July 13, 2018
Leaders Envision Public Transit's Future at APTA Mobility Summit

APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. urges attendees to step outside of their comfort zone.

APTA convened 240 senior public transit officials, business executives, government representatives, advocates and other mobility experts at “The Future of Mobility - From Transit Authority to Mobility Integrator” summit July 12 in Washington, DC.

A discussion-based forum, the summit focused on asking and answering pressing questions on ways to ensure public transportation remains the backbone of multimodal lifestyles. An action plan based on these highly interactive discussions is already being developed.

Topics included how public transit agencies can foster a culture of innovation and lead change from within; the imperative of discovering new mobility service models and how to link them into an integrated system; incorporating private mobility networks; and policies to ensure equity, access, inclusion and sustainability.

APTA Chair and Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. has focused on the new mobility paradigm as one of his five priorities. Urging attendees to step out of their comfort zones and examine the role of public transportation, Ford said, “All of us need to look inwardly and think outwardly; through today’s forum, we’re going to examine who we truly are. This is a step on a never-ending journey that will take us to new places and new opportunities.”

APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas emphasizes the importance of forward thinking.

APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said, “We are looking forward. We already do a great job, but let’s think about what more we can be doing. Let’s rewrite our future; let’s rewrite what public transportation can be.”

Vincent Valdes, associate administrator for research, demonstration and innovation with FTA, posed the question: “Who are we serving; what technologies are we using to make that vision possible? That’s what I challenge everyone to ask today—and how FTA factors into these new ways of providing service.”

David Zipper, urban and regional policy program fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, moderated.

More details and photos will be featured in the July 23 issue of Passenger Transport.

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FTA Releases 2018 Apportionments Notice

FTA announced today its Fiscal Year 2018 apportionments for FTA formula and competitive programs. In this notice, FTA provides information regarding the authorized funding levels, the basis for the allocations, requirements for specific programs, periods of availability and other program information.

The notice also identifies several guidance/policy documents FTA is canceling because those documents have been superseded by provisions in the FAST Act.

The document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register July 16.

Transit and Security Professionals Discuss Cybersecurity at APTA HQ

More than 30 APTA members took part in a joint APTA/TSA cybersecurity workshop July 13 at APTA headquarters in Washington, DC.

Representatives from TSA, DHS and the APTA Cyber Working Group provided an overview of the cybersecurity threat and facilitated discussions on implementing new policies and safeguards.

Following each briefing, participants divided into breakout groups to share best practices. Participants also were given five nontechnical actions to adopt over five days to enhance their organizations’ cybersecurity measures.

APTA Chair and Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. said, “Technology is driving our industry. We have a laser-like focus on cybersecurity. I’m happy about APTA’s and TSA’s partnership.”

APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas noted that Americans take more than 10 billion trips each year on public transportation. “What we do as an industry is changing because of technology. Because our systems are open, we need to make sure they are safe,” he said. “The purpose of today’s workshop is to share information and help educate us,” he added. “We have a great partner in TSA.”

Access the DHS Transportation Systems Sector Cybersecurity Framework Implementation Guide.

FTA Announces New SSO Certifications

FTA has announced that North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Washington have obtained federal certification of their rail transit State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs, in advance of an April 15, 2019 deadline.

The North Carolina DOT is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Charlotte Area Transit System light rail and streetcar systems. The Puerto Rico Emergency and Disaster Management Bureau is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Tren Urbano heavy rail system. The Washington State DOT is responsible for providing safety oversight of the Sound Transit light rail systems and Seattle street car and monorail 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. With this announcement, 17 states have now achieved SSO program certification.

Public Transit Users Can Save $847 a Month Over Driving

APTA's June Transit Savings Report shows that people who use public transit and live with one less car in a two-person household could save an average of $847 a month or $10,160 a year. Click here to see the savings in the top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership.


Registration Open for APTA Annual Meeting

APTA's 2018 Annual Meeting, September 23-26 in Nashville, offers public transportation leaders an unparalleled opportunity to enhance their knowledge and exchange information on best practices, research and trends.

The meeting features first-rate speakers, subject-matter experts, technical tours, a products and services showcase, networking opportunities and more. Register by August 10 to receive an early-bird discount.


POLITICO: "Neglecting Aging Public Transportation Hurts Our Economy"—Aging public transit infrastructure leads to lost time and makes a region's economy less productive, says APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. The country's top businesses understand that a region's economic output is directly tied to a robust public transportation system.

SEPTA Key Cards Available Soon for Some Regional Riders—The reloadable, reusable SEPTA Key Card is continuing its takeover of Philly's transit system. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will roll out the new "early adopters" program July 20.

Pierce Transit Finalizes $150 Million BRT Line—The Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners has selected BRT as the preferred mode of high-capacity transit for a 14.4-mile stretch from downtown Tacoma to Spanaway, WA.

Voice Behind Transit Announcements Speaks 'Fluent Muni'—The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has started making some spot announcements in-house, using someone who knows the city.

Brightline Sponsors BUZZitFORWARD—Florida's Brightline is partnering with Talent4Change, a non-profit organization, to sponsor a mobile barbershop initiative offering free haircuts and mentorship to underprivileged youth and the homeless who take a rail safety pledge or brief tutorial on rail safety.

Dedicated Bus Lane Spurs Optimism—Starting this month, up to 60 buses an hour will zip through a new dedicated bus lane along Rhode Island Avenue, according to DC's DOT, filling a gap in recent train service.

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