May 9, 2014
More Than 750 Participants Attend APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference

More than 750 participants gathered May 4-7 in Kansas City, MO, for the 2014 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, hosted by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA). The Opening General Session, on May 4, included remarks by APTA Chair Peter Varga, CEO of The Rapid (Grand Rapids, MI), APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy, and KCATA General Manager Mark Huffer. Other conference highlights included educational sessions, the Bus Display, and the Products and Services Showcase. See the next issue of Passenger Transport for more details.

First-place winners of the 2014 International Bus Roadeo were: Grand Champion Award, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia, PA), for the second consecutive year; operator, 35-foot bus competition, Gabe Beliz, Ben Franklin Transit (Richland, WA); 40-foot bus competition, Gabe Fernds, Spokane Transit Authority (Spokane, WA); and maintenance team, VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, TX).

APTA's 2014 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards were also announced:

Bus systems with fewer than four million passenger trips annually: Gold Award for Safety, Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority (Parkersburg, WV); Certificate of Merit for Safety, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (Burnsville, MN).

Bus systems with more than four million and fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually: Gold Award for Safety and Gold Award for Security, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro (Cincinnati, OH), the first agency ever to receive both; Certificate of Merit for Safety, Transit Authority of River City (Louisville, KY).

Bus systems with 20 million or more passenger trips annually: Gold Award for Safety, Pace Suburban Bus (Arlington Heights, IL); Certificate of Merit for Safety, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Washington, DC); Gold Award for Security, Maryland Transit Administration (Baltimore, MD); Certificate of Merit for Security, MTA New York City Transit (New York, NY).

Private companies providing contracted transportation management and services: Gold Award for Safety, National Express Transit, Solano County Transit (Vallejo, CA).

» NJ TRANSIT is seeking a Deputy General Manager, Safety & Training. See more
» Chapel Hill Transit seeks an Assistant Director - Operations. See more.
» South Bend Public Transportation has an immediate opening for an Operations Manager. See more.
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House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY2015 THUD Bill

In a markup May 7, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development approved, by voice vote and with no amendments, its Fiscal Year 2015 appropriations bill. The bill provides funding for DOT, among other agencies.

The bill would largely continue the MAP-21 authorized funding levels for core programs, even though MAP-21 expires Sept. 30. However, the bill reduces New Starts by $252 million - $1.943 billion in FY14 to $1.691 billion in FY15 - and $819 million below the administration's request. The funding level for the New Starts program would only provide funding for current full funding grant agreements; no new agreements could be signed.

The bill now moves to the full House Appropriations Committee.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on HTF

The Senate Finance Committee met May 6 for a hearing on funding and financing for highways and transit. Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) named his two priorities: 1) addressing the short-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund while identifying a reliable and stable revenue source to ensure the long-term health of the fund; and 2) drawing private capital off the sidelines and into public infrastructure.

Emphasizing the costs of inaction, Wyden said that $10 billion in additional revenues are needed to shore up the HTF through the end of 2014; an additional $8 billion would support it through FY15.

Testifying at the hearing, Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced that she and EPW Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA) are preparing to mark up a draft surface transportation authorization bill as early as next week. 

APTA Provides Breakdown of GROW AMERICA Act

APTA's latest Legislative Alert includes analysis of the administration's surface transportation proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act. The breakdown provides information about the plan's designs for the Highway Trust Fund, the Bus and Bus Facilities Program, the Rapid Growth Area Transit Program, and other initiatives.

Michigan Residents Approve Public Transit Improvement Plan

In Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, MI, on May 6, more than 70 percent of voters approved the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's plan to expand public transit services. The 0.7-mill tax is expected to generate nearly $4.4 million in new annual revenue for the agency, helping to fund a 44 percent expansion of public transit services.


On June 19, join APTA and the public transportation industry as we celebrate the 9th Annual National Dump the Pump Day. The day is set aside to encourage people to ride public transportation and save money instead of driving a car. APTA has developed an online toolkit to assist members.


The millennial generation is shifting commuter patterns by using public transit in increasing numbers, writes APTA Chair Peter Varga in USA Today.

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said on May 6 that a bankruptcy in the Highway Trust Fund would cost the country 700,000 construction jobs.

Congress needs to pass a transportation bill, because it will create jobs and repair our nation's crumbling infrastructure. 

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