Passenger Transport - March 24, 2017
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APTA Pushes for Full Federal Funding; Key Message: Transit Vital to Economy

As policy makers react to President Donald Trump’s recently released “skinny budget” that recommends a 13 percent cut in DOT programs for FY 2018, APTA continues to build a strong case that the FAST Act must be fully funded for FY 2017 and 2018 and public transit must be part of the administration’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment.

“The American economy and communities of all sizes would be losers if the proposed reductions in the FTA Capital Investment Grants, the TIGER [grant] program, and Amtrak are enacted,” said Acting President & CEO Richard A. White. “As it stands now, America is already underinvesting in public transportation, as noted in the recently released American Society of Civil Engineers infrastructure report card. These proposed cuts would make the existing $90 billion of state of good repair gap even worse.”

This message was reinforced by APTA’s new research, Who Rides Public Transportation, which found that 87 percent of all transit trips have a direct impact on local economies, with 49 percent for traveling to and from work, 21 percent for shopping and 17 percent are for recreational spending.

“Public transit trips are integral to the engine that powers America’s economy by connecting riders to employers and to retail and entertainment venues,” White said.

APTA’s recent advocacy actions include more than 60 meetings between White and members of the Government Affairs team with congressional staff, focusing on those that serve on budget, appropriations, tax and authorization committees, and other proactive steps to engage with members of Congress.

APTA encourages its members to contact their elected leaders to emphasize the importance of federal public transportation in strengthening local and the national economies, advocate for public transit’s continued growth and include public transit in all proposals to increase infrastructure investment.

“While we had a successful week of advocacy in Washington, it is paramount that we redouble our efforts. The fast-approaching spring congressional recess provides the perfect opportunity to meet with your members of Congress,” stated APTA’s most recent Legislative Alert, adding that members of Congress are scheduled to be in their home districts April 8-23.

Stay up to date with APTA’s advocacy efforts, its toolkit, Legislative Alerts, and Who Rides Public Transportation here.

Legislative Conference Features Transit Experts, Focuses on Issues

More than 550 public transportation leaders gathered in Washington, DC, March 12-14 for APTA’s 42nd annual Legislative Conference to discuss the federal role in public transportation and make the case for increased investment.

The conference gave attendees an opportunity to hear from members of Congress, key congressional committee staffers and media insiders; pose questions to federal policymakers; and visit elected leaders on Capitol Hill.

Read brief reports of the conference’s sessions starting below and continuing elsewhere in this issue, along with a page of photos.

Members of Congress Address Conference
While many members of Congress have said they support funding for public transportation, it’s time for them to prove that their interests go beyond talk.

That was the gist of Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR) March 14 remarks at the APTA Legislative Conference. He pointed to November’s passage of public transit funding measures totaling about $200 billion nationwide and eight Republican-led states raising their gas taxes as evidence that the public is willing to pay for improved operations.

Referring to President Trump’s call for a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, Blumenauer said he believes a deal can be struck with the president and key legislative leaders.

Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) echoed Blumenauer, saying that infrastructure should be the nation’s top domestic priority and now is “potentially a transformative time for infrastructure in this country” with verbal support from most congressional Democrats, many Republicans and the president.

Delaney said his priorities are to put more people to work with middle-class jobs, help U.S. businesses compete globally and improve individuals’ quality of life, adding that a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure would address all three issues.

He called for infrastructure funding to be included as part of federal tax reform, explaining that the projects will never develop without guaranteed funding.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who participated in the session via Skype, comes from a transportation background, including a tenure as project manager of the Texas Central Railway, a private high-speed rail line planned between Dallas and Houston.

“Of all the issues I care about, transportation is at the top of the list,” Moulton said.

“There’s a lot of talk about how terrible our infrastructure is, how we need to put in money to repair it, but we have to make sure those investments are wise.”

As an Iraqi War veteran, he was approached by a nonprofit organization that encourages veterans to run for Congress.

Conference photos by Steve Barrett Photography

Transit Technology's 'Next Big Thing': Industry Leaders Assess Future

Public transportation has a long history of adopting, adapting and maximizing new technology, from replacing horse-drawn vehicles with steam engines in the mid-1800s to swapping gas-powered motors for diesel engines in the 1960s to the highly complex, integrated, digital systems routine in many operations today.

What’s next? Autonomous vehicles? Widespread adoption of electric or hydrogen buses? The Internet of Things? Big data? ITS to connect it all? Or will the next transformation be driven by riders’ preferences and lifestyles?

All of the above, predict some industry experts. As APTA’s TransITech Conference begins, ­Passenger Transport asked a few industry leaders to look ahead and share their thoughts about transportation technology’s next big thing.

Technology’s Four Critical Impacts
William Tsuei
Director of IT, Access Services
El Monte, CA
Chair, APTA Information Technology Committee
Member, APTA Board of Directors

Information technology has been a major driving force in stimulating global economic growth since the 1990s. Almost everyone and everything is influenced by the Tech Four—Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—in a dramatic way, as described by renowned tech columnist Walt Mossberg.

The APTA Information ­Technology Committee’s mission is to share resources and introduce new technologies, which are increasingly critical as the industry balances its focus on day-to-day operations, safety and security and rolling stock with a constant commitment to the future. We really need to ask ourselves, “What’s really coming in the technology pipeline that will change the transit landscape as we are moving forward?”

Here are a few of the “next big things” coming to transit, which are in line with this year’s TransITech Conference presentation sessions:

* Multimodal User Centric Mobile Solutions: This is not your traditional mobile trip planner or mobile ticketing app or combination of the two. It is a solution to provide all modes of transportation at users’ fingertips when they need to make their own transportation decisions. It also provides a single payment method for the mode(s) they have chosen.

* Automated Vehicles: This trend describes not only connected vehicles, but also autonomous vehicles and hyperloop. It will dramatically change the transportation landscape, including the role of public transit agencies in providing transportation solutions.

* IoT (Internet of Things) with AI ­(Artificial Intelligence): This advance is no longer a typical big data analytic activity. IoT in the future will quickly collect massive amounts of data (measured in such sizes as petabyte, exabyte, zettabyte or even yottabyte quantities). Machine learning with AI on IoT data will quickly transform travel patterns and transportation usage of the future, not to mention business opportunities for the private sector.

* 5G Infrastructure: All of the above trends need reliable, secured communication networks to cover the transmission of structured and unstructured data simultaneously. 5G, along with higher cybersecurity requirements in the standard setting, will lead the way in mobile communications to fulfill the future data communications requirements.

Tsuei is the former chief technology officer, Valley Metro, Phoenix.

