, we meet them head on. As Mayor Jackson said in his 2015 State of the City Address: “Hard times is what we do!”

As Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown told us earlier this year during our Legislative Conference, “the Civil Rights Movement” started with a little lady sitting in the front of a bus.

Transportation is the key to our economic vitality and prosperity. It helps to alleviate social, racial and economic disparities by allowing everyone to make essential, high quality transportation choices.

In order to succeed, not just survive, we will need what the best-run organizations have fostered in their cultures: diversity of thought . . . and collaboration.

Diversity of thought isn’t a social nicety or a political accommodation; it’s a strategic necessity. The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines and generations . . . and to leverage all they have to offer . . . is a “must-have.”

The good news for our industry is that we already have it.

It’s built into APTA’s membership and governance—through the voices of our transit system leaders, our business executives, and our transit board members.

These three Member groups bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to APTA and they are critically important to meeting the challenges of our changing world.

But let’s be honest. Inviting different constituencies to share their ideas is one thing. Getting those groups to work for a common good is another.

This is why collaboration is so important. We need to bring clarity as an organization to our mission and purpose and one way to do this is by collaboration with other organizations that further our collective purpose.

If we want to be successful in the “future world of transportation,” then we need to work together to meet these challenges and one way to do that is through collaboration.

As APTA Chair, I want to be a catalyst for greater collaboration. We’re a stronger, more effective industry when we all feel we’re on the same team. We’re at our best, when we work together!

Here are two ways we can do our best . . . and be even more successful.

First, collaboration begins at home. We need to ensure we have the greatest assortment of ideas and knowledge within APTA.

APTA’s more than 150 committees, task forces and working groups are a valuable asset. They can be even more valuable when all three of our constituencies are aligned and well represented at every table.

To help make this happen, I’m establishing a task force to explore new opportunities for collaboration throughout the extended APTA family.

And in keeping with its mission, the APTA Task Force on Member Collaboration will be led by three co-chairs: Ann August, CEO of Birmingham-­Jefferson County Transit Authority (MAX), representing a transit system; Patrick J. Scully, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, MCI & Chair, BMBG; and David M. Stackrow, Board Chair, Capital District Transportation Authority and Chair, Transit Board Members Committee.

The committee will include five BMBG Members, five Transit CEOs and five Transit Board Members, along with each officer of APTA serving in an ex-officio capacity.

Second, we know we benefit from working with groups outside our industry.

So, I intend to work with three national groups that represent the people who are on the front lines of our issues: the United States Conference of Mayors, led by Mr. Tom Cochran, thank you Tom for being here today; the National League of Cities, led by Mr. Clarence Anthony; and the National Association of Regional Councils, led by Ms. Joanna Turner.

Michael {APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy} and I have either met with and/or spoken directly with the leaders of these organizations and they want to collaborate with us.

They understand the value of doing something as simple as coordinating our meeting schedules so we not only attend, but speak at each other’s major conferences. They also understand the value of doing things that are more complex.

These groups are our natural partners. After all, public transit vehicles travel on streets that are owned and maintained by cities and counties. Many state, city and local officials sit on transit boards or have responsibility for appointing board members.

If you need a powerful example of what can be gained from diverse thought and collaboration, look no further than our fight for a new transportation bill. Many mayors and local leaders have been vocal champions of increased transit funding in Washington and in their own state capitals.

More than 70 mayors took part in Stand Up for Transportation Day . . . and governors and members of Congress noticed!

That kind of support has made a real difference in what APTA has been able to accomplish on Capitol Hill. That’s the power of collaboration.

Throughout my career of public service, I have learned many important lessons. My work as chair of APTA’s Transit Board Members Committee taught me how much Board Members can do for our industry. My work as a city official taught me how productive partnerships, rather than position, can get things done.

These leadership experiences are at the heart of why I believe collaboration must continue to be woven into the ­fabric of APTA and everything we do in our local communities.

It all starts with the belief that no matter how smart we may be or how much authority we may have, we can always accomplish much more together than we can separately.

Isn’t that why we do what we do: To make the biggest, most lasting positive difference?

That’s my goal this year, and with your guidance and support I know we’ll succeed.

Thank you, all.


Meet Madeline Chun!

Madeline Chun
Hanson Bridgett LLP
San Francisco
Member, APTA Board of Directors; chair, Legal Affairs Committee; member, Procurement Steering

Please describe your organization’s scope.
Hanson Bridgett is a law firm based in San Francisco with offices in Sacramento, Marin and Walnut Creek. We have over 150 attorneys. About 15 of us principally represent transit agencies and transportation authorities as general and special counsel. We are specialists in public transit and transportation law and the host of relevant federal and state regulations. Our transit-focused attorneys are a close-knit group. I think Hanson Bridgett is one of the few law firms in the nation that has such a large group focused on public transportation. That’s our niche.

