May 11, 2018
Tampa Welcomes APTA Bus Conference & Roadeo

APTA's successful Bus & Paratransit Conference and International Bus Roadeo attracted 1,838 attendees to Tampa, FL, May 6-9. APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer of the Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority, opened the conference and thanked Jeff Seward, interim chief executive officer, Hillsborough Area Regional Transport (HART); Brad Miller, chief executive officer, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA); and their staffs for hosting the conference and roadeo.

Conference highlights included an FTA session featuring Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams, who discussed federal funding for public transportation and the agency’s support for industry innovation; the Products & Services Showcase and Bus Display with 135 vendors and 20 vehicles; the International Bus Roadeo; and sessions on topics including such new bus technologies as zero-emission engines and automated vehicles, the role of transportation during emergencies, how public transit can deal with human trafficking, and procurement issues. Click here to view NBC News Ch8 coverage of the event.

Reinforcing public transit’s leading role in the shifting transportation paradigm, Ford remarked how: “We are going through one of the most transformative periods in our industry since the advent of the automobile. New service models, private rideshare companies and innovative technologies like autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles will redefine how we operate, how we think and how we serve our communities.” View a Fox 13 News interview with Ford at the International Bus Roadeo here.

APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas noted that this was one of the largest turnouts in anybody’s memory for an APTA Bus Conference. Skoutelas told the audience that public transportation is a healthy, vitally important and growing industry. “Very few people realize the enormity of what public transportation does on a daily basis to get people where they need to go,” he said.

At the Opening General Session on Monday, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Florida state Sen. Jeffrey Brandes (R) welcomed APTA, joining Seward and Miller. Keynote speaker Gabe Klein discussed the trends that are defining a new role for public transportation, and highlighted critical issues to be addressed by public transit leaders including innovation, communication, collaboration, complete streets policies and more.

The International Bus Roadeo top winners are:
> Overall Excellence
 - Grand Champion — Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
 - 2nd Place Honors — Orange County (CA) Transportation Authority
 - 3rd Place Honors — AC Transit, Oakland, CA
> 40-foot Bus Operator, 1st Place — Kevin Grady, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
> 35-foot Bus Operator, 1st Place — Jeremiah Gardner, Greater Lynchburg (VA) Transit Company
> Maintenance Team, 1st Place — Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA

The Customer Service Challenge winner was:
> John Ybarra of the Norwalk (CA) Transit System

APTA also announced the following winners of the 2018 Bus Safety & Security Excellence Awards:

GOLD Awards for Safety:
> Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Santa Monica’s (CA) Big Blue Bus (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)
> Knoxville (TN) Area Transit (fewer than 4 million trips annually)

GOLD Awards for Security:
> Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority/Metro, Cincinnati (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)

Certificates of Merit for Safety Excellence:
> Metro Transit, Minneapolis-St. Paul (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Palm Tran, West Palm Beach, FL (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)
> Lee County Transit, Fort Myers, FL (fewer than 4 million trips annually)

Certificates of Merit for Security:
> King County Metro Transit Division/DOT, Seattle (more than 20 million trips annually)
> Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY (more than 4 million and fewer than 20 million trips annually)

More coverage of APTA’s 2018 Bus & Paratransit Conference will appear in the May 21 issue of Passenger Transport.

» Link Transit is looking for a safety and training officer. [More]
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» Valley Metro requests proposals for RideChoice management services. [More]
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FTA Apportionments

FTA has posted online its annual apportionments. FTA apportionments distribute $13.4 billion for public transportation in fiscal year 2018 pursuant to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141, Division L). The funding includes formula and competitive funding for FTA grant recipients.

National Infrastructure Week Coming Up!

APTA is an affiliate organization in the fifth annual National Infrastructure Week, May 14-21. This week of events, media coverage, education and advocacy efforts is designed to elevate infrastructure, including public transportation, as a critical issue impacting all Americans.

Other participating organizations include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Building America's Future and the AFL-CIO. National Infrastructure Week will provide an opportunity for your local system or business to continue to call attention to the urgent need to invest, maintain and expand public transportation.

