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February 1, 2013
NEWS HEADLINES
DOTís LaHood to Step Down
This week, Secretary Ray LaHood announced that he is leaving the Obama Administration pending Senate action on his replacement. APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy released a statement that included the following:
 
“On behalf of the 1,500 APTA members and the tens of millions of public transit riders, I want to convey my respect and appreciation for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  He has been an outstanding transportation leader and a tireless advocate for public transportation. Although he is leaving, we know that his hard work and dedication to advancing public transportation will continue on in the programs that were championed under his leadership.”
Senate Passes Superstorm Sandy Spending Bill
The Senate passed a $51 billion aid package for Superstorm Sandy relief efforts on Jan. 28 that includes $10.9 billion for public transportation recovery and mitigation and other funding for transportation and regional recovery. The President signed the legislation into law on Jan. 29.

Review of FTA Environmental Procedures to Help Public Transit
The Federal Transit Administration will expedite the availability of funds starting with Sandy relief as a result of a comprehensive review of environmental procedures. This was the first comprehensive review since 1987.

“These improvements expedite our environmental review process to move projects through the pipeline more quickly, while preserving critical community input on how planned transit projects affect the local environment,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.
 
The revisions will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register in the next few days.

February Celebrates Notable Public Transportation Birthdays
In the span of four days in 1913, the world was introduced to two forces that forever changed public transportation. First was the opening of Grand Central Terminal on Feb. 1, which changed the way New York commuters, vacationers, and recreational riders traveled throughout the city and beyond. Grand Central is celebrating its 100th anniversary with several year-long special events. Four days later,  Rosa Parks was born. Parks' ground-breaking efforts to desegregate public transportation will be honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a commemorative stamp later this year.

SAVE THE DATE


What do changing procedures at FTA, LaHood’s pending retirement, and transportation authorization all have in common? They are just a few of the many things happening in Washington that will affect you. There is no better way to keep your finger on Washington's pulse than to attend APTA’s 2013 Legislative Conference, March 10-12. Plus, you will get a chance to meet newly elected Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Bill Shuster!  

IN THE MEDIA


Midwest Living magazine recognizes a steal when they see one. As a part of its "Best of" edition, the magazine highlights Detroit’s People Mover and its highly cost-effective fare of 75 cents per trip.
 
DART First State welcomed the Kia Soul hamster, star of recent commercials, on one of its hybrid buses to tape a public service announcement campaign to promote the United Way of Delaware’s “Drive to 125” campaign.
 
Los Angeles public transit's new movement to hybrids and electric vehicles is a revival of the region's 1945 heyday, when LA had more than 900 hydro-electric Pacific Electric “Red Cars” operating on more than 1,100 miles.


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