Our public transit clients are also well supported by the firm’s other practice groups, such as labor and employment, environmental and natural resources, employee benefits, insurance, intellectual property, litigation, political and ­election law, real estate, construction and technology. Hanson Bridgett also has a deep commitment to diversity in the legal profession and to pro bono and community service. I happen to be the first attorney of color to become a partner in the firm. We have grown a lot since then. Now 15 percent of partners are persons of color, 34 percent are women and 6 percent are LGBT-identified individuals.

What attracted your interest in public transportation?

I’ve always been a public transit user. When I was four, my mother would say “Let’s go have an adventure,” and we would ride the No. 51 AC Transit bus all over ­Berkeley and Oakland or get dressed up and take the F bus to San Francisco. What a blast!

Public transit and transportation law wasn’t my first job as an attorney, however. I started with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, litigating cases under the nation’s civil rights laws concerning education, housing and equal credit opportunity—all issues that have commonalities with public transportation, which is another way to provide access to opportunity. It’s important to see your work as a way to be in service to the ­public good. Move, laugh and do some good!

Please describe your involvement with APTA and note what’s rewarding about it.
Hanson Bridgett has been affiliated with APTA since the early 1970s. My partner, Dave Miller, now semi-retired, helped form the Legal Affairs Committee, along with some other great lawyers. Our firm served APTA by writing an amicus brief in 1982, to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the pivotal 13(c) labor protection case, Jackson Transit Authority v. Local 1285, Amalgamated Transit Union.We have actively served on the Elderly and Disabled Task Force, the Labor and 13(c) Committee, and the Procurement Standards Task Force, as well as made presentations on topics of interest at APTA meetings, for over 40 years.

I started going to the Legal Affairs Committee as soon as I came to Hanson Bridgett in 1983. I’ve enjoyed broadening my knowledge and getting to know other transit specialists. Fran Hooper (APTA’s longtime liaison to the public transportation business community, now retired) brought me in on the standard bus procurement guidelines project in 2008, and I’ve made presentations at many APTA meetings and conferences. It’s invigorating to get more deeply involved in a project and to get to know diverse professionals in the industry.

What have you found to be the most valuable APTA benefit or resource?

I think it’s gratifying to have a network of lawyers across the country who share common concerns—that’s a vital part of just keeping up with all the information available, to spot trends and anticipate the future. And the camaraderie is wonderful. We’re thinking about ways to encourage junior attorneys to get involved as we transition from one generation to another.

What do you like most about your industry involvement?

I enjoy the opportunity to share ideas and problem-solve with people who speak the lingo and understand the complexities of the issues from many perspectives.  For example, technology is rapidly changing the way we work—what are the legal and other ramifications of that? How do we protect privacy, public safety and security, yet keep the public’s trust regarding transparency and compliance with disclosure laws, particularly as it pertains to all the data that technology makes available?We’re seeing the impacts of technology on public transportation through electronic fare collection, the coordination of mobility options and new infrastructure systems. It’s very informative to come to APTA meetings to find out what others are thinking about regarding these big issues.

What is unique about your business? What would readers be surprised to learn?

Lawyers are not to be feared or ignored! People in public transportation are practical problem-solvers already, so they may be surprised to discover that they might need a lawyer. Hanson Bridgett lawyers are very good at being part of their client’s team, helping to address challenges with creativity, efficiency and strategic vision. No outsized egos here!


McCall Assumes Chair; Calls for More Collaboration

In the Opening General Session, McCall, a member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees, listed collaboration among all sectors of the industry—public transit agency employees, board members, business members and other organizations—as the way to stay current and successful and meet the future.

“In order to succeed, not just survive, we will need what the best-run organizations have fostered in their cultures: diversity of thought … and collaboration,” she stressed. “The good news for our industry is that we already have it. It’s built into APTA’s membership and governance.”

McCall announced the creation of the APTA Task Force on Member Collaboration, co-chaired by Ann August, chief executive officer, Birmingham-Jefferson County (AL) Transit Authority; Patrick J. Scully, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Motor Coach Industries, and chair, Business Member Board of Governors; and David M. Stackrow, chair of the Capital District Transportation Authority Board of Directors, Albany, NY, and chair of the APTA Transit Board Members Committee.

