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July 6, 2012
Obama to Sign Surface Transportation Bill Today
As Passenger Transport Express went to press today, President Obama is expected to sign the $105 billion surface transportation bill into law at a ceremony at the White House. APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy is invited as well as construction workers who will benefit from the jobs created by this bill and college students affected by a student loan provision. This bill will allow funding continuity for 27 months. In-depth coverage will be provided in the next edition of Passenger Transport.
LaHood Announces $29 Million for Public Transportation Assistance for Veterans
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced $29 million in grants to help veterans and military families use public transportation. These funds are expected to help veterans and their families, wounded warriors, and other military personnel with affordable access to work, school, shopping, medical care, and to meet all their transportation needs in their communities. The grants will support 64 projects in 33 states and the Northern Mariana Islands. The funds are managed by the FTA and were released under the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative.


If you are looking for cutting edge speakers, great breakout groups and the ability to make new connections with other public transportation staffers with an eye to the future, don’t miss APTA’s Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop in Philadelphia, PA on Aug. 5-8.  Topics will focus on how the industry is moving toward more environmental and energy efficient growth along with economically sound and socially responsible development.


Carnegie Mellon University has a sweet name for its public transit app that translates perfectly for fans of bus schedules and sweets. Tiramisu, meaning “pick me up” in Italian, just received a $102,000 grant from DOT to expand its model into the commercial market after the successful creation of the app for the Port Authority of Allegheny County bus system. 
Cities across America continue to struggle with a sluggish economy and search for new ways to supplement their budgets. Public transportation systems, city governments, and public entities of all kinds are considering new ways to raise revenue via ad space: naming stations, ads on fire hydrants and trucks, and even police cars and helicopters.
Sacramento is a town built on trains. Siemens is looking to continue that tradition as its 800 employees there look to begin producing bullet trains. This will add to the diversity of trains and cars produced in the region.

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