Seamless Fare Collection for Mobility Management
Kim Green

Executive Director


Elk Grove Village, IL

Secretary-Treasurer, APTA Executive Committee

At Genfare, we believe that fare collection technology can enhance the public perception of transit by delivering the simplest and easiest to use rider experience for the fairest price possible.

Fare collection systems should be intuitive, user friendly and allow for seamless mobility across all transport modes. As mobility options become more connected, we want systems that will make the user experience pleasant and convenient.

An important aspect of the rider experience today is for the agency to provide mixed fare options for its passengers. Customer convenience can be one of the key factors in retaining riders and ridership growth.

By embracing the new technologies available in fare collection systems, including mixed fare options, an agency can guarantee that it will be able to provide the most convenient and economical fare options for its passengers. By allowing fare payment by smartcards, mobile phones, magnetic stripe cards/tickets or cash, agencies can ensure that they have the right fare product offerings for all of their diverse riders.

Different fare payment options appeal to different ridership groups. By offering multiple payment options, agencies make it easy and convenient for their customers to pay their fares. Public transportation is competing with more and different types of mobility options—transit must make sure it stays at the forefront of technology.

We think fare collection will change dramatically as public transit agencies move from bus and train operators to mobility managers. The future holds great promise for a much more connected mobility platform with a variety of options and choices available to the riding public. Fare collection systems can unite all forms of mobility management and give the user the greatest number of alternatives to meet their travel needs. That’s where Genfare is headed.

Data Delivery Is the Thread
Karl P. Gnadt

Managing Director

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (IL)

Member, Information Technology Committee

Predicting the next big thing seems to be the next big thing. The rapid pace that technology is changing has created a whole new playing field for prognosticating the future.

Whether it’s the new gimmick from Google or new app from Apple, the rapidity of change is astounding. Relative to transportation and public transit specifically, new technologies are cropping up faster than agencies can fund them. EXPO will once again this year highlight new ways to track our vehicles, share our rides, buy our fares and deliver our data. Bingo.

Deliver our data. The one thread that weaves its way through all those other means and methods of technology growth is the data that we can provide those technology outputs. Simply tracking our buses and delivering real-time information to our customers will soon not be enough. Remember when that was so cutting edge 10-15 years ago? That was so yesterday. Now it’s just expected. Everybody better be doing it—it’s as basic as providing seats.

So what’s next on the data delivery front? Can we tell our passengers how many people are on the bus? Or how many bicycle racks are open on the train? Can we deliver data to Uber and Lyft so that their services can seamlessly be integrated into ours? And what else hasn’t been thought of yet?

And if we’re just delivering the data, can we foster a culture where the creatives can develop their own open-source products to utilize and share our data? Fostering that culture means we have to participate in the conversation and engage in conversations with vendors and academics and, most of all, our customers.

The mind boggles at the wide-open frontier ahead of us. I suspect that data delivery will be the bullet train that carries public transit through that landscape.

Vehicle to Infrastructure Connections
Tina Quigley
General Manager
Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)
Las Vegas
Member, APTA Board of Directors

The RTC recently introduced several new updates to our transit system that are enhancing the travel experience of our residents and visitors. We implemented new touch-screen TVMs, a mobile-ticketing app and complimentary Wi-Fi on all fixed-route vehicles. These upgrades allow transit riders to stay connected and enable us to provide customers with close to real-time bus location information.

Additionally, Southern Nevada recently became the first region in the U.S. to implement Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) technology by connecting our traffic signal network to vehicles thanks to a partnership with Audi and its “Time to Green” technology.

This technology provides real-time information to the driver, including when green lights will occur, and ultimately connects the car with the RTC’s traffic management center.

This data will help our traffic management center improve mobility and better manage congestion. This precedent-setting partnership has established the foundation for how local governments and auto manufacturers can develop meaningful polices, build infrastructure and connect our systems to accommodate V2I technology that improves mobility, increases safety and reduces congestion.

While no one knows what the future holds, we are certainly planning for it. The RTC actively seeks out innovative ways to overlay new technologies and services with our current transportation network in order to continue to improve the overall system.

As an example, we are currently in the process of launching a pilot program aimed at enhancing the customer experience while also creating a more cost-effective transportation model by partnering with TNCs and taxi companies to offer same-day, on-demand paratransit and senior and transportation options. We will also study new emerging technologies and their short- and long-term impacts on transportation planning and infrastructure.

Bottom line—we are embracing innovation and working toward creating a smart community. New technologies, paired with several long-range plans aimed at moving more people safer, quicker and more efficiently, will help ensure that Southern Nevada is ready for what the future holds.

Automation and Connectivity
Thomas Lambert
President & CEO
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
Member, APTA Board of Directors

Like many large urbanized areas, Houston faces complex mobility challenges. On any given day, our regional transportation system must move five million people on a roadway network that is at capacity.

Providing 110 million passenger trips per year, Houston METRO is a critical variable in this equation. Technology has provided many solutions to regional mobility challenges and continues to transform the way people interact with transportation systems.

METRO believes that the next driver of change will come from the automotive industry’s global research involving automation and connectivity. Public transit has the opportunity to leverage these technologies to improve public safety, increase operational efficiency and maximize mobility. As near-term applications, METRO is interested in bus platooning and automated shuttles.

METRO owns and operates more than 100 miles of dedicated high-occupancy vehicle/high-occupancy toll lanes and believes that these corridors could be used to deploy platooned buses. Platooned buses operate similarly to trains with close following distances and autonomously controlled braking and accelerating. Platooning may increase operational efficiencies by increasing fuel economy and increasing high-capacity transit without additional infrastructure.

METRO also focuses on automated shuttles for campuses, medical centers and other geographically defined areas where vehicles can operate safely at slow speeds in mixed traffic. Imagine a shuttle that would operate both on-demand (summoned by customers through their smartphones) and at various pre-defined locations. In both scenarios, customers would be fed into transit hubs to bridge first/last mile connections.

Texas’ recent designation by U.S. DOT as an Automated Vehicle Proving Ground sends a strong signal that our state is open for innovation. We are excited to test these technologies in ­living lab environments in Houston.

Coast RTA Opens Facility in Repurposed Building

Thanks to a partnership with the city of Myrtle Beach, SC, the Waccamaw Regional Transportation Authority (Coast RTA) has opened a new transfer center in a 960-square-foot building owned by the city, repurposed by city employees and named for the agency’s founder.

"The Ivory Wilson Transfer Center will enhance the overall Coast RTA customer experience by providing our passengers and the general public with a modern, clean and visually appealing structure that will better accommodate our passengers’ needs,” said General Manager Brian Piascik.

“This new transfer center would not be possible if not for the partnership with the city of Myrtle Beach. We couldn’t be more pleased with their willingness to assist us in obtaining an actual transfer center building for our passengers,” he said. “Using any spare time they had, the public works staff and crew has spent months working on renovating this center for us.”