She said she also plans to work with “three national groups that represent the people who are on the front lines of our issues”: the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and National Association of Regional Councils.

APTA President & CEO Michael ­Melaniphy, who opened the session, said the likelihood of a long-term surface transportation authorization bill is the highest it has been in the past decade because of hard work from the association and its members.

“We’re not there yet, but the finish line is within sight,” Melaniphy said. While the recent Senate-passed bill is “not perfect,” he continued, it contains provisions for six years of growing transit investments; increased funding for all programs, with the largest percentage increase for bus and the addition of a new Bus Discretionary Program; dedicated Mass Transit Account funding for the Transit Cooperative Research Program and the Technical Assistance and Standards Program; an increased authorization for passenger rail; and a three-year extension for PTC implementation. The House is now working on its own bill.

“These victories were neither coincidence nor luck,” he said. “They happened because you made them happen.” Melaniphy cited the importance of the Stand Up for Transportation event in April and the more than 170,000 participants in Voices for Public Transit as key to this success.

“Public transportation is on the cusp of a seminal shift—a shift that occurs once every hundred years,” he continued. “Knowing what’s next requires vision and a good plan. APTA has both.” These challenges include new technologies such as Uber and Google Buses, the need for a “flexible, imaginative and entrepreneurial workforce” and demographic changes that will mean evolving needs for different generations.

Immediate Past Chair Phillip Washington, who welcomed McCall as chair, reported on the highlights of his tenure. “We’ve had a very, very busy year but there’s more to do,” he said. “I just want to thank you for the year we’ve had and for getting so much done.”

Washington, chief executive officer, Los Angeles Metro, returned to earlier comments when he referred to himself as “your chief transportation advocate” and called for “nation building here at home” through construction and renovation of infrastructure. He noted the priorities of his year in office, such as APTA’s support for workforce development initiatives, professional outreach including the first APTA international study mission in seven years and creation of the APTA Strategic Plan.

Representatives of the host system, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, also addressed the session. Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin described the city’s transportation history: the cable car was invented in San Francisco in 1873 and the San Francisco Municipal Railway, established in 1912, was the first major publicly operated transit system in the U.S. Board Chairman Tom Nolan referred to the agency as the “transportation backbone of the regional economy.”

AECOM sponsored the session.

Kanter: Moving Forward with Investment

Author and Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, second from right, spoke about the future of U.S. infrastructure at “MOVE: America’s Transportation Future,” a General Session sponsored by APTA’s business members. “America is stuck,” Kanter said, calling for a positive vision of infrastructure investment that will allow work to get done and move forward. She suggested that the public transit industry bring attention to investment by emphasizing mobility efforts that will lead to an improved quality of life, work to put the customer first, use demonstrations to help the public understand these ideas and have the courage to innovate. Joining Kanter after the session are, from left, BMBG Chair Patrick Scully, APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall and APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy.

A Conversation with FTA

Acting FTA ­Administrator Therese McMillan brought more than an abundance of news to the 2015 Annual Meeting. She also brought a large contingent of senior FTA staff—a tangible demonstration of her commitment to two-way communication.

“Whenever we take the time to engage each other, our industry is stronger for it,” she said at the start of her presentation. “Rules are more effective, grant-making is more streamlined and our investments will have a greater effect,” McMillan told the capacity audience.

To show that FTA “walks the talk,” McMillan touted the launch of Expedite, FTA’s expedited public transportation improvement initiative, a new web-based tool designed to encourage a greater exchange of ideas between the federal agency and the public transportation industry. She urged APTA members to “check out the Expedite link (here) and give us your suggestions” to speed up the planning and delivery of capital investments, hasten the melding of new technology into the industry and better support innovative methods of financing projects.

During the session, the acting administrator and her staff explained many of FTA’s recent accomplishments—from a streamlined capital investment grant process and the approval of FTA-supported projects in more than 10 communities to an 18 percent increase in DBE goals and the release of an ADA circular to help public transit agencies comply with the law.

In what she called “proof of the extraordinary demand for public transportation services,” McMillan reported that 66 projects are in the Capital Investment Grants (CIG) pipeline—more than at any time in FTA’s history. She also listed expansions in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington state.

Many of the key elements of APTA’s new strategic plan had direct relevance to McMillan’s remarks. In addition to commenting on FTA’s expanded focus on safety and security, she discussed the impact of shifting demographics, emerging technologies and workforce development needs. On this last topic, McMillan said, “We will need 4.6 million new workers in transportation by 2022—more than double the current transportation workforce.”

