January 19, 2018
Funding for Federal Government Remains Uncertain

As this issue of Passenger Transport Express went to press, the federal government was heading toward a potential shutdown. While the House secured votes Thursday night to keep the government funded under a Continuing Resolution for four more weeks, the Senate has yet to vote.

Funding for the federal government runs out at midnight tonight. If there's no spending plan in place by then, the government will begin shutting down non-essential operations. Continue to follow Passenger Transport Express, Passenger Transport and the APTA website for updates.

» The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority seeks a chief executive officer. [More]
» The Maryland Transit Administration is looking for a director of transit operations and chief operations officer. [More]
» The Yuma County (AZ) Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority requests proposals for operations and maintenance of fixed-route and demand-response service. [More]
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APTA Echoes U.S. Chamber's Call to Modernize Transportation Infrastructure

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted "America’s Infrastructure Summit: Time to Modernize," Jan. 18, convening business leaders, policymakers and other experts to discuss the modernization of infrastructure in the U.S. APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas attended.

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue outlined a four-point plan that explicitly mentions public transportation as a priority. It also includes a proposal to increase the federal motor vehicle fuel user fee [gas tax] by five cents a year in each of the next five years for a total of 25 cents. “It’s time to invest in a 21st-century infrastructure system to support and grow our 21st-century economy,” he said.

Skoutelas said in a news release: “As the Trump administration and Congress focus on investing in the nation’s infrastructure, APTA stands with the U.S. Chamber, the business community, and other transportation organizations in addressing the urgent need to modernize America’s aging surface transportation infrastructure. APTA supports increasing the federal gas tax to provide for sustained and dedicated revenues.” Read the full statement here.

APTA Participates at National Governors Association Transportation Summit

The National Governors Association held a transportation innovation summit "Ahead of the Curve: Innovation Governors," Jan. 9-12 in Henderson, NV. APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. and Vice President – Policy Art Guzzetti participated.

The summit focused on transformations in transportation, including electric drive vehicles, self-driving vehicles, drones and ridesharing applications. Ford met with executives from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada and with manufacturers of several self-driving systems. He also rode the automated Navya transit shuttle operated on the streets of downtown Las Vegas by Keolis.

Amtrak President Updates State Officials on Safety Initiatives

Amtrak President and CEO Richard H. Anderson last week wrote to Washington State DOT Secretary Roger Millar and Oregon DOT Director Matthew Garrett, outlining Amtrak’s actions in response to the derailment of a Cascades train near Tacoma, WA, Dec. 18.

As detailed in the letter, Amtrak’s immediate actions include instituting safety stand-down sessions and hiring a new executive vice president and chief safety officer, while mid- and long-term initiatives include implementation of PTC across the entire Amtrak Cascades route and developing a new safety management system. Read the entire letter here.

DOT Seeks Public Comment on Automated Vehicles

DOT has published notices for public comment as part of its efforts to release Federal Automated Vehicle Policy (FAVP) 3.0, a unified, intermodal approach to automated driving systems (ADS) policy. Three agencies are seeking input to identify barriers to innovation and shape initiatives. Comments requested by FTA are the most pertinent for public transportation. Other comments were requested by FHWA and NHTSA.

FTA comments:

“Autonomous vehicle technologies will have a tremendous impact on society in terms of safety, mobility and security,” DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao said. “Getting input from the public will help identify which departmental regulations need to be updated and changed to encourage innovation.” Subsequent notices for public comments, as part of FAVP 3.0, will be published on the DOT website and in the Federal Register.

Public Transit Users Can Save $825 a Month Over Driving

APTA's January Transit Savings Report shows that people who use public transit and live with one car fewer in a two-person household could save an average of $825 a month or $9,900 a year. Click here to see the savings in the top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership.

Make plans to attend this upcoming APTA event:

Legislative Conference
March 18-20, 2018
Washington, DC

APTA's Legislative Conference provides members with the opportunity to shape industry positions and federal transportation policy and to participate in advocacy activities with members of Congress, administration officials and Washington opinion makers.


CNBC Uses APTA Stats to Rank 20 Finalists for Amazon's Second Headquarters—CNBC looks at key criteria Amazon laid out to cities and states, including direct access to rail, metro and bus routes.

Innovative Program Helps Prepare Trainees for Jobs as Track Workers—Career-seeking students are attending the Cypress Mandela Training Center in Oakland for railroad-specific content provided by BART. Five have already been hired.

Spot the Art on the TTC—Toronto Transit Commission customers will notice something different about two streetcars and two subway stations. In anticipation of internationally renowned artist Yayoi Kusama’s upcoming exhibit, parts of the system are being taken over by polka dots.

MCTS Driver Recognized for 'Compassion'—Milwaukee Common Council recently recognized Milwaukee County Transit System driver Tayetta Currin for helping a woman who was going into labor on Christmas Eve. Currin was driving on the snowy day when she saw a woman in need of help.

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