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July 20, 2012
APTA Nominating Committee Announces Slate
APTA's Nominating Committee, chaired by APTA Immediate Past Chair Michael Scanlon, released its slate of candidates for 2012-2013. Flora Castillo, board member, New Jersey Transit Corporation, was nominated as APTA chair, and Peter Varga, CEO, The Rapid, was nominated as vice chair. Doran Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, was nominated as secretary-treasurer.  
Details on the full slate of candidates and voting procedures will be included in the July 30 edition of Passenger Transport
FTA Has New Authority for Strengthening Public Transit Safety Nationwide
DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari, FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) gathered in Hyattsville, MD on July 16 to highlight changes in safety regulations that gives the DOT new authority for safety oversight of all passengers boarding a light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, or transit bus. The new law directs DOT to create a national safety plan and safety certification program, and requires state safety oversight agencies to meet minimum standards. 

FRA Issues Safety Advisory as Summer Heats Up
FRA has issued a Safety Advisory on the issue of buckling-prone conditions in continuous welded rails. As the summer heat continues with extended periods of record temperatures in many parts of the country, the potential for track buckling is increased due to “sun kinks” in the rail.  FRA recommends keeping employees vigilant and regular inspection of the rails.  

Amtrak Report Reveals Rail Vision Plan
A new report released by Amtrak outlines efforts to expand capacity on the Northeast Corridor rail network to accommodate more trains at faster speeds with reduced trip times, while also developing the next generation of high-speed rail. These changes are occurring for the purpose of immediate improvements to aging infrastructure and also to keep an eye on the future of high-speed rail.


On July 27 from 12:00-1:30 p.m., APTA will host a webinar with key congressional committee staff from the House and Senate.  This is your chance to hear from the staffers who wrote the transit provisions of the recently enacted surface transportation authorization bill, MAP-21. Register here


Politico Pro covers the inequity of different tax benefits for public transportation commuters and those who drive because Congress did not address the pre-tax benefits in the recent surface transportation bill. It will  likely be next year before public transit riders can see relief.
Everyone learns differently. Some need to hear information; others learn through tactile means, and still others are visual. If you are one of the latter, then these infographics created by CreditDonkey lay out the case for public transportation for you artfully.
Forgers beware!  New Jersey Transit is issuing special flashlights to conductors to combat scofflaws with counterfeit tickets. The new ticket stock has holograms that show up when exposed to the ultraviolet flashlights.

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