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November 22, 2013
Senate and House Budget Conferees Continue to Work on Budget

Senate and House budget conferees continue to work toward a FY 2014 budget deal by the December 13 deadline.  APTA recently sent a letter to the conferees urging them to take into account the looming revenue shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Account during their current discussions.

Separately, Congress has still not addressed the commuter tax benefit and the alternative fuels tax credit, which will expire at the end of 2013.  APTA is urging its members to contact their members of Congress to urge their support of both provisions. For more details, see APTA's Legislative Alert.

Cities With Rail-Airport Connection Boost Hotel Revenue

Hotels in cities with direct rail access from downtown to airport terminals receive nearly 11 percent more revenue per room than hotels in cities without a rail-airport connection, according to a study released this week by APTA and the U.S. Travel Association. The study reveals that higher revenue per room translates to a potential $313 million in revenue per year for cities with rail-airport connections.  APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy, who spoke at an event marking the release of the study, said, "For our nation's great cities to be more competitive and command higher hotel room rates, we must seize the opportunity to invest in our local rail systems and interconnect these high-demand airports to our American cites' world-class amenities."  More details on the report will be available in the next issue of Passenger Transport. 

APTA Holds Webinar on DOT's ANPRM

On Nov. 21, APTA held the latest in its series of webinars designed to craft the association's position on FTA's expansive Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on safety, state of good repair, and transit asset management programs.  To date, more than 500 APTA members have participated in the webinar series.  The final webinar is scheduled for Dec. 11, and comments are due to FTA on Jan. 2, 2014. 

APTA Chief Counsel James LaRusch noted, "We cannot overemphasize the importance of APTA members filing individual organizational comments, as well as providing input to the APTA comments."  The Federal Regulations page at www.apta.com includes a collection of documents designed to assist in this process, including draft overarching and question-specific comments from webinars to date, introductory PowerPoint presentations, and key resources. 


Make your reservations now to attend one of APTA's early 2014 events. February will feature the Transit CEOs Seminar in New Orleans, LA, Feb. 8-11; the Legal Affairs Seminar in Palm Springs, CA, Feb. 23-25; and the Marketing & Communications Workshop in New Orleans, LA, Feb. 23-26.


Electric streetcars are experiencing a renaissance around the country. More than 30 streetcar systems are planned or have been completed in recent years.

Bus Rapid Transit has transformed Cleveland in just five short years, according to the CEO of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Joseph Calabrese, who said this success can be replicated anywhere. 

A survey of thousands of Washington state residents found that the vast majority would be willing to spend more on transportation. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed said they would be willing to consider increased taxes and fees to make sure transportation, including public transit, is adequately funded.

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