May 12, 2017
Reno Welcomes APTA Bus Conference & Roadeo

APTA held a successful Bus & Paratransit Conference and International Bus Roadeo in Reno, NV, May 5-10.  APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, opened the conference and thanked Lee Gibson, executive director, RTC of Washoe County, and his staff for hosting the conference. Barnes told the audience how "important they are to the people in their communities and throughout the country" saying that "where public transportation goes, community grows." 

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) greeted attendees at the opening reception on Sunday. At the Opening General session on Monday, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve and Sparks Mayor Pro Tem and Chair of the RTC Board Ron Smith welcomed APTA and stressed the importance of public transit investment in communities throughout the nation. U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) spoke about the political climate in Washington and urged attendees to have their voices heard on Capitol Hill. U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) sent videotaped greetings. Gibson encouraged attendees to experience his system's services while in Reno.

APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White presented an overview of APTA's ongoing advocacy efforts in Washington, including the good news that just prior to the conference Congress had approved full funding for FTA programs at or above the levels authorized in the original FAST Act for FY17.  "The is a great victory for public transportation, but we must continue to fight for full funding in the FY18 budget and for an infrastructure initiative," White said.

Conference highlights included a session with FTA Executive Director Matt Welbes and other FTA representatives, the Products & Services Showcase with 135 exhibitors, a Bus Display with 28 vehicles, the largest ever bus roadeo, and sessions on such issues as automated bus shuttles, reimagining bus service, new strategies for building and retaining ridership, and partnerships with new technology companies. More coverage of the conference will appear in the next issue of Passenger Transport.

The International Bus Roadeo top winners are:
>  Overall Excellence
    -  Grand Champion — Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO
    -  2nd Place Honors — Oahu Transit, Honolulu, HI
    -  3rd Place Honors — Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County, CA
>  40-foot Bus Operator, 1st Place — Kyle Jones, Riverside Transit Agency, Riverside, CA
>  35-foot Bus Operator, 1st Place — Douglas Rego, Oahu Transit, Honolulu, HI
>  Maintenance Team, 1st Place — Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO

The Customer Service Challenge winner was:

>  Benito Zavalza, OMNITRANS, San Bernardino, CA

APTA also announced the following winners of the 2017 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards:

GOLD Awards for Safety:
> San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, San Diego, CA (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Greater Bridgeport Transit, Bridgeport, CT (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)
> Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority, Birmingham, AL (fewer than 4 million trips annually)

GOLD Award for Security:
> Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)

Certificates of Merit for Safety Excellence:
> Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland, OH (more than 20 million trips annually) 
> Maryland Transit Administration, Baltimore, MD (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)

Certificates of Merit for Security: 
> Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago, IL (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, Dayton, OH (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)
> Southwest Ohio Transit Authority (Metro), Cincinnati, OH (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)

» Laketran seeks a general manager. [More]
» New Jersey Transit is looking for a director, safety rail. [More]
» King County requests proposals for paratransit access services. [More]
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APTA Members Approve New Governance Bylaws

More than the required two-thirds of voting APTA members have approved major changes in the association's governance bylaws. APTA Chair Doran Barnes made the announcement at the start of the 2017 Bus & Paratransit Conference in Reno, NV.

"Ensuring we have a balanced, representative and effective governance structure is the first step in making our association stronger, more unified and inclusive," said Barnes.

The most significant modifications to the bylaws: 1) define clear responsibilities for the board as the strategic governing body and the executive committee as the operational governing body; 2) expand the executive committee from 18 to 25 members, ensuring representation of key segments of APTA's membership as well as at-large seats; and 3) reaffirm the necessity and desirability of a large, broad-based board.

The successful adoption of the bylaws changes concludes a nearly year-long effort that began with recommendations proposed by a task force established by Immediate Past Chair Valarie J. McCall and chaired by Nuria I. Fernandez, general manager, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. David Stackrow, chairman, Capital District Transportation Authority, and Chuck Wochele, managing partner/owner, TransitConsult LLC, co-chaired the task force.


June 11-14:  Rail Conference
Hilton Baltimore Baltimore, MD
To register for the Rail Conference, click here.

June 8-11:  International Rail Rodeo
Hilton Baltimore Baltimore, MD
For more information or to register for this competition, click here.


Transit and Mobility’s Ecosystem: Public transportation is the backbone of our emerging mobility ecosystem, making it more important to America’s future than ever, writes APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White in Brink, part of the Atlantic media companies.

The Average Joe: Average American families spend 53 percent of their income on four expenses, including transportation. This article from The Motley Fool cites APTA’s monthly transit savings report—which details how much money taking transit saves riders—in its cost-cutting advice.

Mutual Friends: This blog post from Remix explores the interdependent partnership between strong cities and strong public transit.

All Dressed Up … and definitely someplace to go. About 1,000 prom-going high school students in LA eschewed a raffle to win a free limo ride and opted for a Metrolink train instead.


"I encourage you to go to Congress. Continue to be proactive in terms of what you think should or could be appropriate solutions. The challenge at the end of the day is to get the policy right."

                                                                                            U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV)
                                                                                            May 8


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