APTA's National Infrastructure Week resources can be found here. If you would like to share your activities, please contact Chad Chitwood at or 202-496-4841.


What will it take to make the cities of tomorrow both smarter and safer? Building safety into Intelligent Transportation Systems. Intelligent transportation Systems are transforming the way people and goods move through busy cities and traffic corridors. And they’re also paving the way to a safer future. Get the whitepaper to learn more.

Another State Achieves SSO Certification

FTA has announced that West Virginia has obtained federal certification of its rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) Program, in advance of an April 15, 2019, deadline.

West Virginia joins Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Utah, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Virginia and Colorado in meeting the deadline for FTA certification, bringing the total to 12 out of 30 states or territories with rail transit systems.

Federal law requires states with rail transit systems in the engineering or construction phase of development or in operation to obtain FTA certification of their SSO programs by April 15, 2019. If a state fails to meet the deadline, FTA is prohibited by law from awarding any new federal transit funds to public transit agencies within the state until certification is achieved.

Rescission Request Affects Public Transportation

The administration has proposed to rescind $15.4 billion from 38 prior-year appropriations, including $100 million of public transit formula grants and intercity passenger rail competitive grants. The president also proposes to rescind $179 million of prior-year highway funding. Rescissions are cuts to Federal funding.

On May 9, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced the administration's rescission package as H.R. 3, the "Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act". The House may consider the bill in the near future.

As noted in a recent Legislative Alert, APTA recommends that, rather than rescind funds for public transportation and intercity passenger rail, these funds be used to address the current $90 billion state-of-good-repair backlog.

Proposed rescissions include:

Formula Grants
$46,560,000 (rescission proposal no. R18-32)
This proposal rescinds $47 million in funds provided in FY 2005 and prior years.

Capital Assistance for High Speed Rail Corridors and Intercity Passenger Rail Service
$53,404,128 (rescission proposal no. R18-31)
This proposal rescinds $53 million in FY 2010 funding, including $47 million for the Chicago to Iowa City intercity passenger rail project.

View the specific proposed rescissions to FTA Formula Grants and FRA Intercity Passenger Rail Grants.

New DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Guidance Documents

U.S. DOT's Office of General Counsel has approved three new guidance documents related to the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program: Compliance with Requirements for Timely Processing of Certification Applications, Guidance on State or Local MWBE Program Contract Goals, and Prompt Payment Section Sample Template. Access the documents here.


International Rail Rodeo
June 7-10, 2018
Denver, CO

There is less than a month until the start of APTA's 2018 International Rail Rodeo! Don't miss this renowned skills test as operators and maintainers vie for top honors!

Rail Conference
June 10-13, 2018
Denver, CO

Join the discussion on the changing mobility paradigm and innovations in rail transit. Take advantage of unparalleled networking opportunities while exploring six tracks of study designed for urban, commuter, intercity passenger, and high-speed rail modes. New: keynote speaker Greg Williams, editor in chief of WIRED. If you've not already done so, click here to register for the American Public Transportation Foundation's annual Golf Fundraiser, held during the conference.


Sweepstakes Winner at APTA Conference—Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol found winner—Anne Bauman, member of the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority's Board of Directors—at APTA's Bus & Paratransit Conference!

DC Considers Bus Lane Cameras—Drivers in the District could soon see automated enforcement of bus lanes, in addition to existing red light and speed camera tickets.

Free Wi-Fi on Buses in Gwinnett County—The entire fleet of Gwinnett County (GA) Transit buses has been outfitted with equipment enabling Wi-Fi while the vehicles are on the road.

New Science Channel Series on Railroads—Premiering Thursday, May 17, Impossible Engineering: Extreme Railroads shines a light on the world's most extraordinary rail systems.

Finalists Audition for Music Under New York—MTA Arts & Design announces that 82 musicians and groups have been invited to audition this year for the Music Under New York (MTA MUSIC) program.

Reporters Ride Every Muni Line in 18 Hours—San Francisco Chronicle reporters Peter Hartlaub and Heather Knight ride every Muni line in one day.

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