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January 17, 2014
Congress Completes Action on FY 2014 Appropriations

On Thursday evening, the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion appropriations bill that will keep the federal government funded until October 2014. Public transportation fared well under the bill, known as an omnibus. FTA receives the full funding authorized for core formula programs, under MAP-21, at $8.595 billion. The bill now moves to President Obama's desk for signature. For more details, read here

Rogoff and McMillan Appointed to New DOT Positions

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff was appointed to be DOT's acting under secretary for policy on Wednesday. Rogoff will replace Polly Trottenberg, who recently left to be transportation commissioner in New York City. Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan will serve as Acting Administrator. "We thank Peter Rogoff  for his nearly five years of leadership at FTA, where he advanced public transportation throughout the country," said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. "Therese McMillan has been an outstanding FTA Deputy Administrator and has extensive expertise and understanding of public transportation programs.  We look forward to working with her in her new leadership role as Acting Administrator.”   

Congressional Committees Hear Testimony on Reauthorization, High-Speed Rail

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing on Tuesday related to the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs. Representatives from the National Governors Association, Caterpillar Inc., the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Amalgamated Transit Union testified. Also on Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials held a hearing on the status of the California High-Speed Rail project. Witnesses included six members of Congress, personnel from the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Congressional Research Service, and Dan Richard, Chairman of the Board, California High-Speed Rail Authority. On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Banking held a hearing examining a progress report on transportation under MAP-21. Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and others testified.

DOT Secretary Foxx Outlines Transportation Vision

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined his top priorities, highlighting America's infrastructure deficit, on Wednesday. Secretary Foxx was speaking at the Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, which featured panels, readings of research papers, and expert speakers. See the next issue of Passenger Transport for more details.

FTA Announces $24.9 Million for Zero-Emission Buses

FTA announced the availability of $24.9 million for low-emissions buses nationwide. Of that, $21.6 million of the funds are set aside for buses and $3.3 million to support facilities and related equipment. Public transit agencies may use a portion of their annual FTA formula funds to purchase additional vehicles.

Public Transportation on National Transportation Safety Board's 'Most Wanted' List

Improving public transit safety made the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) top 10 advocacy and awareness priorities for 2014, the board announced on Thursday. "Millions of Americans rely on commuter rail, subways and light rail for their daily commute," read the NTSB's statement. "That's why we have the Most Wanted List: Steps we can take today, so that more people make it home tonight."


APTA's Marketing & Communications Workshop will take place Feb. 23-26 in New Orleans; and the Legal Affairs Seminar will be held Feb. 23-25 in Palm Springs; CA. Sign up now!


A Detroit auto convention shows how America is cooling to car culture. Dealers and exhibitors are concerned that younger people are forming a smaller part of the car market, and that Americans of all ages are driving less.

Light rail both saves energy and has lower capital costs.

Riverside, CA may be a car-free city in the future. New buses and streetcars in the neighborhood may make automobiles simply unnecessary.


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