October 13, 2017
At Annual & EXPO, DOT Secretary Chao Stresses Need for Partnerships

DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Buddy Coleman of Clever Devices, at left, during her tour of the EXPO floor. (Photo by Steve Barrett Photography)

U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao highlighted the importance of public transportation and the continued need for collaboration among the federal government, the industry and the public and private sectors in her remarks at the Oct. 11 Closing General Session of the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting. She said the White House is devising a plan to use $200 billion in federal seed money to encourage $1 trillion investment in infrastructure over 10 years and said the plan would mobilize innovative federal, state, local and private sector investment in this area. She gave no timetable for the plan's release.

“Public transit will continue to play an important role in the future of our nation’s infrastructure,” she said. “The Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration are committed to working with you to keep our transit systems safe, reliable and accessible.”

Newly elected APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Immediate Past Chair Doran J. Barnes, Acting President & CEO Richard White and FTA Acting Administrator Jane Williams addressed the Oct. 9 Opening General Session with more than 2,300 people in attendance. EXPO attracted more than 10,000 people.

See more coverage of the Annual Meeting & EXPO, including general sessions and educational sessions, in the next issue of Passenger Transport. Video of the Opening General Session is here.

» The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET), Columbia, SC, seeks an executive director. [More]
» Bi-State Development (Metro), St. Louis, is looking for a director of program development and grants. [More]
» Greater Bridgeport (CT) Transit seeks proposals for architectural, engineering and construction management services for a transit hub. [More]
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Rogoff Testifies Before T&I Subcommittee on Importance of Federal Infrastructure Funding

Peter Rogoff, chief executive officer of Sound Transit in Seattle and former DOT under secretary of transportation for policy and FTA administrator, testified about the local and national importance of infrastructure investment Oct. 11 before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Housing and Transit.

“Nationally, we are on a trajectory where conditions in both the highway and transit modes will only worsen as the century progresses,” Rogoff said. He pointed to “inadequate funding from all levels—federal, state and local” and stated his agency’s support for President Trump’s vision of "crumbling infrastructure … replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways,” while noting concerns about cuts in federal programs and funding levels.

Rogoff emphasized that funding provided through any new initiative “must not just substitute for the base level of funding authorized through the FAST Act and provided through appropriations acts.” Another priority, he said, is to boost funding for public transit expansions in rapidly growing megaregions, which will see the overwhelming majority of population growth in coming decades.

The full text of Rogoff’s testimony is here.

APTA Chair Ford Speaks at New Flyer Opening

In remarks at the Oct. 12 opening of New Flyer's Vehicle Innovation Center in Anniston, AL, APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. discussed how many of his priorities for the year are aligned with the goals of the planned facility—part of a 36-acre, five-building campus—including promoting training and education, and advancing innovation and technology across the public transportation industry.

Paul Soubry, chief executive officer of New Flyer Industries Inc., and Wayne Joseph, president of New Flyer of America, also spoke at the event.


The APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO are over, but APTA has more events on the schedule.

November 29
High Speed Rail Policy Forum
Washington, DC
Register here.

December 4-7
Mid-Year Safety Seminar
Register here.


Fake City, Real Vehicles—The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has created “Mcity,” which NBC News calls “a sort of digital ghost town that replicates almost any environment that today’s motorists—and tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles—might experience.”

Smartphone Fare Payment Worldwide—Technology that could be available in the near future will allow public transit users from around the world to access distant agencies with their smartphones and pay their fares directly. Learn more from Fortune magazine.

The Transit and the Hare
—Passengers on a London double-decker bus may find they’re sharing the ride with a white rabbit who has places to go.

One Last Ride with Mother
—To honor his mother’s use of public transit throughout her 94-year life, a man gave her one final ride on Metro Transit bus and light rail in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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