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January 6, 2012
LaHood Awards $186 Million to Illinois to Expand High-Speed Rail in the Midwest
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood has announced another round of funding for high-speed rail in Illinois. Investing in high-speed rail and the world’s fifth largest economy will bring new rail travel options to a densely populated region. This is the beginning of a program that will bring quick acceleration locomotives and bi-level passenger cars to eight states. 
This project will reduce trip times, save travelers money, reduce congestion, and make the region more attractive for businesses--all while creating new jobs.
Congressional Inaction Before the End of the Year Leads to a Tax Increase of more than $550 in 2012
Last month, Congress failed to take action to extend the commuter benefits which will lead to an increase of taxes on public transit riders of more than $550 in 2012. Congress faced a Dec. 31 deadline to extend the transit benefit at the $230 level and the inaction caused it to revert to $125 per month per person while parking benefits increased to $240 per month.
“This drop in benefits will cause a dramatic increase in commuting costs for public transit riders,” APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy said in a statement,  “At a time when Congress and the Administration have resisted revisiting gasoline taxes (user fees) to support much needed investments in our nation's transportation infrastructure, it is ironic that they are willing to effectively raise taxes on public transit users.” 


There is still time to register for APTA's 2012 Transit CEOs Seminar, to be held Jan. 28-31, 2012 in Orlando, FL. 
Chief executives of APTA-member public transportation systems and their deputies are invited to register for this one-of-a-kind professional development forum for industry leaders. 
This forum on emerging trends and best practices focuses on public transportation policy, new business models, security, labor relations, funding, finance, and more. Join the open exchanges with your colleagues and offer your perspectives. 


Washington has long applied a single litmus test to legislation, which was monetary costs. The mindset is changing as the world changes and the new focus is, how does a bill affect jobs? The New York Times takes an in-depth look at this new trend and how the case for public transportation as a job creator is front and center.
Toronto was on the cutting edge of technology when it approved a subway system in 1909. However when the bill came up in 1912 the city balked and refused to move forward, shutting down the future of a subway in the city indefinitely. Despite the setback, 1912 turned out to be a year of growth for Toronto, setting the city on the path toward modernization and extensive expansion of its streetcar system.
If you have ever been under the wire to make your flight then a flight arrival board at the airport probably saved you the few seconds needed to make your gate on time. Now you can apply the same technology wherever you may be. A pilot program in DC is installing arrival boards in coffee shops and bars that show when buses and trains arrive in the area as well as current updates about the local bike-share program. 
Many people believe their cats are only dependent on them for food. One cat in England has worked around needing them to drive him around town. Dodger has taken trips of up to 10 miles around the countryside. The bus line says it doesn't mind giving him a ride because it assumes the 15-year old tabby would be eligible for free rides as a senior citizen.

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