June 20, 2014
APTA Rail Conference Concludes in Montreal

The 2014 APTA Rail Conference held in Montreal, QC, June 15-18, was a ringing success, bringing together experts from across the industry to reflect on the past, assess the present, and discuss the future of rail. APTA Chair Peter Varga and President & CEO Michael Melaniphy kicked off the conference, which was attended by more than 1,220 people and co-hosted by the Agence métropolitaine de transport and the Société de transport de Montréal. The Products and Services Showcase at the conference featured more than 70 exhibitors.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) won the prestigious Rail Transit Team Achievement award at the International Rail Rodeo, held in conjunction with the conference. Teams comprised of more than 150 individuals from across North America competed for the honor, which recognized the men and women who keep rail systems up and running every day.

Read more about the conference in the next issue of Passenger Transport.

International Practicum on Innovative Transit Funding and Finance a Major Success

APTA just wrapped up its first-ever International Practicum on Innovative Transit Funding and Finance, held in Montreal, QC, June 12-13, in conjunction with the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the International Association of Public Transport.

The practicum featured speakers and attendees from public transit agencies and businesses in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, and Japan in a program that balanced policy sessions with best practices.

Giving the keynote addresses were George Hazel, author and former member of the UK Secretary of State for Transport’s Steering Group for National Road User Charging, who discussed “Capturing the Value of Public Transportation,” and policy expert Anne Golden, who explored “Breaking the Political Gridlock to Fund Transit: The Toronto Experience.” Golden is chair of the Ontario Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel and a scholar with the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Public Transit Systems Participate in Dump the Pump Day

As of today, a record total of 175 organizations participated in the 9th annual National Dump the Pump Day. 152 public transportation systems and 23 public and private organizations joined the effort. Sponsored by APTA in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the national public awareness day encourages people to save money by using public transit instead of driving.

APTA also just released its Transit Savings Report, which found that individuals who use public transportation instead of driving cars can save, on average, more than $849 this month. The average annual savings for public transit riders is $10,187 a year, the report states.

Senators Offer Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Account Funding Proposal

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) have jointly released a proposal for increasing both the federal gasoline and diesel taxes by 6 cents in each of the next two years for a total increase of 12 cents. Additionally, the proposal would index the gas tax to inflation, using the Consumer Price Index. Finally, to alleviate concerns on raising taxes, the additional revenue raised for the Highway Trust Fund would be offset in other areas. “APTA applauds Senators Bob Corker and Chris Murphy for proposing a long-term solution that would ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and provide the funding needed to preserve and maintain our existing surface transportation system," said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy in a statement.


Early bird registration closes on June 27 for APTA's 2014 Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop, August 3-5, in Boston. The workshop will focus on the unique multimodal connections in the Boston region, sustainability and mobility plans for multi-regional entities (including large institutions), and innovations in green design and mobility. Sign up now!


Public transit agencies urge you to Dump the Pump.

The new executive director of Texas DOT says that young people are indifferent to getting their driver's licenses. 

With proper funding, America's infrastructure can be improved swiftly.


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