She also highlighted the link between public transit and good health, another of APTA’s issues. The Rides-to-Wellness program, which APTA has helped lead, was cited as a way to bring together leaders from the transit and healthcare industries to better connect public transportation with medical services.

Following McMillan’s formal remarks, APTA Vice Chair Doran Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, moderated a question-and-answer session during which the audience posed questions to McMillan and FTA officials Carolyn ­Flowers, senior advisor to the acting administrator; Ellen Partridge, chief counsel; and Nathan Robinson, associate administrator for communications and congressional affairs.

In closing, McMillan said the key to building on FTA’s record of success lies in “listening to one another and making it easier to work shoulder-to-shoulder.” She pledged “to ensure that when we fulfill our oversight responsibilities, we do it in a way that accomplishes the goal while remaining fair and predictable … and with the full knowledge that transit operators of different sizes, in different places, and over time will require adaptable risk-based solutions.”

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan and some members of her senior team: Special Advisor Carolyn Flowers; Ellen Partridge, chief counsel; and Nathan Robinson, acting associate administrator, communications and congressional affairs.




'Generation Y is Why'

Demographer Ken Gronbach said understanding the future of public transportation in the U.S. is all about the math—particularly counting millennials and Latinos, two population groups that promise to have a greater impact on society than baby boomers. He predicted that their values, behaviors and lifestyles will transform public transportation and the country as a whole. “Generation Y is why,” he said in a fast-paced and humorous “Wake Up Wednesday Breakfast General Session, moderated by Nuria I. Fernandez, general manager, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Public transportation is in for tremendous change. It’s headed right at you,” he said. “Should you be concerned? Should you be watching this? Like a hawk!” Gronbach drew a parallel between public transportation now and the auto industry in 1964, when the Mustang was first introduced. “The Mustang changed everything,” he said. “You need to find your Mustang.” He added, “The best days of American public transportation are ahead of us. Believe it. This is your opportunity to change things. Do it.”

Public Transportation: 'The Great Enabler'

Henrika Buchanan-Smith, FTA associate administrator for program management, moderated the Closing General Session, “Public Transportation: A Pathway to Health,” which focused on the connection between healthcare and public transit. “Public transportation is the ‘great enabler’ that allows people to get to jobs, housing, shopping,” Buchanan-Smith said, noting that with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, more people than ever can now access healthcare. FTA’s Ride-to-Wellness program ensures that people can get a ride to that care, she said. Tyler Norris, vice president, total health partnerships, Kaiser Permanente, shared his thoughts on the links among mobility, health and economic prosperity. “Mobility is at the center of health,” he said. Also on the panel was Doris Boeckman, executive director, Missouri Public Transit Association, and founder of HealthTran, a consortium of organizations in a 10-county area in central Missouri to improve healthcare access. Among HealthTran’s key goals are to gather data to support transportation’s role in improving patient health and using data to advocate for increased transportation funding.

Photos from the Annual Meeting

 More than 2,200 public transportation professionals gathered in San Francisco to participate in the 2015 APTA Annual Meeting. Click here to see a photo spread showing APTA members networking, attending educational sessions, questioning speakers and learning about new public transit technologies and services.

Integrated Mobility and Transformative Technology

“Not since the invention of the automobile has transportation technology seen so much change.”

That statement by Kim Green, executive director of business development for Genfare and APTA secretary-treasurer, was the main thesis of “Integrated Mobility/Transformative Technology: Positioning Public Transportation in a World of Game-Changing Innovation.” Green presided at the session, which was sponsored by Accenture.

Vincent Valdes, FTA associate administrator for research, demonstration and innovation, listed some of the demographic changes he sees affecting the future of transportation. As the baby boomers age and millennials demand increased levels of mobility, he said, transportation technologies will have to encompass new communications and data processing capabilities. He suggested that by 2025, individuals may have personalized on-demand mobility plans that will take into account the weather, carbon use and many levels of public transit service.

“From my perspective, we’re looking at providing traveler-centric service,” Valdes continued. “We have to focus on changing the paradigm from isolated silos to an integrated system that evaluates needs on an individual basis.”

Panelists provided information about specific ways that integrated mobility will change the face of public transportation.

Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, noted how personal vehicles are the second largest expenditure for a U.S. household after housing and how encouraging drivers to use public transit or share cars can lead both to saving money and reducing vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas levels. The transportation system is changing so fast, she said, that “a study conducted a year ago isn’t representative of the market now and one conducted today won’t stay current for long.”

Sarah Hunter, head of public policy, Google, noted that the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, TX, have begun testing self-driving vehicles. “The vision is there, but the reality will take some time,” she said, noting that a fully autonomous car would not even need a steering wheel.

