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March 15, 2013
APTA Members Advocate for Public Transit at Conference
Nearly 700 public transit leaders got an inside look at federal budget and public transportation issues during APTA’s 38th Legislative Conference, March 10-12. Participants engaged in wide-ranging discussions about public transit and its vital role in the nation’s economy and heard from outgoing DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA), House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and House T&I Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chair Tom Petri (R-WI), among others. In addition, APTA members met face-to-face with individual members of Congress during scheduled Hill visits. In conjunction with the conference, members of the APTA Executive Committee, led by APTA Chair Flora Castillo, met at the White House with administration and DOT officials.

Many of the sessions were covered by C-SPAN and can be accessed through its video archives. Watch for full coverage in the March 25 edition of Passenger Transport.
Ridership Report Shows Continued Gains
APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy announced strong new ridership numbers of 10.5 billion for 2012, 154 million more trips than the previous year: an increase for light rail of 4.5 percent; heavy rail, 1.5 percent; large bus systems; 1 percent; commuter rail, .5 percent; and demand response (paratransit), 4.5 percent. 

Senate Acts to Restore MAP-21 Funding in Continuing Resolution (CR)
The Senate acted this week to amend the House-passed CR for FY 2013 and restore the funding levels authorized in MAP-21.The amended version, offered by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), restored funding for the core public transit formula programs to the higher levels in MAP-21, although sequestration cuts would still impact New Starts and other General Fund programs. Work on the CR is expected to continue on Monday.

While Congress continued its efforts to complete the FY 2013 appropriations, the House and Senate Budget Committees passed their drafts of the FY 2014 budget outlines. Both bodies are expected to consider the non-binding resolutions next week, which may affect how Congress approaches future funding for public transit and highway programs, but are unlikely to impact MAP-21.


APTA's 2013 Rail Conference and International Rail Rodeo are coming up soon! Join industry leaders from around North America May 30-June 5 and learn about all the latest innovations in operations, technology, safety, and security, and visit the industry's premier product and services showcase!


Breaking News: Public transportation rider elected Pope! Pope Francis was known for riding public transportation in his home country of Argentina and eschewed the limo that was normally reserved for the Cardinal.
Two weeks ago we shared a video from Triangle Transit, and this week we can tell you a lot of people have noticed its campaigns! Their #flipfortransit videos have received three national awards -- two Platinum AVA Digital Awards and a Bronze "Telly." All together, Triangle Transit has received six awards in the last two years for its marketing and communications team.
When a group of public transit advocates wants to expand the light rail accessibility in their city, they have to think big. How do you show people what they are missing? By building a fake station. A Florida Atlantic graduate student and other Miami residents created a temporary station along a set of tracks to show the community how life could be with more public transit.

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