|March 16, 2012|
|Senate Passes Transportation Authorization Bill; House in Recess|
The Senate passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century bill with overwhelmingly bipartisan support on March 14. The two-year, $109 billion surface transportation authorization passed by a vote of 74-22.
Action on House authorization will depend on what direction its leadership decides to take upon their return from recess. Their options are to pursue a five-year bill or revert to a shorter term bill that more closely resembles the Senate-passed bill. It appears that the House will not resume action on the bill until after the Easter work period.
APTA President Michael Melaniphy issued a statement: “On behalf of the 1,500 members of the American Public Transportation Association and the tens of millions of Americans who ride public transit every day, I congratulate the U.S. Senate for passing S. 1813 – Moving Ahead for Progress in
the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act . . . This bill funds both public transportation and highways and extends the dedicated motor fuels taxes that support these transportation programs."
Ridership on Public Transportation Up in 2011
Year end ridership
numbers for public transportation show the second highest growth since 1957! These numbers were released at APTA's Legislative Conference this week and reveal that Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2011. This is an increase of 2.3 percent over 2010 and reflects a recovering U.S. economy, rising gas prices, and expanded use of technology that
is improving the customer experience.
APTA Legislative Conference Attracts Nearly 700 Attendees
APTA held its Legislative Conference March 11-13 with sessions that focused on current congressional action, updates from industry insiders, administration officials and congressional leaders. Speakers included DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, and FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo as well as a panel of Hill staff. Full coverage will be included in the March 27 edition
of Passenger Transport.
SAVE THE DATE
APTA's Bus & Paratransit Conference
is around the corner. The deadline for early registration is March 30! This conference will include more than 30 specialized educational sessions, technical training workshops, special events, tours, bus displays, and an exhibitor showcase. All this in the sunny confines of Long Beach, CA! Reserve your space now.
IN THE MEDIA
is more than a bus driver. He is known to greet his riders in three languages, and has a personnel file with 150 positive comments from passengers. An ordained minister, he also volunteers as a New York City public transit chaplain. He's also been selected as a recipient of the Sloan
Public Service Award in New York.
Celebrating your inner leprechaun in Milwaukee? Be sure to leave the car keys behind and usher in St. Patrick's Day responsibly! MCTS buses
will be free from 6 p.m. until the end of regular service due to a partnership with MillerCoors. Enjoy the holiday, and travel responsibly!
Advertising is about making the most of what you have. A new ad campaign is music to the ears of a music retailer and MTA. Giving new meaning to accordion buses, the ad campaign makes use of the "accordion"
portion of articulated buses and turns them into the musical instrument.