Wilson, now a Coast RTA board member who also offered remarks at the opening, said, “I’ve always believed that a strong public transportation system is critical for economic development when businesses research areas to relocate. ­Passengers who ride Coast RTA most often are traveling to make money or spend money. Having a reliable bus service is key to connecting Coast RTA’s passengers to pockets of prosperity,” he added.

Wilson was one of three men who began planning in 1980 to provide transportation for residents of two South Carolina counties to places of employment, shopping and medical facilities. The organization entered service three years later as a private nonprofit called the Coastal Rapid Public Transit Authority; it became a public authority under its current name in 1999.

Coast RTA reported a 12 percent ridership increase on its fixed and paratransit routes from November 2015-2016, making the new transfer center essential in meeting passenger needs.

The ADA-compliant, renovated building will serve as the main hub of Coast RTA’s transfers along its fixed routes, replacing several bus shelters along the street. It includes a main customer service lobby, customer service staffing and drivers’ break areas, along with bike parking and benches.

Cutting the ribbon at Coast RTA’s Ivory Wilson Transit Center, from left: Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes; Wilson, agency founder and board member; Joseph Lazzara, chairman of the Coast RTA Board of Directors; and General Manager Brian Piascik.

APTA Delivers Security Program Overseas

APTA, in partnership with TSA, the FBI and UITP, recently organized and conducted a multi-day international security and emergency management peer exchange that paired North American transit leaders with their counterparts throughout Europe.

The five-day program—attended by transit chiefs of police, law enforcement officials and senior agency officials—gave attendees an opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and best practices on a wide range of issues, including active shooter/attacker training, social media and communication strategies during an event, integration and coordination between law enforcement and transit operations, technology applications and public safety outreach programs.

Delegates included Fred W. Damron Jr., Maryland MTA; Edward Eviston, Metro Vancouver Transit Police; Todd Johnson, MBTA; John Jones, Capital Metro; Dave Jutilla, King County (WA) Sheriff Office; Veronique Moulin, Societe de Transport de Montréal; Ronald A. Pavlik, Jr., WMATA; Alex Wiggins, Los Angeles Metro; Al Guarnieri and ­Stephen Khoobyarian, FBI; Sonya ­Proctor and Chris McKay, TSA; and Randy Clarke and Geoff Dunmore, APTA.

The review also featured tours of transit facilities at British Transport Police (BTP), London Underground, CrossRail, Metropolitan Police and STIB-MIVB, the public transportation provider in Brussels.

BTP polices Britain’s railways, the London Underground and other rail systems. STIB-MIVB operates the metro, tram and bus systems in the Brussels ­capital region.

An expanded group will continue this exchange at APTA’s Annual Security and Emergency Management Roundtable June 9-10 during the International Rail Rodeo and Conference, June 8-14, Baltimore.

Participants in the recent APTA security and emergency management peer exchange on tour at CrossRail, the largest public transit project in Europe.


2017 COMTO Women Who Move the Nation

The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) recognized 11 women representing a broad cross-section of transportation in both the public and private sectors at the sixth annual Women Who Move the Nation awards ceremony March 15.

COMTO selected the honorees based on their demonstrated leadership in all modes of transportation, including public transit, and on their commitment to the advancement of women, diversity and inclusion. More than 60 individuals have received this honor to date.

Many of the honorees are APTA members and ­public transit leaders, including Juanita Abernathy, board member, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, who also received COMTO’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award; ­Margareth Bonds, senior vice president and director-state municipal government relations, Parsons; Sharon Greene, senior vice president and finance market sector director, HDR Inc.; Loretta Kirk, deputy general manager-finance and administration, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; Terry Solis, principal, The Solis Group; and Veronique (Ronnie) Hakim, interim executive director, New York ­Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Jannet Walker Ford, vice president and general manager of the eastern region, Americas, for Cubic Transportation Systems, chaired the Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation event.

Recipients of COMTO's 2017 Women Who Move the Nation awards.


New Interim CEO Named

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) in Detroit named Tiffany J. Gunter, deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer since 2014, interim CEO following the departure of Michael Ford. Before joining the authority, Gunter worked in higher education and as a regional planner for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Ford joined RTA in 2014 as its first CEO after serving as chief executive of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.

BART to Open Warm Springs Extension

As Passenger Transport went to press, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) was preparing to introduce service March 25 on the Warm Springs Extension, which connects the existing Fremont Station to the new Warm Springs/South Fremont Station and serves a fast-growing Silicon Valley community.

The $890 million project came in more than $100 million under budget.

“The new station and 5.4 miles of new track will be a difference-maker in addressing the gridlock on Interstates 880 and 680 by taking thousands of cars off the road each day,” said BART Director Tom Blalock, who represents Fremont. “We’re also helping people reduce their carbon footprint by making the station fully accessible to pedestrians, bus riders and bike riders.”

In addition, BART General Manager Grace Crunican noted that the new station meets the FTA guidelines to incorporate artwork into public transit projects. “BART has commissioned artwork from professional artists for the new station and at the existing Fremont Station,” Crunican said. “A 7,000-square-foot art glass display at the new station anchors it to its surroundings by featuring abstract images of local landmarks.”

The station also features 2,082 parking spots, including 42 solar-powered electronic vehicle charging stations, as well as intermodal connections to AC Transit and private shuttles.

Solar panels installed on the roof of the station and on several parking canopies will produce more than enough energy to meet the station’s daytime power needs. Additionally, BART has installed bioswales that naturally filter silt and pollutants in surface runoff water before it enters the San Francisco Bay watershed.

The extension paves the way for “BART to Silicon Valley,” a 10-mile Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority project currently under construction, which is expected to open for service later this year.

LA Metro Begins Building Metrolink Station Near Burbank Airport

Los Angeles Metro began construction March 21 for a Metrolink commuter rail station that will be part of a proposed mixed-use development project featuring a new Burbank Airport terminal within walking distance.

The Burbank Airport-North Metrolink Station on the Antelope Valley Line should be completed in the spring of 2018, funded with $12.3 million from Metro and $2.7 million from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority. Metrolink already serves the airport with a one station; the new station will be approximately one mile from the current airport terminal, served by a free shuttle operated by the airport.

“This project will provide a better, faster and more seamless rail connection between Burbank Airport and the Metrolink commuter rail system,” said Metro Board Chair John Fasana. “It will also encourage more Southern Californians to utilize the Burbank Airport and provide an alternative to driving on the I-5 Freeway.”

Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip A. Washington called the new station “part of Metro’s commitment to regional mobility. This station brings new and quicker options for residents from the Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and northern San Fernando Valley who want to get to the airport without driving.”

