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August 19, 2011
Nearly 80 Percent of Transit Systems Forced to Raise Fares or Cut Service

Public transit systems are faced with implementing new service cuts and fare increases on top of cuts and increases enacted during the past budget cycle, according to a new study released by APTA. Nearly 80 percent of public transit systems have already implemented fare increases or service cuts in 2010 or are considering them for the future because of flat or decreased local and/or regional funding. Read the full report here.


Funds for TIGER and Veteran-Related Transportation

FTA has announced a new availability of discretionary Section 5309 Bus and Bus Facility grant funds for public transit systems. Under this program, $30 million in funds will be made available for veteran-related public transit needs. Additionally, U.S. DOT has announced Notification of Funding Availability under the National Infrastructure Investments program. These funds are focused on creating economic recovery through public transit investment. Complete applications for the veteran-related transit funds are required by Sept. 16, 2011, and pre-application for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds is Oct. 3, 2011.

Congressional Leaders Appoint Super Committee Members

The membership of the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction created as part of the debt ceiling legislation has been announced. These members have been tasked with finding $1.3 trillion in cuts and revenue from the federal government and this will be a hot topic of conversation until they report their decisions in late November. The effect of this committee on transportation is not yet known, but as details are made available Passenger Transport will provide updates.

New Hours of Service Requirements for Railroad Employees Established

On August 12, 2011 the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published its final rule on evaluating hours of service for train employees engaged in commuter and intercity passenger service. The regulation is set to take effect October 15 and prescribes minimum off duty time and analysis of shifts FRA deems at risk for fatigue.


The APTA Annual Meeting and EXPO just keeps growing! There is still time to register to see all the latest in public transit innovation and participate in all the exciting events as we steam ahead to the the world's largest showcase for the public transportation industry, Oct. 2-5 in New Orleans!


Don't miss your stop! Los Angeles County Metropolitian Area buses will now be adding 'Los Americans' to its on-bus programming. The first telenovela to be shown on city buses will be aired along with other programming in 3-minute segments and is expected to reach 1.1 million viewers a day or 25 million over its 8-week run. Those numbers would be enough to make some cable television series jealous.

The New York Times gets it. The gas tax renewal will keep jobs going, create new ones and prevent the bankruptcy of the Highway Trust Fund. With highways, bridges, and public transit systems already feeling the pinch of the current budget restraints, the gas tax is critical.

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is going mobile. The installation of iPads on all 12 of its trolleys will provide riders with information about local businesses, the sites, and GPS to let riders know if they are on schedule. Somebody already using the kiosk? All of that is available through the City Slicker app in the iTunes store.

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