March 11, 2016
New APTA Study Released on Public Transit and the Knowledge Economy

A new study commissioned by APTA reveals that public transportation investments can yield a 2-to-1 return for local "innovation districts" defined as communities with a cluster of business incubators, startups and anchor institutions (such as academic or research facilities).  Further, public transportation is the catalyst that attracts most knowledge workers to live and work in these high-growth business centers, according to the findings.

In the study titled Public Transportation's Role in the Knowledge Economy, researchers examined public transit's role in three emerging high-tech "innovation districts:" Silicon Beach, CA; Austin, TX; and Research Triangle, NC.  According to the analysis, if these three knowledge-based R&D communities were to fully implement their respective long-range transportation plans by 2035, it would result in:

>   More than $174 billion in cumulative business sales
>   $76.1 billion in wage income
>   $106.5 billion in additional gross domestic product for the US economy

“Ultimately, investment in local public transit helps generate new economic activity and yields a huge profit to local companies in the area,” said APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy. "It also provides tremendous benefits for the entire community, even after subtracting the cost of the ongoing investment in the local public transit system.”

Read the full study on the APTA website here.  Read the press release here.

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Melaniphy Meets with Canadian Advisor

As part of APTA's continuing successful partnerships with Canadian transportation operations, APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy met with Mathieu Bouchard, senior advisor to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, this morning at the APTA offices.  They discussed several issues, including public transportation. Bouchard is in Washington for the Canadian Prime Minister's state visit.

APTA Is Soliciting Comments on Proposed Rules

APTA’s advocacy is in high gear in response to FTA's proposed rules on safety, grant management and equal opportunity employment, all of which are open for public comment. 

>  FTA’s proposed award management circular: This will be the topic of a call at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 17.

>  National and agency safety plans:  More than 100 APTA members participated in an initial call to discuss the proposed safety plans.  A follow-up call will be held at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 21.

>  FTA’s proposed EEO circular: This will be the topic of a call at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 24.

All APTA members are welcome to join any of these calls by dialing (866) 951-1151 and entering conference room 9375720#.  Full details, the proposed rules and draft APTA comments can be viewed by clicking here.

APTA Chair McCall Promotes Collaboration with NLC and AMPO

APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall was in Washington, DC, this week to strengthen working relationships with two national organizations.  She participated in the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional Cities Conference, delivering remarks at the Transportation Infrastructure and Services Federal Advocacy Committee meeting.  Additionally, she addressed the board of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO).

At both venues, McCall talked about the need to be actively involved in implementation of the FAST Act to ensure the new law benefits all cities and communities.  She discussed her signature initiative of collaboration and its importance to the public transportation industry, especially in light of today's demographic shifts and emerging technologies.

At the AMPO board meeting, McCall recognized Todd Lang, a member of AMPO's Policy Board and co-chair of APTA's Metropolitan Planning Subcommittee.  She also cited quarterly stakeholder meetings and performance-based planning peer exchanges as examples of collaboration that can lead to more effective outcomes.

ARTBA Head To Address APTA Legislative Conference

Dr. Peter Ruane, president & CEO of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), will be the breakfast speaker on the first full day of APTA's 2016 Legislative Conference, March 14.  Dr. Ruane has been a strong advocate for increased federal funding to repair and modernize the nation's infrastructure.  ARTBA and APTA worked closely on the FAST Act in 2015 and are currently collaborating on implementation issues,

There's still time to gain an insider's perspective on the Washington scene.  Click here to register for APTA's Legislative Conference.


April 30 - May 3: Transit Board Members & Board Support Seminar
Hilton Palacio del RioSan Antonio, TX
Register now by clicking here.


Public-Private Partnerships Could Help Transit Systems
The Tennessean; March 6

Making Mass Transit Work for Travelers
USA Today; March 7

Public Transportation Benefits Trump Convenience of Cars
Daily Reporter (Greenfield, IN); March 7

How Being a Renter Influences Your Commute
The Atlantic's CITYLAB; March 8

How Lyft and Uber Can Improve Transit Agency Budgets
The Brookings Institution; March 8


“I am thrilled to join the LA Metro team and to return home to LA County. I look forward to helping the people of Los Angeles County travel and thrive in this dynamic region.” 

                                                                                 Departing Acting FTA Administrator Therese McMillan
                                                                                 March 3 

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