Station amenities will include seating, bike racks and LED display boards showing train, flight and bus arrival and departure times. A pedestrian sidewalk and transit plaza will be built adjacent to the platform.

Autonomous Vehicle Demos in Jacksonville, Austin

The Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority (JTA) and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Austin, TX, recently hosted demonstrations of the 12-person EasyMile EZ10 autonomous shuttle vehicle for possible future use.

JTA is considering replacing its existing driverless Skyway vehicles after more than 25 years of service with the EZ10 as part of modernizing the 2.5-mile line. The agency’s board of directors has authorized staff to begin work on development of the Ultimate Urban Circulator Program (U²C), which will use the Skyway’s existing resources and maximize emerging technology to improve the service in and around downtown Jacksonville.

Capital Metro joined RATP Dev, parent company of McDonald Transit, in deploying the autonomous shuttle vehicles on a closed course on the University of Texas at Austin campus. RATP Dev helps Capital Metro manage and operate its entire 269-vehicle fleet.

Earlier this year, DOT selected UT Austin’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR) as a testing site as part of designating the entire state an autonomous vehicle proving ground. The CTR has been developing and exploring technologies that allow vehicles and infrastructure to collect roadway data and then share that data through wireless communication.

“Because transit is not a one-size-fits-all solution to mobility challenges, we are actively working to identify cost-effective technologies that will allow us to better match our services to the needs of the community,” said Wade Cooper, chairman of the Capital Metro Board of Directors.

Previously, First Transit tested autonomous shuttles in an office park in California and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Keolis and the manufacturer NAVYA collaborated on a week-long pilot of an autonomous, fully automatic shuttle on public roadways in Las Vegas.

A passenger boards JTA’s autonomous shuttle vehicle. The EasyMile EZ10 shuttle operated by Capital Metro and RATP Dev tested various technologies at the University of Texas at Austin.


MBTA Plans Overhaul of Historic PCC Cars

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston has announced plans to invest $7.9 million in a complete overhaul of its historic Presidential Conference Committee (PCC) streetcars that have operated on the 2.6-mile Mattapan-Ashmont Station High Speed Line since 1955; the vehicles date to 1945-46.

MBTA has 10 of the PCC vehicles in its fleet, of which seven operate in revenue service. Because of their age, the streetcars require constant repair and replacement of parts that are no longer available on the market and either must be manufactured by MBTA machinists or obtained from museums, all adding to the overall cost of repairs.

“These historic vehicles are among the very last of many thousands that operated in major cities across the United States and are beloved by many residents in the communities they serve,” said MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve.

Over the next two years, MBTA will install new propulsion, brakes and power supply systems in the PCC cars, which should keep them operating for another decade, and will consider options for the future of the line. The capital project should be completed by late 2018.

MBTA will invest an additional $1.1 million to review operations, track, bridges, vehicles and other infrastructure and will study future vehicle options for the route including light rail (with PCC cars, replica trolleys or light rail vehicles), BRT and alternative propulsion technologies.

The Mattapan High Speed Line opened in 1929, converting a former steam railroad to a rapid transit line.

One of MBTA's PCC streetcars in operation on the Mattapan line.


In Memoriam: Fisher, Longtime MST Board Chairman

Morris (Morrie) Fisher, 79, of Pacific Grove, CA, the longest-serving member of the Monterey-Salinas Transit Board of Directors in its history, died March 13.

Fisher served 23 years on the board, including 19 years as its chairman or vice chairman. He also was a 22-year member of the Pacific Grove City Council and served three terms as mayor.


Legislative Conference Features Public Transit Industry Experts and Washington Insiders; Attendees Gather to Hear about Transportation's Impact and Investments, Policies and Politics

The following brief reports recount some of the highlights from the APTA Legislative Conference.

APTA, FTA Leaders Focus on Jobs, Rebuilding

APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes opened the 42nd annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, March 13, with an upbeat video illustrating public transportation’s impact on jobs and economic growth.

“We need to deliver that message,” he said. “And not just today, but throughout this entire legislative cycle,” said Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA.

Citing APTA’s research projects and advocacy tools, Barnes told the nearly 550 attendees that its resources enable all members to be great advocates. He encouraged the audience to use APTA’s materials to make our industry’s voice heard “loud, clear and often.”

FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes representing U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao, said the secretary’s top priorities are safety, jobs and innovation, and said she understands public transportation’s important role in contributing to productivity growth, revitalizing communities, expanding mobility and ensuring safety.

“All of those benefits are at risk if we fail to repair and replace our aging infrastructure,” he said. “The time is now for a program of national rebuilding.”

He outlined FTA’s agenda to accelerate the time it takes to get projects started and finished; revisit proposed and final FTA rules to further streamline projects and reduce unnecessary administrative burdens; examine discretionary programs to target resources more effectively toward critical, nationally-significant infrastructure needs; and explore new ways to unleash private sector investment in our nation’s infrastructure.

“APTA’s experience is needed to identify obstacles, help us craft our new policies and implement the programs that will revitalize the country’s infrastructure,” Welbes said.

Acting President & CEO Richard White called on all APTA members to mobilize and continue advocating for stronger federal investment, calling public transit “the backbone of a multimodal lifestyle.”

“We’re in the midst of an unpredictable political environment, but the facts are on our side,” he said, noting that “87 percent of trips give people the chance to make money and spend money, which drives the economy.”

White said APTA is working closely and aggressively with its partners, Congress and the administration to leverage opportunities and defend against potential threats.

Howard: Define Terms of Infrastructure Proposal
Jack Howard, senior vice president, congressional and public affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, called on APTA members to help define the terms of the infrastructure proposal forthcoming from the Trump administration, which he said he hoped would be underway by August.

“We want a focus on real projects that will result in long-term economic growth,” Howard said during “The ‘Insider’ Perspective for the Transit Industry,” a breakfast session sponsored by the APTA Business Member Activity Fund.

Further, he said, public transit supporters must make Congress understand that “infrastructure is more than just highways. We must make that case.”

APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes, left, and APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White, right, with speaker Jack Howard of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, second from left, and BMBG Chair Jeffrey Wharton.
He pointed out that public transit advocates have an advantage in setting the terms of the discussion, in that the administration has no existing blueprint for its infrastructure plans. “You can help fill in a lot of blanks,” Howard told the transit advocates. “It’s a great opportunity for you.”

Howard noted that more than two-thirds of Republicans serving in the House were elected since 2010, meaning that they have never worked with a president of their own party until now and are used to serving as the opposition.

He also reported on the challenges facing Congress and the president, including the upcoming issue of whether to raise the debt ceiling and the April 28 deadline to pass FY 2017 appropriations bills before continuing resolutions expire that day.

