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May 11, 2012
Surface Transportation Conferees Meet for the First Time
Members of the House/Senate Conference Committee on the Surface Transportation Authorization (S.1813.H.R. 4348) met for the first time on May 8. The meeting was largely an opportunity for conference committee members to make opening statements. With a deadline of June 30 for resolution of the many issues involved in the bill and a limited number of legislative days, committee members expressed an urgency to reach consensus and send a bill to the President. Staff from the respective committees of jurisdiction on both sides of Capitol Hill have begun to schedule meetings, and many issues -- including the scope of discussions -- are still being worked out. In addition to transportation-related provisions, the House passed bill includes a provision on approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that the president has opposed. APTA sent a letter to conferees this week outlining its views on transit-related issues that are based on its authorization recommendations.
APTA Members Convene in Long Beach for Successful Bus and Paratransit Conference

The conclusion of the APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference which highlighted the Bus Safety and Security Awards and International Bus Roadeo brings to a close another successful event that included activities ranging from professional development and bus displays to a wildly popular products and services showcase. More than 900 people attended the conference and showcase. Participating in the Roadeo were 70 operators representing 27 states, the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces and 31 maintenance teams consisting of 156 people from 17 states and two Canadian provinces,  Full coverage of the conference will be in the May 21 issue of Passenger Transport.  

New FTA Webpage Focuses on Environmental Acts
The Federal Transit Administration launched a new website for Earth Day that tracks and highlights sustainable transportation projects across America. Tools on the website include a calculator that finds how you can reduce harmful emissions by switching to public transit, as well as numerous ways that you can use public transportation to travel from the corner store -- to our national parks.


We are a little more than a month away from the Rail Conference that begins on June 3 in Dallas. You won’t want to miss technical tours of local systems, professional training, and sessions on the newest and most innovative technology. Plus you’ll be able to connect with more than 1,200 rail professionals from across North America.


A one-year pilot program in San Francisco is being recommended by BART to implement a regional bus system that would operate after train service ends on Saturday and Sunday to carry passengers from San Francisco to the East Bay. These buses would run on the same schedule as the trains and it is expected that travel would be nearly as fast as the regular train service.
In the busy River Market area of Kansas City, cars, people, and businesses are bustling -- but this has not prevented Kansas City from considering adding streetcars to the various transit options. Recently, 35 residents came out for a 2.2 mile “streetcar stroll” along a proposed route from the River Market area to Union Station.
A community group in Detroit has filed a civil rights complaint against the City of Detroit Department of Transportation. The group argues that the DDOT did not consult with citizens before implementing cuts, and that it violated federal regulations. With an impact on their ability to travel to work, school, and other places across town, the group is arguing for the need for reliable and accessible public transportation.

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