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August 3, 2012
Senate Finance Committee Moves Transit Benefits and Alternative Fuels Tax Credit
On Aug. 2, the Senate Finance Committee passed bipartisan legislation that, if enacted, would extend a long list of expired or expiring tax provisions known as “extenders.” Two of the extenders are the transit commuter benefits and the alternative fuels tax credit.
Both of these elements expired on Jan. 1, 2012.  On that date the transit commuter benefit fell from $230 to $125 and the incentives for transit providers to fuel their fleets with compressed or liquefied natural gas were removed. The legislation would extend both elements retroactively from Jan. 1, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013.
The next step will be for the legislation to head to the Senate floor for a vote before going before the House for passage.
Atlanta Region Opposes Major Transportation Initiative
A major referendum to completely revamp transportation in the metropolitan Atlanta region failed on July 31, leaving the 13th most congested region of the country without a clear plan forward on transportation investment.

APTA Hosts Webinar on MAP-21
On July 27, APTA hosted a webinar on MAP-21 featuring staff members from the House and Senate Committees responsible for developing the bill.  APTA members were able to hear directly from those who created it and ask questions. The webinar has been archived and can be viewed at apta.com

DOT Hosts TIFIA Webinar
DOT held a widely attended webinar on July 31 to discuss the new Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act financing, with up to $17 billion in loans to be made available for critical infrastructure projects across the country. These funds became available with the passage of MAP-21, the surface transportation bill.

Public Transportation Riders Saved $809 in July
APTA’s July Transit Savings Report found that individuals who rely on public transportation saved $809 over those commuting by car. The total for the year is $9,702 based on a two-person household giving up one car.


The APTA 2012 Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA is quickly arriving and so is the early registration date.  To take advantage of the discounted early registration (available only until Aug 17), make sure you register today!


While commuting on public transportation many riders pass the time by using their smartphones and tablets. A recent ABI study shows that 32 percent of smartphone owners and 52 percent of tablet owners would be willing to engage ads while on trains. Connecting buses and trains via wireless connections keeps riders happy and offers a new revenue stream to systems.
Public transportation can help fend off depression. As seniors get older and become unable or unwilling to drive they are more likely to become home-bound. The new "On the Go" program sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ in conjunction with NJ TIP shows seniors how to travel around by public transportation.
Weighing the pros and cons of transportation in Chicago gives clear options: city stickers, insurance, and the ever looming threat of tickets and, on the other hand, a blogger notes you have CTA, bicycles and a walkable city. Many younger Chicagoans are weighing the options and choosing to get rid of cars and use that money on other necessities. 

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