January 15, 2016
DOT Secretary Foxx Outlines Infrastructure Vision

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined DOT's priorities on Jan. 13, highlighting America's infrastructure deficit and identifying ways to use innovation and improved planning to stretch transportation dollars.  He spoke at the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

"If we're going to tackle our backlog of repairing and rebuilding, then there's another part of the equation we have to tackle, too — and that's cost," Foxx said.  "But what if we could make that funding equal more projects — and better ones?"

Foxx touted DOT's Every Day Counts initiative and other cost-saving policies as examples of how transportation dollars could be spent more effectively.  He cited a study by management consultancy McKinsey & Company that found nations can "obtain the same amount of infrastructure for 40 percent less" just by adopting a variety of best practices.  In calling for a new national transportation plan, Foxx encouraged leaders from different modes of transportation to work together as a reflection of how travelers use the system, rather than operating in silos.

DOT has built or improved 6,500 miles of rail corridors, Foxx reported.  He also credited the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with having improved nearly 42,000 miles of roads and 2,700 bridges and with helping to purchase or modernize more than 12,220 transit vehicles.

To read Secretary Foxx's speech as delivered, click here.

» The Utah Transit Authority is looking for a president & CEO. [More]
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» The Lawton Area Transit System seeks proposals for procurement of seven 30-foot diesel buses. [More]
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APTA Has High Profile at TRB Meeting

APTA's members had a high-profile presence at the TRB's 95th Annual Meeting, Jan. 10-14 in Washington, DC.  APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy delivered luncheon remarks on Jan. 12 that summarized the association's achievements in 2015 and issues facing public transportation in 2016 and beyond.  APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall and Vice Chair Doran Barnes also participated in TRB-related events.

APTA senior staff members made presentations on high-performance rail, safety and security, communications and marketing, and APTA-sponsored research projects.

More than 12,000 transportation professionals from around the world attended this year's meeting.  Spanning all modes of mobility, over 800 sessions covered topics that included public health, security, autonomous vehicles and transformative technologies.

NTSB Releases Annual "Most Wanted" Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released on Jan. 13 this year's "10 Most Wanted" list of transportation safety improvements.  With the exception of "aviation flight control," all of the NTSB issues have relevance to the public transportation sector, including ending distractions, fatigue and substance impairment, strengthening occupant/rider protections, expanding the use of recorders, requiring medical fitness testing and promoting collision avoidance technologies.

Two issues on the list — improving rail transit oversight and completing rail safety initiatives — have special importance to public transit.  The NTSB said that "rail transit systems must constantly be monitored and improved to maintain and enhance safety" and "implementation of Positive Train Control ... can prevent collisions and derailments."

The NTSB publicizes its list of safety priorities every year to increase awareness and promote solutions.  The entire list with detailed descriptions of each improvement can be viewed at: www.ntsb.gov/mostwanted.

APTA Sponsors Two Webinars on the FAST Act

APTA's government affairs team has scheduled two webinars to help members better understand the provisions of the recently enacted "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act."

On Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. (Eastern), congressional staff will provide an overview of the major public transit provisions of the new law.  To register, click here.

On Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. (Eastern), congressional staff will lead an in-depth discussion on the major passenger rail provisions.  To register, click here.

FTA Offers ADA Training in Webinar Series

FTA's Office of Civil Rights will host a series of webinars on how to address the agency's ADA Circular requirements.  Each hour-long session will provide detailed information on the ADA as well as suggestions on how to make public transportation services more accessible.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

The first webinar in the series — ADA General Requirements, Oversight and Monitoring — will take place Jan. 20, 2-3 p.m. (Eastern).  Topics will include crosscutting non-discrimination requirements that apply to various service types as well as guidance on oversight, complaints and monitoring.  To register, click here.

Dates and times for future webinars will be announced later.


>  March 13-15:  APTA Legislative Conference, Washington, DC
    Learn what’s in the FAST Act and how you can benefit from the new five-year law.
    To register, click here.

>  May 15-18:  Bus & Paratransit Conference, Charlotte, NC
    Just opened!  Online registration is now available. Click here.


NYC Subway Upgrades to be Millennial-friendly, Cuomo says
AM New York; Jan. 8

Uber Pushes into Public Transit with New App Partnership
Reuters.com; Jan. 11

LA Revives Plan for Green Line Extension ("one of the biggest gaps in the region's public transit system")
The Los Angeles Times; Jan. 11

Metro Cities with the Best Public Transit
Chron.com; Jan. 12


"You know in the movie 'The Graduate'?  Dustin Hoffman was having a discussion with a wise man about the future who says, 'Plastics is the future.'  You know what the future is?  Mass transportation!"

                                                                      NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, announcing plans for a
                                                                      public transit system "befitting a great world capital"
                                                                      Jan. 8



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