August 11, 2017
Annual Meeting General Session to Explore Public Transit's Future

The public transit landscape is changing rapidly, as shifting demographics and rapidly evolving technology are converging to drive innovation and shape the future of the industry--a theme that will take center stage at the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO Opening General Session, Monday, Oct. 9, in Atlanta.

Joseph Coughlin, founder and director of MIT's AgeLab, calls this trend "disruptive demographics," which is the focus of his keynote remarks at the session. APTA leaders, including Chair Doran J. Barnes, Vice Chair Nathaniel Ford Sr. and Acting President & CEO Richard White will also share their insights at the session. Find details at and register now.

» The St. Cloud Metropolitan Transit Commission, St. Cloud, MN, seeks a chief operations officer. [More]
» Santa Cruz Metro, Santa Cruz, CA, is looking for a human resources manager. [More]
» The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority seeks proposals for track renovation. [More]
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Senate Confirms Two Transportation-Related Nominees

The U.S. Senate confirmed Robert L. Sumwalt as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Aug. 3. Sumwalt, an NTSB member since 2006, was previously acting chairman and vice chairman. He succeeds Christopher Hart, who remains a member of the board. Before joining NTSB, Sumwalt was a commercial pilot for more than three decades.

In addition, David Pekoske, former vice commandant for the U.S. Coast Guard, was sworn in as the 7th TSA administrator. He will oversee approximately 60,000 employees and security operations at public transit systems, railroads, airports and other critical infrastructure.


FRA, FMCSA Withdraw Advance NPRM on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

On Aug. 4, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and FRA withdrew the March 10, 2016, advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the prevalence of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea among individuals occupying safety-sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation and its potential safety consequences. The agencies stated that they believe current safety programs and FRA’s rulemaking addressing fatigue risk management are the appropriate avenues to address this situation.

$5.7 Million FASTLANE Grant for Akron Metro Program

U.S. DOT has awarded a $5.7 million Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant to Akron, OH, for construction of two grade separations that will replace at-grade crossings affecting Metro Regional Transit Authority service and freight rail. Metro RTA is refurbishing the rail line to accommodate 10 daily passenger rail trips in the corridor in addition to daily freight rail crossings.

APTA Holds Conferences on Risk Management, Sustainability, Planning

APTA members gathered this week for two specialized conferences, the Risk Management Seminar in San Diego and the first-ever combined Sustainability and Multimodal Planning Workshop in Minneapolis. Risk Management Seminar participants learned about Safety Management System principles from FTA's Lynn Spencer and explored other topics related to risk assessment and the insurance market. The Sustainability and Multimodal Planning Workshop included reports from several standards working groups, tours by host system Metro Transit and a report from FTA's Vince Valdes, as well as the announcement of the APTA members who achieved higher levels in the Sustainability Commitment. See the list in the Aug. 21 Passenger Transport.


2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO
Oct. 8-11

Register now to get the lowest registration fee; early discount ends Aug. 11!


Infrastructure on Front Burner? Senior members of two Senate committees are exploring ways to kickstart an infrastructure bill later this summer or fall, even as congressional leaders discuss tabling such a bill in favor of tax reform and immigration, according to this article in The Hill.

Wait and See:
In more news related to an infrastructure bill, state and municipal governments have issued fewer bonds to improve systems, says this Reuters story, which calls the decline “discouraging news for commuters, travelers and the transportation industry that must contend with a yawning gap of new projects and maintenance.”

Under Foot: What do New York subway stations look like from a below-ground perspective? Scroll through these new “x-ray maps” that illustrate the complexity of a few MTA New York City Transit subway stations relative to their surrounding above-ground cityscapes.

Faster than a Speeding Bullet: Even the fabled hyperloop wouldn't change the typical commuting time for most U.S. workers, according to the American Community Survey. Rather, say experts, super-fast trains would enable people to "consume more space" by living farther from work and destination spots. Read more in this New York Times article.



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