Shomik Mehndiratta, senior public policy associate, Uber, reminded the group that people who want to live in cities are willing to share transportation, while those who don’t want to use transportation to manage their lives in more sustainable ways.

Nathaniel Parker, chief executive officer, GlobeSherpa, pointed out that the U.S. must repair its infrastructure before investing in new transportation technologies. He also mentioned ways that public transit already interacts with new modes of operation, such as paratransit operations that contract with taxi services.

David Leininger, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, focused on how public transit fleets have different needs in different types of communities. Agencies have to learn about the new transportation options before making a major investment. Kim-Mai Cutler of TechCrunch moderated the panel.

At the end of the session, APTA Immediate Past Chair Phillip Washington, chief executive officer, Los Angeles Metro, invited conference attendees to the 2016 Annual Meeting, Sept. 11-14 in Los Angeles.

Panelists at the “Integrated Mobility/Transformative Technology” session, from left: David Leininger, Nathaniel Parker, Shomik Mehndiratta, Sarah Hunter, Susan Shaheen, moderator Kim-Mai Cutler and Vincent Valdes.


ADA: An Industry Game-Changer

APTA celebrated the 25th anniversary of ADA at a General Session that featured a panel of access advocates and industry leaders who discussed the civil rights act as a game-changer for public transportation, systems and businesses and individual riders—one that has resulted in technological innovations, ridership growth and social benefits.

“There’s no question that the investment in ADA is significant,” said Ron Brooks, manager of accessible transit services, Valley Metro, Phoenix, and vice chair, APTA’s Access Committee. “But look at the number of people with disabilities who participate, have jobs, go to school and so on,” he said. “That’s a tremendous financial payoff.”

One milestone in ADA’s history, said Lauren Skiver, general manager, SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, CA, and chair of the Access Committee, was a change of mindset. “When we started creating one transit system for everyone, it made our systems better for everyone,” she said.

“Everyone in this room—if you’re lucky to live long enough—will benefit from ADA,” said Crystal Lyons, president and chief executive officer of Crystal Fortune Lyons, Corpus Christi, TX, and member of the Mobility Management Committee. “You can’t have full participation in life if you can’t get where you need to be ... housing, education … none of these goals could be achieved without ADA.”

APTA President & CEO Michael ­Melaniphy, session moderator, asked the panelists to predict what’s in store for ADA.

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall, board member, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, said that “the design of our stations” needs to be a top goal. When elevators go out of service, she said, people with disabilities and older people become stranded. “We just built a new station in Cleveland that doesn’t have elevators. It’s a new model of station that uses new design principles,” making elevators unnecessary. “Thinking outside the box about these new standards needs to become woven into the fabric of what we do all the time.”

Donna McNamee, trustee, Laketran, Painesville, OH, and a member of APTA’s Executive Committee, said advocacy is key. “We must never let our guard down and forget what ADA is all about. We also need to move toward human-centered design,” which is the implementation of design principles and practices that makes places, things and systems available to the widest range of people.

J. Barry Barker, executive director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY, and chair, Legislative Committee, suggested that “we need to build trust between what should be a natural alliance between the disability community and public transit. We have miles to go” on that front.

Brian Kibby, chief executive officer, MV Transportation, session sponsor, cited innovation and technology as priorities and encouraged the private sector to continue investing in both. “In the private sector, we have a responsibility to just do it,” he said. Such action, he noted, “helps all of us.”

Panelists also discussed ADA and the industry’s hiring practices, legacy systems, millennials and first-mile and last-mile challenges.

The session closed with a champagne toast led by McCall and McNamee and sponsored by TransDev, Trapeze and HDR.

Many of the panelists were also featured in APTA’s special publication, ­Celebrating 25 Years of Access and Mobility. Find a PDF here.

ADA panelists, from left, Ron Brooks, Lauren Skiver, Valarie J. McCall, Brian Kibby, moderator Michael Melaniphy, J. Barry Barker, Crystal Lyons and Donna McNamee.


Diversity Council Holds Listening Session

Numerous Annual Meeting attendees participated in the APTA Diversity Council’s lunchtime listening session regarding ways that public transportation professionals can enhance inclusiveness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the workplace and in community and stakeholder outreach.