Jeffrey Wharton, chair of the APTA Business Member Board of Governors; member, APTA Board of Directors; ­member-at-large, APTA Executive Committee; and president, IMPulse NC LLC, Mount Olive, NC, presided at the session. “I’m proud of business members’ role in building partnerships,” he said, ­noting that APTA business members have planned a fly-in for later in the year.

APTA is a longtime member of the U.S. Chamber-led Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition and has worked with business, labor and highway interests on recent authorization bills, a partnership that will continue on new infrastructure investment proposals.

Strong Transit Leads to Vibrant Cities and Neighborhoods

Robust public transportation strengthens the heart of city and regional development by leveraging investments, revitalizing neighborhoods and supporting jobs, said panelists at the “Public Transportation: A Catalyst to Local Economic Development” session.

Panel moderator Valarie J. McCall, left, with Robin-Eve Jasper, Tom Murphy and Scott Rowe.
Moderator Valarie J. McCall, APTA immediate past chair and member of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees, described the city’s two successful BRT lines, the Cleveland State University Line and the HealthLine, which helped revive Euclid Avenue, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.

McCall cited a study from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy reporting that the HealthLine returned $114 for every $1 invested, “the highest ROI of any public transit project in North America, regardless of mode.”

Pittsburgh’s former mayor, Tom Murphy, now with the Urban Land Institute, encouraged attendees to take advantage of changing employment patterns and shifting lifestyle choices by people who want to live in cities.

“Take advantage of this moment,” Murphy said. “Will we think about transit as we have for the last 30, 40 or 50 years or look at what’s happening today?” he asked. “It’s up to us.”

Scott Rowe, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Upper Marlboro, MD, described the evolution of TOD at a shopping center on ­WMATA’s Yellow and Green Metrorail lines.

“You can afford to wait; you only get it right once,” he said, adding that agencies should use their influence to advocate for TOD-friendly regulations.

Robin-Eve Jasper, NoMa Business Improvement District, Washington, DC, described transit’s role in the neighborhood, which includes a stop on ­WMATA’s Red Line that opened in 2004.

“Ten years later in 2014, 2.6 million square feet of office, 270,000 square feet of retail and 3,300 residential units had been added,” she said.

The Transit Coalition: Partners in Funding
APTA’s coalition partners in the surface transportation authorization process discussed in a session how their organizations and members are advocating for additional infrastructure investment under a new administration.

Diana C. Mendes, member, APTA Board of Directors; vice chair, Legislative Committee; HNTB Corp., moderated the session. Referring to the current political landscape, Mendes said, “we need to think creatively and build all the partnerships we can to advance our shared outcomes.”

HNTB’s Diana Mendes, vice chair, Legislative Committee, moderated a panel of public transit coalition members, including, from left, Jim Tymon, AASHTO; Sean O’Neill, Associated General Contractors of America; and Dean Franks, ARTBA.

Jim Tymon, COO/director of policy and management, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, said his organization represents all modes of transportation and “we are committed to multimodal solutions to transportation issues. We don’t just look at things from the highway perspective.”

He added that it was “great to get the FAST Act for multiyear projects,” but said the problem is that five years of “predictability and stability doesn’t mean a whole lot if Congress is not able to pass yearly appropriations bills.” Without a full year 2017 appropriations bill, Tymon said, “states and transit agencies are behind the eight ball because we’re looking at the upcoming construction season.”

Sean O’Neill, senior director, congressional relations, infrastructure advancement, Associated General Contractors of America, said his members’ focus in the short term is on the FY 2017 appropriations bill being passed into law.
He expressed concern as well about the upcoming construction season and said state DOTs “won’t let projects happen whether they be transit projects or construction projects.”

Dean Franks, vice president, congressional relations, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, echoed the need for a full 2017 bill.

One of his association’s focuses, he added, is the possibility of including a Highway Trust Fund fix in any tax reform package considered by Congress.

Welcome to Washington: The Insider Perspective

During “Welcome to Washington,” Amy Walter, national editor, Cook Political Report, and Robert Costa, national political reporter, Washington Post, shared their insights on the dynamics between the new administration and Congress.

Paul Wiedefeld, member, APTA Board of Directors, and general manager/CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, welcomed attendees.

Walter said the traditional “rules of the game we have played by, that certain rule of political gravity that campaigns had to follow, got thrown out and we had an untraditional, unorthodox candidate. Now we have an untraditional, unorthodox president and it’s either going to work or it’s not.”

What’s working, said Walter, is that Trump has a Republican base that is committed to him. And, she noted, he still has a 90 percent approval rating among Republicans.

Session speakers included, from left, Gregory R. Yates, AECOM; Paul Wiedefeld, WMATA GM/CEO; Amy Walter, Cook Political Report; Robert Costa, Washington Post; APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes; and APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White.
What’s working against him, she said, is that he is not doing much reaching out to the other [Democratic] side.

She encouraged attendees to watch what is taking place in the Oval Office and not get caught up in the distractions.

Costa recounted the more than 50 interviews he has had with Trump since 2013, during which the president talked often about immigration, trade and rebuilding America.

Costa also spoke about White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who “truly believes in things like infrastructure and transportation.” He said Bannon is “at the heart of this presidency and is the one, in fact, who proposed the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan that was floated to Trump.”

Saying he’s known both men for a long time, Costa said, “I can tell you they are not Republicans at heart, but in Bannon’s words, he is kind of a populist nationalist. And Trump is a Trumpist—he wants to win and he is willing to change.”

Upcoming hearings on Capitol Hill, he said, will forecast much of what is in store. AECOM sponsored the session.

Words and Pictures

Supplement these articles by watching videos of the Opening General Session and the General Session featuring members of Congress. Find them here.

APTA Analysis: Investment in Public Transit Could Yield 10 Million U.S. Jobs; Message Resonates with National Media

A $200 billion investment in public transit—a portion of President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure plan—could create 10 million jobs nationwide and help sustain economic growth by contributing $800 billion to the Gross Domestic Product over a 20-year period, according to the APTA Infrastructure Analysis released during a press conference at the recent Legislative Conference.

Several national news media participated in the press conference, including the Washington Post, NBC News, National Public Radio, CQ/Roll Call, Politico, The Hill, Chicago Reporter and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, in addition to many local and trade publications.

“Public transit’s role in getting people to work and bringing customers to businesses results in the far reaching economic impact of this investment,” said APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA.

“This, coupled with our extensive supply chain, provides for manufacturing jobs in small, mid-size and large communities,” Barnes added.

Public transit agency executives joined Barnes to share local stories about the impact of increased federal investment on public transportation. They were Dorval Carter, president, Chicago Transit Authority; Paul Wiedefeld, general manager/chief executive officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; Michael Terry, president/chief executive officer, IndyGo, Indianapolis; and Eric Wolf, general manager, Altoona (PA) Metro Transit, and APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White.

