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June 10, 2011
DOT Encourages American Production of Steel Rails for Streetcars

DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari and FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff met this week with steel, transportation, and manufacturing leaders to discuss a plan for producing steel streetcar rails in the United States. "The Federal Transit Administration is making major investments in streetcars as they've made a real comeback in many cities," Rogoff said. "It only makes sense that the rail they ride on is stamped 'Made in the U.S.A.,' because with the ingenuity of the American workforce and industry, we can do it right here at home."  Porcari said he hopes the meeting will help determine the potential market size for steel rails and the level of interest among manufacturers, as well as identify any obstacles. 

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said: "We want U.S. manufacturers to supply the rails for U.S. streetcars and today’s meeting was a first step toward making this a reality.”  Porcari called the meeting following a survey by FTA and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership that indicated interest among domestic steelwork foundries in manufacturing streetcar rails. 

Blumenauer/Task Force Release Congressional Livable Communities Report

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and more than two dozen members of the Livable Communities Task Force introduced a report late last week called "Freedom From Oil: Policy Solutions From the Livable Communities Task Force."  

The Task Force force will identify ways where the federal government can be a better partner to local communities by improving the quality of life of Americans by reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and investing in transportation and housing projects that offer people more commuting options.  

"Here in Washington, DC, when gas prices spike, people have choices" in their mode of transportation, said Blumenauer, chair of the Task Force.  But unfortunately, he added, about half the American population does not have an environment that provides those choices. Too much of America, he said, is dependent on a pattern that "imagines that we will always have an unlimited supply of inexpensive gasoline, and government policies in housing and road transportation reinforce that."

Nominations Open for APTA Leadership Posts

The APTA Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past Chair M.P. Carter, is accepting nominations through July 8 for APTA leadership positions.  Rather than holding the election at the APTA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, APTA will plan a virtual election meeting about four weeks before the Annual Meeting and EXPO.  Nomination documents are available here.  Questions regarding the election process, election guidelines, eligibility requirements should be directed to Jim LaRusch at (202) 496-4808 or jlarusch@apta.com.


Dump the Pump is only 5 days away!  On June 16, APTA and public transit systems unite to celebrate the 6th Annual National Dump the Pump Day – a day dedicated to encouraging people to leave their cars at home and ride public transportation.  With gas prices at record highs, this year’s Dump the Pump Day will take on even greater significance. Do your part and join in promoting this important day.  It's easy; just use the toolkit we've created for you!
There is still time to register for the 2011 Transit Board Members Seminar & Board Support Employee Development Workshop July 23-26, in Jersey City, NJ. This professional development forum brings together policy makers and staff to learn more about current trends in public transportation, renew leadership skills, and help further develop their agencies into vibrant organizations. Who should attend? Board members and commissioners of transit systems and board support staff.


The Vienna/Fairfax-GMU, a station on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority's system, is the "Most Romantic Subway/Metro Station," according to a survey  by Craigslist.  The Chicago 'L' is the "Most Romantic Subway/Metro System."   

Mass transit riders who see suspicious items will be able to text alerts to law enforcement under a new plan unveiled by NJ Transit.  The "Text Against Terror" initiative will allow riders to text reports if they do not want to call the existing terror hotline.   The campaign, funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is one of the first of its kind for a transit system in the country, according to the agency.

Daniel Huffman, a bioanalytical chemist turned cartographer, used the iconic map style that transit systems use in his blog somethingaboutmaps, which lays out our nation's river systems in the abstract subway style.  All the labeled stops are towns the rivers actually go through.

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