September 8, 2017
Hurricane Update: Irma and Harvey

As Hurricane Irma raged through the Caribbean Sept. 7 on its way to Florida, APTA is monitoring public transit preparations in that state and the Southeastern U.S.

APTA's director of security, risk and emergency management, Polly Hanson, has surveyed public transportation operations in Florida and assembled a summary of the latest information on planned shutdowns. Many systems will end operations upon the arrival of tropical force winds, or continuous 39 mph winds.

The summary of Florida system information is here.

Also, Chatham Area Transit (CAT), Savannah, GA, announced its role in the evacuation order issued to residents of Chatham County. CAT buses operate on a regular schedule today and will provide free service tomorrow, transporting residents to the Civic Center evacuation staging area.

Public transit agencies follow the FEMA process in assessing their needs and in seeking assistance. Hanson will stay in contact with the affected transit properties. You can learn more about FTA's involvement in relief efforts here.

Relief Efforts Following Harvey

South West Transit Association (SWTA) Executive Director Kristen Joyner reported that donations are already on their way to transit workers along the Texas Gulf Coast. Individuals and organizations who need help coordinating donations to Hurricane Harvey survivors can contact her at or 817-295-3663.

» The Macon-Bibb County (GA) Transit Authority seeks a president/CEO. [More]
» The Spokane (WA) Transit Authority is looking for a chief operations officer. [More]
» The Yolo County (CA) Transportation District requests proposals for exterior bus advertising services. [More]
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DOT Secretary Chao to Address APTA Annual Meeting

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao will speak about the administration’s priorities and the future of public transportation at APTA’s Annual Meeting & EXPO on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 11:30 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center. One of the issues the secretary will address is the administration’s principles for developing an infrastructure initiative by the end of this year.

Thousands of public transportation professionals will participate in the meeting and EXPO, hosted by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Register now.

Chao also will tour the EXPO floor, where more than 800 exhibitors will be gathered on the more than 290,000-square-foot space. The EXPO, held every three years in conjunction with APTA's Annual Meeting, is the largest showcase for public transportation technology, products and services in North America.

APTA Letter Comments on Transportation Appropriations

APTA sent a letter Sept. 6 to members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressing its views on potential amendments to the FY 2018 appropriations bill for transportation programs, which the House is considering this week. APTA expressed support for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program and opposition to possible cuts in funding to public transportation and rail programs. Read the letter here.

APTA Leaders Meet with White House Infrastructure Official

APTA Chair Doran Barnes, right, and APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White, left, along with Legislative Committee Vice Chair Diana Mendes and Vice President for Policy Art Guzzetti, not shown, met Sept. 1 with D.J. Gribbin, special assistant to the president for infrastructure policy. The discussion covered various issues of importance to the White House, including an infrastructure initiative, permitting, regulatory reform, public-private partnerships and maximizing transit earnings from real estate and value capture. APTA emphasized the importance of federal investment in public transit and followed up with a letter in support of regulatory reform.

$500 Million Available in FY 2017 TIGER Grants

On Sept. 7, DOT published a notice in the Federal Register inviting public transit agencies to apply by Oct. 16 for $500 million in FY 2017 TIGER Discretionary Grants—with a maximum grant award of $25 million and no more than $50 million for a single state.

The notice text is available here.

The FY 2017 TIGER program will give special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure conditions, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness.

Funds for the program will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region. The selection criteria remain fundamentally the same as previous rounds of TIGER Discretionary Grants, but the description of each criterion has been updated.

Applications must be submitted through Further information is available here.

DOT Webinars on TIGER Topics

Also, U.S. DOT has scheduled three two-hour webinars covering various aspects of the TIGER application process: How to Compete for TIGER Grants, Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Tuesday, Sept. 19, and Preparing a Benefit Cost Analysis for a TIGER Application, Monday, Sept. 18.

All three webinars begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time. For more information and to register, click here.

Sept. 19 Webinar on TCRP Park-and-Ride Planning

The Transportation Research Board is hosting a free two-hour webinar Sept. 19, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern time, focusing on Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 192, Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation: Guidebook on Planning and Managing Park-and-Ride. Presenters will discuss the research that provides public transit agencies with a resource to better plan and manage their park-and-ride facilities by incorporating improved strategies and best practices. Register here.

Also, the National Transit Institute is hosting a 90-minute webinar on the findings of TCRP Synthesis 123: Onboard Camera Applications for Buses Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. Register here.


Join more than 12,000 attendees and more than 800 exhibitors from around the globe at the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO, Oct. 8-11 in Atlanta. See more than 50 buses, one full-size railcar and multiple mockup railcars on more than 290,000 net square feet of exhibition space in the Georgia World Congress Center. Register now!


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Bright Lights, Big City
—This animated map tracks San Francisco public transit travel patterns in a rainbow of colors.

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