For details, contact Mantill Williams.

Transit agency GMs who participated in the press conference during the Legislative Conference included, from left, Eric Wolf, Altoona (PA) Metro Transit; Dorval Carter, Chicago Transit Authority; APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White; Chair Doran J. Barnes; Paul Wiedefeld, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; and Michael Terry, IndyGo.

Scenes from the Conference

Click here to see more photos from the 2017 APTA Legislative Conference.


Bus Conference Announces Lineups for Two General Sessions

APTA continues to add general session speakers to the schedule for the 2017 Bus & Paratransit Conference, May 7-10 in Reno, NV.

Presenters at “How Transit Agencies Are Integrating Rideshare and Public Transportation” will consider new approaches for public transit agencies to coordinate and integrate with car-sharing, ride-sharing and bike-sharing services to create a convenient, efficient system.

The moderator will be Susan Shaheen, co-director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center, University of California, Berkeley. Panelists are Emily Castor, transportation policy director, Lyft Inc.; Dani Simons, director of communications and external affairs, Motivate; Justin Holmes, director, corporate communications, Zipcar; and Chris Lowe, executive director, Bus Association Victoria Inc., Port Melbourne, Australia.

“Reimagining Bus Service in Your Region” will feature public transit agency chief executives describing their efforts to redesign their bus systems to align with employment centers and growth patterns. The moderator will be Thomas C. Lambert, member, APTA Board of Directors and president and CEO of Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. Panelists include Linda Watson, president/CEO, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX; Henry Li, general manager/CEO, Sacramento Regional Transit District; Edward D. Reiskin, director of transportation, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; and W. Curtis Stitt, member, APTA Board of Directors, and president/CEO, Central Ohio Transit Authority, Columbus.

To register, click here.

APTF Accepting Scholarship Applications

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is accepting applications for its 2017 scholarships for college students or public transit professionals who are interested in pursuing or advancing a career in the public transportation industry.

Applications must be submitted electronically by 5 p.m. (eastern) June 16.    APTF will award a minimum of 20 scholarships for the academic year, beginning in the fall 2017 semester. The scholarships range from $2,500 to $5,000 each and cover tuition or other educational expenses.

Find details at the APTF website or contact Lindsey Robertson.


1970: 'Surge in Technology' Ahead for Transit

As this Passenger Transport enlists the help of industry leaders to predict “the next big thing” for transit technology (see elsewhere in this issue), our look back in PT’s archives revealed this June 19, 1970 issue, which explores tech-related news from a few perspectives.

Consider this page 1 story, which credits the “technologies and materials of aerospace research with giving one of man’s oldest energy concepts a modern application.”

The article describes the San Francisco Municipal Railway’s efforts to finance the development and testing of kinetic energy wheel auxiliary propulsion systems in two trolleybuses—systems that promised smog-free, quiet electric buses, “an ideal transit vehicle for the future.”

Related articles report on data collection recorders small enough to fit in a suitcase and small electric buses that resemble today’s autonomous buses being tested by such transit organizations as the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, First Transit and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.


Urban Transportation's Multimodal Future; Expanded Transit Part of a New 'Mobility Paradigm'

Governing magazine

Second perhaps only to waterways, road systems have had the greatest impact on the design and physical structure of our cities. The car-centric redesign of the American city that began in the early 20th century was embraced with open arms by urban planners and citizens alike. Yet now, in the early 21st century, its limitations are clear. There is a rapidly growing awareness that simply expanding our roadways won’t end congestion and gridlock.

The future, more and more urban transportation experts are coming to believe, lies in mobility-friendly networks in which cars are just one element—and an ever-shrinking one as we move from a system in which the personally owned vehicle is king and toward a multimodal future of on-demand driverless vehicles, ride-sharing, expanded public transit, greater reliance on human-powered transportation and other alternatives.

How far could such a new mobility paradigm take us? Jerry Weiland, a 30-year veteran of General Motors who now leads the Rocky Mountain Institute’s mobility program, believes that, over the long haul, the United States could reduce the number of urban/suburban vehicles on the road by up to 90 percent and in the process re­define cities just as the horseless carriage once did.

Whether or not this scenario plays out, it’s clear that cities need a roadmap to guide the next generation of infrastructure investment decisions. Roads and bridges last a long time, and new infrastructure is costly. What should city leaders be thinking about when they look at repositioning their infrastructure for the future?

The Power of Robust Networks
“The first thing cities should understand is that all of the transportation infrastructure is about networks, whether it’s bike-share, whether it’s light rail, whether it’s roads,” says Cooper Martin, co-author of a 2015 National League of Cities’ report, City of the Future: Technology & Mobility. “One line, one bike-share station, one road doesn’t cut it.”

Martin illustrates this concept by describing how the original Washington, DC, bike-share system played out when it was piloted several years ago. The city installed a limited number of stations around the city, then declared the system a failure because few people were using it. But later, when the system was built out on sufficient scale, it flourished. The problem wasn’t lack of demand but the need to create a network robust enough to be useful.

For many decades, until its own growth began clogging roads and intruding too heavily on neighborhoods, the individually owned automobile was just such a robust solution. Its success sets a high expectation in our minds for an acceptable replacement. “We have to devise a solution that’s 100 percent fail-safe,” Weiland says. “The new mobility has to offer people a complete answer, not a partial one. Otherwise you’re not going to get rid of your car.”

It’s safe to say that the best fail-safe alternative ­solution is a multimodal transportation system in which many options—bikes, transit, car- and ride-sharing—are readily available at a moment’s notice along the direction of travel. With near real-time information, the traveler can seamlessly shift from one mode to another and choose the one most suited to his or her needs.

So how will our cities get to that seamless, fail-safe, multimodal future? Due to varying population densities, economic resources, legacy infrastructure and resident demands, no two communities will take the same approach. Certainly in rural communities—and no doubt many suburban ones—the personally owned car will remain the dominant transportation choice for some time.

But in more urban settings, networked alternative transportation choices are already proving to be very dependable alternatives. With improving integration across transportation modes and seamless payment solutions, their growth is all but secured.

Our mobility-friendly, multimodal urban transportation future may be closer that we realize.

Graves is associate director of the Governing Institute, the designated content curator for the FutureStructure initiative and a co-founder of e.Republic, the parent organization of Governing. This column is reprinted with permission from Governing magazine. Copyrighted 2017. E.Republic, Inc. 128343:0317CH

"Commentary" features points of view from various sources to enhance readers' broad awareness of themes that affect public transportation.


