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June 8, 2012
House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY 2013 Funding Bill for Transportation
On June 7, the House Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for transportation approved an FY 2013 funding bill that would fund federal transit programs at nearly $10.5 billion. The House bill approved by the subcommittee differs from the comparable bill that has been approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee mainly in that it provides $227 million less for the New Starts program. The House is not in session next week and is not expected to move the bill to the full Appropriations Committee before the week of June 18. The House funding proposal assumes that any program changes will be dictated by the authorization bill that is now in a House/Senate conference committee.
APTA Rail Conference Concludes in Dallas
The APTA Rail Conference and Rail Rodeo brought together more than 1,200 rail industry professionals to focus on industry advancements, new ideas, and the always popular product and services showcase. The annual event, held in Dallas, was a clear success with more than 60 displays in the showcase and 170 presenters who discussed an array of technical and operational issues.
APTA Chair and Rail Conference Host Gary C. Thomas welcomed attendees and APTA President & CEO Michael P. Melaniphy announced the first quarter ridership numbers: 5 percent growth, making this five straight quarters of growth. This announcement was covered on page three of USA Today.
The Rail Rodeo had 13 teams and 55 individuals participating from 11 states and featured winners from across the country. Congratulations to St. Louis Metro that won top honors, taking home the prestigious Rail Transit Team Achievement Award.
On June 4, FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo announced  the approval of DCTA’s request to operate the Stadler GTW concurrent with traditional, compliant equipment at an event held in conjunction with the Rail Conference. This means that for the first time ever, light weight/fuel efficient, eco-friendly low-floor vehicles will be permitted to operate in rail corridors concurrently with traditionally compliant vehicles. The waiver, a first of its kind, will expand commuter rail options for transportation systems across the United States.

Wisconsin Voters Reinstate Public Transportation
Voters in Weston, WI, went to the polls and supported continuing a public transportation system after local elected officials moved to end the current system because of budget cuts. A judge ordered a binding referendum and nearly 65 percent of voters supported public transit in an election with extremely high turnout.


The UIC 8th World Congress on High Speed Rail in Philadelphia will be here before you know it. This will be your chance to see speakers from around the globe and learn from other systems about the future of high-speed rail. Register now!


The National Resource Defense Council speaks up for public transportation in its latest staff blog posting. They noted that with a stalled economy and members of Congress asking about job creation, there is a ready made answer: Pass the surface transportation bill. With higher than average unemployment in the construction industry, passage of this bill could immediately put Americans back to work.
Ridership continues to increase as vehicle miles travelled decreases. As Generation Y comes of driving age and chooses public transportation as a primary mode of transit, the future of the systems change from how to attract new riders to one of how to manage increased ridership.
How far can you go on a fare? Where can you explore on a half-hour of travel time? Mapnificent has culled the info on a number of major U.S. cities and created the graphics to show all the stops within a 30-minute ride from each other. A handy tool for visitors and regular riders alike!

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