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June 21, 2013
APTA Testifies Before Congress on Rail Safety

The number one priority of our nation’s commuter railroads is passenger and employee safety, but APTA has concerns on a variety of issues related to Positive Train Control implementation, APTA Executive Vice President, Member Services, Kathy Waters told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on June 19. “Insufficient funding is a significant impediment to implementation for publicly funded railroads,” she said. Also testifying were Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman, and Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ed Hamberger.

Free Congress Releases Report on Public Transportation

The Free Congress Foundation, a conservative organization, released a report on Capitol Hill on June 13 called Transportation and the Economic Health and Attractiveness of Metropolitan Regions. “Overall, the report makes the case that public transportation is an essential strategy for making metropolitan regions attractive to business, appealing to new generations, and critical in priming the pumps of America’s metropolitan economic engines,” APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy said. APTA sponsored the report, continuing its long-term relationship with the foundation. In attendance at the event were James Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia, and Peter Weyrich, Free Congress's Director of Operations. See more details in the July 1 issue of Passenger Transport

APTA Chair Speaks at Mineta Transportation Institute Summit

APTA Chair and New Jersey Transit Board Member Flora Castillo spoke at the 2013 Mineta Summit on Transportation Finance on June 21. Castillo participated on the panel, moderated by former US Deputy Secretary of Transportation Mortimer Downey, alongside MTI's National Transportation Finance Center Director Asha Agrawal, California Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Dougherty, and California High Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales. The panel was introduced by Norman Y. Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

Dump the Pump Day Celebrated Across the Nation

Public transportation systems across the country took part in APTA’s eighth annual National Dump the Pump Day on June 20. The event proved once again to be a huge success, with many local public transit agencies providing riders prizes, games, and special offers. See the July 1 issue of Passenger Transport for more information.


The 2013 APTA Transit Board Members Seminar & Board Support Employee Development Workshop will be held July 20-23 in Austin, TX. The workshop has International Institute of Municipal Clerks approval, which means the workshops for Certified Municipal Clerk and Master Municipal Clerk count as “experience points” in its certification program. Sign up now!


Some NJ Transit commuters will soon be getting Wi-Fi on trains and at stations. Its Board of Directors has approved a 20-year contract with Cablevision for system-wide wireless Internet service that comes free to the agency.

The Chicago area’s population of 60- to 64-year-olds has jumped 19 percent in recent years, presenting a huge opportunity to increase public transit ridership, according to the RTA. These riders may increasingly opt for public transit if they find it difficult to drive or can no longer afford cars. 

TriMet in Portland, OR rescued a deer asleep on one of the service’s tracks on June 10. The small animal woke up and wiggled free before running away safely.

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