Who's Doing What in the Industry

Here is the text of the latest two pages of People on the Move. To see the complete version of these pages, which include graphics, click here.

LONDON, U.K.—Network Rail Consulting, based in London, has opened a Canadian subsidiary headquartered in Toronto and named Susanne M. Manaigre vice president to lead the office. Manaigre’s 30 years of rail experience include serving as chief of operations for GO Transit/Metrolinx in the Toronto region.

OAKLAND, CA—Peter Gertler has rejoined HNTB Corporation as a senior vice president in a corporate and national strategic business development role. He previously served the firm from 2004-2014 as rail and transit market service leader and principal project manager.
Gertler is a nationally recognized rail and public transit expert with three decades of infrastructure experience. Prior to rejoining HNTB, he managed global business and strategic development for a technology firm.
For APTA, he is a former member of the Board of Directors and numerous committees and immediate past chair of the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee.

SAN DIEGO—Jannet Walker Ford has been named vice president and general manager of Eastern Region, Americas, for Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS). Previously, Ford was vice president and North America director of strategic programs and policy for Parsons Corporation and worked for the Philadelphia International Airport and Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. She serves on the APTA Board of Directors, the American Public Transportation Foundation and the Leadership APTA Committee.

ATLANTA—Georgia Trend magazine recently honored Keith Parker, chief executive officer and general manager of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), as one of its “2017 100 Most Influential Georgians.” The magazine credited Parker for fostering increased support of MARTA and supporting the passage of a half-cent sales tax last year.

AMBLER, PA—LTK Engineering Services announced the reorganization of its rail vehicle practice, led by the promotion of James Dietz to vice president, vehicle engineering. A 29-year LTK employee, he most recently led the rail vehicle electrical engineering group.
Jim Herzog, a 25-year employee, has been named manager, mechanical engineering; Nicholas Zeolla, who joined LTK in 2015, manager, structural engineering; and Alex Gutman, a 19-year employee, manager, electrical engineering. Bill Downs, leader of the company’s quality assurance program for 13 years, retains his title of manager, vehicle quality assurance.

CINCINNATI—Helen Black has joined the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees, She is senior manager of a nonprofit organization that works to improve student outcomes.

CHICAGO—Transdev has named ­Jacquelyn Charles general manager of the firm’s Dial-a-Ride Transportation Services (DARTS) contract with the Department of Aging and Youth Services, Fulton County, GA, in the Atlanta metropolitan region. A 16-year public transit veteran, she started in fixed-route operations with the Charlotte Area Transit System before transitioning into paratransit management.

FRANKLIN, TN—Diane Thorne, regional transportation director for the TMA Group, which manages and operates Franklin Transit, recently received the Spirit of Transportation Leadership Award from the Nashville Area MPO. Thorne was recognized by MPO Acting Director Michelle Lacewell for her actions on the local, regional and national levels.

CHICAGO—Quandel Consultants announced the promotion of four employees from associate to principal, bringing the total number of principal partners to seven. They are James ­Jennings, Daniel Schulte, Melanie ­Johnson and Charles Hoppesch.

SAVANNAH, GA—The Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Board of Directors elected Howard French chairman, succeeding Pete Liakakis.
French joined the board in 2013 and is in his second term. He is retired from Zodiac of North America, where he worked in various capacities including president and chief financial officer.

BURLINGAME, CA—Proterra announced the promotion of Matt ­Horton to chief commercial officer from senior vice president of sales and marketing. He joined the company in 2014 and earlier was chief executive officer of a distributor of alternative fuels.

BLOOMSBURG, PA—SEKISUI Polymer Innovations LLC announced the following new members of its business team:
Robert Anderlik, midwest regional business manager; Virgil Minor, south central regional business manager; Benjamin Smalley, aviation market business manager; Blake Iman, promoted from customer service specialist to aviation business coordinator; Michael Miler, who moved from aviation market business manager to senior business development analyst; Nik Taritas, promoted from midwest regional business manager to North American business manager; and John Martino, western regional business manager, who also took on the role of international distribution manager.

PHILADELPHIA—Urban Engineers announced that ­Jeffrey S. Yeager, ­deputy structural practice leader for the firm, has relocated to Philadelphia from the Erie, PA, office.

ORLANDO, FL—Bryan Mehaffey has joined Burns Engineering as director of operations, Southeast Region, based in the company’s new Orlando office. His more than two decades of experience include serving as chief technology officer and in senior facilities positions at several large higher education campuses. Most recently, Mehaffey ran project development for large projects at Johnson Controls Inc.

SAINTE-CLAIRE, QC—Prevost announced the appointment of Jean Dupont as director of pre-owned coach sales. Dupont has worked in the bus industry for more than 25 years, most notably as the third-generation owner and general manager of one of the oldest service centers for motorcoaches and their operators in Quebec, founded in 1936. In 1997, he founded Dupont Industries or ­Dupontrolley, a manufacturer of trolley-replica buses.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA—The Community Transit Board of Directors has elected Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright its chair, succeeding Marysville Mayor Jon  Nehring, who will remain on the board.
Stanwood Mayor Leonard Kelley was named vice chair and Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson secretary.
Also, Lynnwood City Councilmember Rev. M. Christopher Boyer joined the board as an alternate representing large cities.

ORLANDO, FL—Edward L. Johnson, chief executive officer of the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), has joined the board for Lighthouse Central Florida, which provides life skills, job training and placement to more than 100,000 people with sight impairment.

TORRANCE, CA—Torrance Transit has appointed ­Godfrey Offoegbu deputy transit director, ­Dietter Aragon transit operations manager and James Lee as transit administration manager.
Offoegbu has 13 years of public transit experience, serving most recently as superintendent of Long Beach (CA) Transit. Aragon has more than 15 years in the field. Lee has been an employee of the city of Torrance for more than 20 years, including 10 years with the transit agency.

WASHINGTON, DC—Amtrak has streamlined its senior management team, including reducing the direct reports to President and CEO Wick Moorman to six. They are: operations, Scot Naparstek, chief operating officer; marketing and business development, Jason Molfetas, executive vice president; finance, Jerry Sokol, chief financial officer; law, Eldie Acheson, general counsel and corporate secretary; administration, DJ Stadtler, chief administrative officer; and planning, technology and public affairs, Stephen Gardner, executive vice president.

PITTSBURGH—Beth Steimle has joined Michael Baker International as vice president and office executive in Tampa, FL. She has 15 years of experience, previously serving as an associate vice president of T.Y. Lin International.

DENVER—Adam Giuliano has joined Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP as a partner. He will open an office in New York City.

CINCINNATI—The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees re-elected Jason Dunn as chair and Ken Reed as vice chair. Dunn, a board member since 2012, is vice president of multicultural and community development for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau. Reed, loss control services manager for the Ohio Transit Risk Pool and a former general manager of the Butler County Regional Transit Authority in Hamilton, OH, joined the board in 2011.

