September 11, 2015
Congress Returns To Work; Transportation Bill Awaits

Congress returned to work this week from the August recess and turned its attention to a variety of issues including pending surface transportation legislation.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is focused on producing a multi-year authorization bill, but another short-term extension is likely to be necessary before the end of October. The current funding extension runs through Oct. 29.  With a busy agenda in September and October, many of the people involved in the process believe the House will need more time to pass its bill, merge it with the Senate-passed version and reach consensus on a funding mechanism.

APTA is continuing to work closely with key members of Congress as Shuster's committee crafts a multi-year bill in the coming weeks and plans to bring it to a vote in the full House.

Other pending public transit issues:

>  Congress will need to act on appropriations bills before the end of September, most likely in a Continuing Resolution that will be based on the current MAP-21 law.

>  We expect Congress to consider a bill that would extend certain tax provisions, including measures on commuter benefits, alternative fuel tax credits and expansion of those credits to hybrid and electric vehicles.

>  APTA is also continuing to work with Congress to ensure that PTC implementation has necessary funding and achievable deadlines, and that rail service is not interrupted. 

» TransLink, Vancouver, BC, is looking for a president and general manager. [More]
» Portland's Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon has an opening for a chief operating officer. [More]
» The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority seeks proposals for a second generation CAD/AVL communications system. [More]
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BMBG's Washington Fly-In on Buy America Concerns

Representatives of APTA's Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) traveled to Capitol Hill on Sept. 9 to explain our industry's concerns over proposed changes to current Buy America requirements.  The new provisions, which are contained in the six-year surface transportation authorization bill passed by the Senate in late July, would increase from 60 percent to 70 percent the domestic content requirements.

Patrick Scully, chair of the BMBG and senior vice president at Motor Coach Industries, together with APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy, led a delegation that included Paul Smith and Joel Abraman from New Flyer, Jean-Pierre Baracat and Jonathan Miller from Volvo, Jamie Hunter from Bombardier, Tom Webb from BAE and several others.  Emily Foster and Laura Chaase from Cummins were in Washington the previous day to discuss the issue on behalf of their company.

The business leaders and Melaniphy met with Rep. Shuster, conducted a briefing for congressional staff and held meetings with their respective elected representatives in the House and Senate.

Tom Webb, Patrick Scully, Michael Melaniphy, Paul Smith and Jean-Pierre Baracat briefing members of Congress and staff. Not pictured: Joel Abraman, Jamie Hunter and Jonathan Miller.


APTA's Kathy Waters to Retire

Kathy Waters, APTA’s executive vice president for member services, announced that she will retire effective Jan. 8, 2016.  Waters has had a long and distinguished career in transportation that includes posts as deputy administrator at the Maryland Transit Administration, vice president for commuter rail and railroad management at Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and manager and chief operating officer for MARC Train Service in Maryland.

As an APTA member, she was chair of the Commuter Rail Committee and vice chair for commuter and intercity rail on APTA’s Executive Committee.  She also represented APTA for more than 17 years on FRA’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee.

Richard White, Former APTA Chair, Joins APTA

Richard (Dick) White, former APTA chair and public transit executive, has been named vice president for member services by President & CEO Michael Melaniphy.  He will succeed Kathy Waters, who is retiring in January 2016.

Recently with Parsons Corporation, White brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to the position.  He began his career at U.S. DOT and worked at NJ TRANSIT prior to being named CEO for two major public transit systems, first at BART in San Francisco and later at WMATA in Washington.

Having served on APTA's Executive Committee for nine years, including as secretary-treasurer, White has a deep understanding of the association.  He will assume his new position on Sept. 14 and work closely with Waters to ensure a smooth transition.


Oct. 4 - 7: APTA Annual Meeting

Excitement and anticipation are building as we count down the days until APTA's Annual Meeting at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA.

Hotel rooms are filling up quickly. We encourage you to make your reservations in APTA’s block by Tuesday, September 15.  Looking forward to seeing you in the City by the Bay!


Thumbs Up for Busway's UConn Football Connection
Hartford Courant

Riding the Clayton Bus, Destination Humanity
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cruising Toward Oblivion: America's once magical, now mundane, love affair with cars
The Washington Post


On this day of service and remembrance, we pay tribute to the many public transportation employees - and all of the 2,977 victims - who lost their lives on this day in 2001.

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