APTA | Passenger Transport Express
March 19, 2010

News Headlines

Congress Passes, Obama Signs Jobs Bill; Public Transit Funding Extended Through Year End

President Barack Obama on March 18 signed into law the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act--also known as the jobs bill--which contains a provision to extend the authorization of public transit and highway programs through December 31. The Senate had passed the bill the previous day after an extended series of amendments between the two chambers of Congress.

APTA President William Millar commended this long-overdue legislation. “When President Obama signed the HIRE Act into law today, he sent a strong signal that public transportation investment is a valuable tool in America’s recovery and future economic health,” said Millar. He also called on Congress to pass further jobs legislation and a robust multi-year surface transportation bill.

Another key provision in the HIRE Act is the transfer of $19.5 billion of general funds from the Treasury into the Highway Trust Fund, including $4.8 billion into the Mass Transit Account. These payments are expected to enable stalled capital projects.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, heralded the bill's passage, saying "Today, a million workers ... know their jobs are more secure because we have renewed the transportation bill through the end of the year."

35th APTA Legislative Conference a Great Success

More than 700 participants, along with several members of Congress, helped to make the 2010 APTA Legislative Conference in Washington a great success. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, shared their views on a variety of important and sometimes controversial topics. Look for extensive coverage in the March 29 edition of Passenger Transport.

APTA Urges Members to Spread Word of Census' Importance to Public Transit

APTA is encouraging its members to post announcements for riders and employees regarding the importance of filling out and returning the 2010 U.S. Census. Results from the Census are used to establish formulas for more than $400 billion of federal money, including investments in public transportation. The Census' population count also determines representation in the House of Representatives and affects regional transportation planning decisions.

Fare Collection 101 Webcast to Feature Top Speakers

Fare Collection 101 will be offered for the first time as a webcast on Monday, March 29, 8:00-11:30 a.m. PST. Register online to secure a spot in this high-demand event.

This year’s speakers are: Tamara Sears (moderator), sales & technical customer service/support manager, Fare Logistics, Victoria, BC; Hassan Tavassoli, vice president of government solutions, Giesecke & Devrient, Dulles, VA; J. James Capozzi, vice president, CAPtech, Inc., New Rochelle, NY; Daniel Fleishman, SR Consultant, TransSystems, Boston, MA; and Trevor Findley, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton, San Francisco, CA.

Webcast speakers will also answer your fare collection questions in real time. For questions, contact Bill Baum at 202-496-4888 or wbaum@apta.com.

Save the Date

There is still time to register for the 2010 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference in Cleveland, May 2-May 5, 2010, featuring the latest in technology, maintenance strategies, and other aspects of public transit bus service--as well as the always competitive, always entertaining International Bus Roadeo, April 30-May 5, 2010.

In the Media

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote in his "Fast Lane" blog about APTA's 2010 Legislative Conference in Washington, where he gave remarks as the featured speaker.

National Geographic Traveler's ongoing profile of one reporter's trip from Washington, DC, to Antarctica via bus recently included a sighting of an extremely rare all-black penguin.

The Toledo Blade highlighted the importance of public transportation.

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