KANSAS CITY, MO—The Board of Commissioners of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) elected these officers for 2017: chairman, Steve Klika, vice chairman of the Johnson County, KS, Board of Commissioners; vice chairman, Daniel Serda, representing Kansas City, KS; secretary, Dennis Bixby, representing Leavenworth County, KS; and treasurer, David Bower, representing Jackson County, MO.

CHICAGO—Transdev has announced the promotion of VTMI Executive Director Bill Bishop to vice president and the appointments of two general managers for the company’s public transit agency contracts. VTMI is Transdev’s rail maintenance and infrastructure subsidiary.
Bishop has worked in rail for 37 years. Before joining Transdev in 2009, he was project manager for New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail in Albuquerque, NM. For Transdev, he is interim general manager under the firm’s contract with the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.
Also, Charles (Doug) Brockwell is general manager for Transdev’s operations contract with the Regional Transportation District in Denver.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—Abel Alonzo has joined the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors, representing the city and succeeding Conrado Garcia. He has served on the board two previous times.

NEW YORK CITY—The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the appointment of Owen J. Monaghan as chief of police of the MTA Police Department. He succeeds Michael R. Coan, who led the MTA Police Department for eight and a half years.
Monaghan joined the MTA in 2015 as vice president of security for MTA New York City Transit. Previously he worked for the New York Police Department for more than three decades.

ITHACA, NY—Scot Vanderpool has joined Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) as operations manager following the retirement of Nancy Oltz, an agency employee for almost 40 years.
Vanderpool joins TCAT from Syracuse University, where he was manager of parking and transit services. Earlier he was manager of operations and planning at the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority in Syracuse, NY.

WOODBRIDGE, VA—The Board of Commissioners for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission re-elected Frank J. Principi, a member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, to his second term as chairman.
Other officers are Manassas Park Mayor Jeanette Rishell, vice chairman; Pamela Sebesky, a member of the Manassas City Council, secretary; Paul Milde III, chairman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors, treasurer; John D. Jenkins, a member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, immediate past chairman; and at-large member Matthew J. Kelly, a member of the Fredericksburg City Council.

KANSAS CITY, MO—HNTB Corporation announced the appointments of Michael Powers as rail program manager, based in ­Arlington, VA, and Taiwo ­Jaiyeoba as regional business development manager, based in Charlotte, NC.
Powers has 30 years of industry experience.
Jaiyeoba has worked in planning for 26 years. He is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2014 and a member of several APTA committees.

PAINESVILLE, OH—The Laketran Board of Trustees unanimously re-elected Brian Falkowski to a third one-year term as its president and Paul E. Miller to his second term as vice president.
SANTA MONICA, CA—Rolando Cruz has joined Big Blue Bus as chief operations officer.
Cruz has more than two decades of experience, working most recently as executive director and vice president of maintenance and facilities at Long Beach (CA) Transit. He is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2008 and a member of numerous APTA committees and the Transit Asset Management Working Group.

SAN JOSE, CA—The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors elected Los Altos City Councilmember Jeannie Bruins its chair and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo vice chair.
The VTA board also welcomed five new board members and four new alternates. The board members are Charles (Chappie) Jones, Lan Diep and Raul Peralez, who served as an alternate last year, all representing San Jose City Council, Cupertino City Councilmember Savita Vaidhyanathan and Morgan Hill City Councilmember Larry Carr, a longtime alternate.
The alternates are San Jose City Councilmember Devora (Dev) Davis, ­Milpitas City Councilmember Bob Nunez, Los Gatos City Councilmember Rob Rennie and Gilroy City Councilmember Daniel Harney.

LANCASTER, CA—Palmdale City Councilmember ­Austin Bishop has joined the Antelope Valley Transit Authority Board of ­Directors, succeeding Fred Thompson.

NEW YORK CITY—WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) has announced the following appointments:
Kurt W. Krauss, based in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, has been named chief projects officer for the U.S. Advisory Services group, which provides strategic consulting services. He has more than 20 years of strategic and financial management experience, most recently as a managing director for KPMG LLP.
Scott E. Trommer has been named a principal with the same division, managing transit and rail project development and finance activities. He has 29 years of experience.
Edwin E. Tatem, a 10-year WSP | PB employee and a vice president of the firm, has been named construction services manager, transportation and infrastructure, for the company’s central region based in Detroit.
Tanya Adams, community relations and diversity manager for the firm’s central U.S. region, has been promoted to vice president. Based in Chicago, she joined WSP | PB in 2006 after 18 years with Illinois DOT. Adams is a member of the national board of directors of COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials), which named her 2016 Corporate Executive of the Year.   
Ruben Landa has been named senior communications manager in the company’s Dallas office.
Anthony Scolaro has been named a senior supervising environmental planner in the firm’s Tempe, AZ, office.
Andres Ruiz has been named chief financial officer of the firm’s Latin America region, based in Bogota, Colombia. Prior to joining the firm, he was an investor relations officer for Avianca Holdings S.A., a leading Latin American airline holding company.
Tamara Werkmeister has been named a national strategic pursuit manager based in Orange, CA. She has 27 years of experience, most recently serving as Southern California sales and business development manager for an infrastructure professional services firm.
Elia Nunez has been named an assistant vice president in the company’s Miami office. She previously served as director of public works for the town of Miami Lakes and chief design project manager for the city of Miami.

SEATTLE—Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers has been named chair of the Sound Transit Board of Directors, succeeding King County Executive Dow Constantine. Redmond Mayor John Marchione and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland were approved as vice chairs.
Also, newly elected Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier joined the board, succeeding eight-year member Pat McCarthy.

ARLINGTON, VA—Fairfax County Supervisor Jeffrey McKay has been elected chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), with Alexandria City Council Member Paul Smedberg as vice chairman and Loudoun County Supervisor Matthew Letourneau as secretary-treasurer.
McKay joined the commission in 2008 and previously served as NVTC chairman in 2013. Jay Fisette, who was chairman in 2016, was succeeded by Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey.
Smedberg joined the commission as an alternate in 2005, was its chairman in 2014 and secretary-treasurer in 2016. Letourneau became the first Loudoun County supervisor to be an NVTC officer after joining the commission in 2016.

CLEVELAND—Tom Raguz, sformer finance director for the city of Cleveland Heights, has joined the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as executive director, Office of Management and Budget, following the retirement of Gale Fisk. He also held several jobs for the auditor of the state of Ohio, including assistant auditor and audit manager.
Also, the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association re-elected South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo to the RTA board, which she joined in 2014.