Photo by Susan Berlin

2015 APTA AdWheel Grand Award and First-Place Winners

APTA celebrated excellence in marketing and communications initiatives during the annual AdWheel Grand Awards at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Members compete in four peer groups based on size and type of organization. Each peer group features the same five categories: print media, electronic media, campaign, special events and social media, with numerous subcategories within each category. Judges selected Grand Award winners from the first-place winners in each category. APTA received more than 500 submissions.
Group 1: Public Transportation Systems with 4 Million or Fewer Trips Annually
Print Media
Grand Award: Mattie Stuffed Red Pandas, Fargo Metropolitan Area Transit System (MATBUS), ND (Promotional Materials Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Advertisement-Advocacy/Awareness:  “Transit Moves the Quad Cities Forward” Print Advertisements, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLink), Moline, IL
Advertisement-Promotion: Ride Metro-General Ridership Ad Series, Mountain Metropolitan Transit (Mountain METRO), Colorado Springs, CO
Annual Report: PART Annual Report, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART), Winston-Salem, NC
Billboards/Outdoor Advertising: Make It a Great GameDay MATBUS Billboard, MATBUS
Brochure: La Dieta Fotonovela, Arlington Transit, VA
Direct Mail: NAIPTA Student Pass Sales Postcard, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA), Flagstaff, AZ
Map: Mountain Line Ride Guide, NAIPTA
Newsletter: MVTA News That Travels newsletter, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA), Burnsville, MN
Poster: AVTA Roadeo Poster, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Lancaster, CA
Schedule Notice/Timetable: Gold Coast Transit Bus Book, Gold Coast Transit, Oxnard, CA
Transit Card: Google Transit Trip Planning Now Available!, Gold Coast Transit
Illustrated Vehicle: “Drive Me” Bus Wrap, Laketran, Painesville, OH

Electronic Media
Grand Award:, Gardena Municipal Bus Lines (GTrans), CA (Internet Home Page Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Radio Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: Connect Transit Gets You Where You Want To Go, Connect Transit, Normal, IL
Television Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: It All Starts with GTrans Campaign-TV, GTrans
Video Presentation: A Shared Value, Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Atlanta
Digital Advertisement: Interstate 35E Construction Digital Advertisement, Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA), Lewisville, TX

Grand Award:
It All Starts With GTrans, GTrans (Promotional Campaign Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Public Relations/Awareness or ­Educational Campaign: The Bus: ­Coming to a Stop Near You Campaign, Salem-Keizer Transit, Salem, OR
Shoestring Campaign: Veterans Annual Train Pass, Mid-Region Council of Governments, Albuquerque, NM

Special Events
Grand Award: 75th Anniversary Launch Event, GTrans (Promotional Special Event Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Public Relations/Awareness Special Event: GoTransit Family of Services-Regional Rebranding, GoTriangle, Research Triangle Park, NC

Social Media
Grand Award: Denton County Transportation Authority Facebook Page Revamp, DCTA (Social Media Platform Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Social Media Single Event or Campaign: Valentine’s Day #BeMine Campaign, DCTA

Group 2: Public Transpor­ta­tion Systems With More Than 4 Million but Fewer Than 20 Million Trips Annually
Print Media
Grand Award: We’re on the Line, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI (Advertisement-Promotion Subcategory)
First-Place Winners

Advertisement-Advocacy/Awareness:  The T Master Plan Campaign Advocacy Ad Series, Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T)
Annual Report: DART FY14 Annual Report, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority-DART, Des Moines, IA
Billboards/Outdoor Advertising: Metrolink, I-5 Billboard. Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), Los Angeles
Brochure: “See What Happens When A Plan Comes Together” Brochure Series, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA)
Direct Mail: Invitation to Movable Median Barrier Opening Ceremony, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, San Francisco
Map: Silver Line Map, The Rapid
Newsletter: Monthly Financial Report for Board of Commissioners and Public, Pierce Transit, Lakewood, WA
Passes & Tickets-Transit Fare Media: Annual Monthly Passes, Lane Transit District, Eugene-Springfield, OR
Poster: 2014 Texas Jazz Festival, Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, Corpus Christi, TX
Promotional Materials: Earth Day Grow Cup, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA
Schedule Notice/Timetable: Little Blue Book, Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica, CA
Transit Card: Customer Conduct, Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority, Nashville, TN
Illustrated Vehicle: Veterans Fare Bus Wrap, Omnitrans, San Bernardino, CA

Electronic Media
Grand Award: Operation Lifesaver Digital Ads, The T (Digital Advertisement Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Radio Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: Stop and Go Syndrome, Connecticut DOT, Newington, CT   
Television Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: TransLoc-Dinosaur Rampage, Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority
Video Presentation: TEXRail Video, The T
Internet Home Page:, Foothill Transit

Grand Award: Lose Wait, Drivers; Hit the Town, Connecticut DOT (Promotional Campaign Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Public Relations/Awareness or Educational Campaign:
Patriot Recognition Program, San Joaquin Regional Transit District, Stockton, CA
Shoestring Campaign: Don’t Be That Guy Campaign, LTD

Special Events
Grand Award: Ecoliner Event, Foothill Transit (Promotional Social Event Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Public Relations/Awareness Special Event: 2015 Commuter Challenge, Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, Ann Arbor, MI
Best Press Event: Grand Opening: CNG Fast Fill Fueling Station, KCATA

Social Media
Grand Award: Metrolink Social Media Campaign, SCRRA (Social Media Single Event or Campaign Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Social Media Platform: Metrolink Facebook, SCRRA

Group 3: Public Transportation Systems with More Than 20 Million Passenger Trips Annually
Print Media
Grand Award: Holiday Shopping Light Rail Light-Tape Train, VTA (Illustrated Vehicle Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Arts in Transit Book, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston
Advertisement-Promotion: The Perfect Season for SkyRide, Regional Transportation District (RTD), Denver
Annual Report: 2015 VTA Annual Report, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), San Jose, CA
Billboards/Outdoor Advertising: Guardian Angel Safety Campaign, Valley Metro, Phoenix
Brochure: Civil Rights: It’s about the people, RTD
Direct Mail: Share the Love with Free Rides!, RTD
Map: Late Night Services Map, October 2014, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Austin, TX
Newsletter: Mileposts, MTA Metro-North Railroad, New York
Passes & Tickets-Transit Fare Media: The Making of Gone with the Wind Passes, Capital Metro
Poster: Our Drug and Alcohol Policy Isn’t an Illusion, RTD
Promotional Materials: Train Time App Phone-Shaped Handout, MTA Metro-North Railroad
Schedule Notice/Timetable: The Easiest Way to DIA, RTD
Transit Card: Puget Sound Trip Planner App, King County Metro, Seattle

Electronic Media
Grand Award: Three Feet for Safety Video, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Orange, CA (Video Presentation Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Radio Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: Prepaid Card “The Talk” Radio, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City
Television Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: The Nutcracker is BARTable, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), Oakland, CA
Internet Home Page: BC Transit Website, BC Transit, Victoria, BC
Digital Advertisement: Digital Signage at Angel Stadium, OCTA

Grand Award:
2015 Courtesy Campaign, Chicago Transit Authority (Public Relations/Awareness or Educational Campaign Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Promotional Campaign:
Silver Line Metro Campaign, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Washington, DC
Promotional Campaign: DART to DFW, Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Shoestring Campaign: Metroway Bus Dedicated Roadway Transit Service in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, WMATA

Special Events
Grand Award: Metro Green Line Opening Day campaign, Metro Transit, Minneapolis-St. Paul (Promotional Special Event Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Public Relations/Awareness Special Event: Youth Art Contest-20th Anniversary, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio
Press Event: MTS Gives San Diego City College a Trolley Wrap for its 100th Anniversary, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System

Social Media
Grand Award: A Metro Love Story, St. Louis Metro (Social Media Single Event or Campaign Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Social Media Platform: LYNX Public Service Bus, LYNX-Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando, FL

Group 4: Business Members
Print Media
Grand Award: High-Speed Lego Train, Siemens Industry Inc.-Mobility Division, Sacramento (Promotional Materials Subcategory)

First-Place Winners
Advertisement-Promotion: “Thinking Like a Passenger” Ads, Keolis North America, Arlington, VA
Billboards/Outdoor Advertising: Commuter Advertising Iconic Billboards, Commuter Advertising Inc., Dayton, OH
Brochure: REI ITS Solutions, Radio Engineering Industries Inc., Omaha, NE
Transit Card: Hybrid Technology, BAE Systems, Amherst, MA

Electronic Media
Grand Award: Video Presentation: INIT Integrated Systems Video, INIT Innovations in Transportation Inc., Chesapeake, VA (Video Presentation Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Television Advertisement or Public Service Announcement: Somewhere in America-Rail Transportation Commercial, Siemens Industry Inc.-Mobility Division

Grand Award: Listening, Designing and Investing in Public Transportation Campaign, American Seating Company, Grand Rapids, MI (Promotional Campaign)

Special Events
Grand Award: Mobility Hot Spot, Siemens Industry Inc.-Mobility Division (Public Relations/Awareness Special Event Subcategory)

First-Place Winner
Promotional Special Event: Booth with Light Rail Simulator, Bus Stop, Keolis North America

Social Media
Grand Award: #ilovetransit Campaign, Commuter Advertising Inc., Dayton, OH (Social Media Single Event or Campaign Subcategory)

In addition, this year, AdWheel named a Special Recognition Award for Communicating & Marketing to People with Disabilities to Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, IL, for its Outreach to People with Disabilities campaign.

For more information about AdWheel, click here or contact Jack Gonzalez.

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy, left, and Jennifer Kalczuk, right, immediate past chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee, present Michael A. Sanders, transit administrator, transit and ridesharing, for Connecticut DOT and a member of the APTA Executive Committee, and other agency representatives with the AdWheel Grand Award for its promotional campaign “Lose Wait, Drivers; Hit the Town.”


Lessons on Collaboration

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall noted that “collaboration begins at home” in her Annual Meeting opening speech and then brought that idea to life by moderating a concurrent session titled “Strengthening Public Transportation through Strategic Collaboration,” where she assembled public officials who work with various constituencies in cities with strong public transit systems.

Participating in the discussion were Frank Jackson, mayor of Cleveland; Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, CA; and Wade Harper, mayor of Antioch, CA. The panel was introduced by Tom Cochran, chief executive officer and executive director of the United States Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization representing mayors of ­cities with more than 30,000 residents.

“We need to tell the human story of what we’re doing,” Cochran said. ­“Mayors are going to continue to stand with APTA for smart transportation choices … to do what’s right to make a better America,” he added.

When McCall asked panelists to share ideas on how to foster a stronger, more influential public voice for transportation, Jackson responded, “We need to build and maintain credibility by getting projects completed on time and on budget; a solid track record creates public trust for more investment.” He added, “Collaboration works best when the timing is right. A mayor’s voice is one thing, but when everyone speaks with the same voice, we get things done.”

Liccardo emphasized the “three Es” of public transportation benefits—economic, environmental and equity—and their importance in building support for new infrastructure projects among stakeholders. “All of us need to find ways to better communicate with our communities about the advantages of investing in transportation projects,” he said. “Almost every constituency feels under-served in some way and that creates opportunities for new partnerships.”

Harper discussed the importance of community input. “In our city, collaboration helped us develop a strategic plan that began by asking what the community wanted,” he said. “Every stakeholder group signed off on that plan, and it ultimately helped Tri Delta Transit [also known as Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority] achieve the distinction of being named the 2014 best small transit system in the United States,” he said. Harper also highlighted the important role of transit board members because “they know the pulse of the entire community.”

The panelists agreed that mayors are in a unique position to bring different parties together, identify what needs to be done and set priorities, and they offered support for McCall’s priority to promote even closer working relationships among APTA, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and local officials.

“There needs to be a ­constant conversation,” McCall said, “and this is an excellent start.” 

Tom Cochran, CEO, U.S. Conference of Mayors, introduces a panel discussion with APTA Chair and moderator Valarie J. McCall, Antioch (CA) Mayor Wade Harper, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

Photo by Bill Maroni




APTA Awards Honor Industry's Best

APTA bestowed its highest honors on six exemplary industry professionals and two organizations during a special ceremony at the Annual Meeting. The winners, from left, follow: Keith Parker, general manager and chief executive officer, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award; Jerome Premo, principal, Premo Partnerships, APTA Hall of Fame; Angela Iannuzziello, vice president and Canada national transit market sector lead, AECOM, Outstanding Public Transportation Business Member Award; John Spychalski, chairman, Centre Area Transportation Authority Board of Directors, Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member Award; Mike McCurdy, board vice president, and Andrew Johnson, general manager, Connect Transit, Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award among agencies providing fewer than four million annual passenger trips; Barbara Hill, who accepted on behalf of her late husband Elonzo “Lonnie” Hill, APTA Hall of Fame; David Hillock, Hill’s best friend; Thomas Lambert, president and chief executive officer, Houston Metro, Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Awards among agencies providing 20 million or more annual passenger trips; Christof Spieler, Houston Metro board secretary and three members of the board; and Mortimer Downey, Mort Downey Consulting, LLC, who accepted on behalf of Jeff Morales, chief executive officer, California High-Speed Rail Authority, Distinguished State Service Award.

APTA Celebrates Tomorrow's Leaders

Three groups of current and emerging industry leaders gathered at the Annual Meeting to celebrate their accomplishments and milestones: Leadership APTA’s graduating class of 2015, incoming class of 2016 and the recipients of scholarships bestowed by APTF, the association’s foundation. For details about Leadership APTA, click here; for more about APTF, click here.


Who's Doing What in the Industry

Click here to see the latest hirings and promotions in public transportation agencies and business members. Items appear in People on the Move in the order in which they are received.