January 18, 2019
APTA Urges President and Congress to Open U.S. DOT
In a letter today to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), APTA strongly urges the immediate reopening of U.S. DOT, citing how, under the shutdown, FTA is not able to execute grants, cooperative agreements or contracts, and that numerous public transportation agencies are not receiving reimbursements for previously approved projects and expended funds.
“This record government shutdown is having critical impacts on public transit systems across the country that are compounding daily,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas and APTA Chair David M. Stackrow, Sr. in the letter. “Agencies report cutting back service, delaying hiring, transferring capital funds to operations, using reserve funds and other direct impacts. With each passing day, these impacts become worse.”
APTA conducted a survey of its membership from Jan. 9-15 to assess the effects of the shutdown. More than one-third (36 percent) of public transit agency members indicated that it is substantially impacting their operations and/or capital programs.
Read APTA’s letter here. APTA will continue its efforts to urge an end to the shutdown; follow developments in Passenger Transport.

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Agencies Offer Assistance During Shutdown

As the partial shutdown of the federal government continues, a number of public transit agencies are providing assistance to both furloughed workers and those who continue to work without pay. Among those helping out are:

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Austin, TX); the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston, TX); the Kansas City (MO) Area Transportation Authority; the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada; VIA Metropolitan Transit (San Antonio, TX); the Fairfax Connector in Fairfax County, VA; and Brightline in South Florida are all offering free rides on part or all of their systems for federal employees for the duration of the shutdown. METRO RTA in Akron, OH, will offer free rides to federal employees starting Jan. 22.

The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (FL) donated 500 31-day bus passes to TSA, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and FAA employees who continue to work at local airports but are not being paid during the shutdown.

LA Metro is offering free transit access for TSA and CBP employees working in airports in its service area through the shutdown.

Public Transit Users Can Save $809 a Month Over Driving

APTA’s January Transit Savings Report shows that an individual in a two-person household can save an average of $809 a month or $9,706 a year by taking public transportation and living with one less car. Click here to see the savings in the top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership.

Register for APTA's Inaugural FutureView Webinar!

With APTA’s new, six-part marquee webinar series, FutureView, members will share insights and best practices with their peers and discover strategies to better position their systems and businesses to capitalize on and define the changing mobility landscape. Click the title link below to register for the first FutureView webinar:
Jan. 30
3:00-4:15 p.m. Eastern
Comfortable with new technologies and following multiple job paths, Millennials seek out a broad variety of travel options for each separate trip, with the aim of traveling as efficiently as possible. Our FutureView experts will discuss what we’re learning from the travel patterns of America’s Millennials, how this is impacting public transit and what transportation companies must do to win over new generations.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend these APTA events:
Feb. 24-26
New Orleans, LA
Feb. 24-27
New Orleans, LA
Feb. 26-28
New Orleans, LA

Transit Systems Feel Squeeze from Shutdown—Officials at public transit systems are growing worried about the impact of the partial federal shutdown, including a lack of FTA personnel to release funds and advance projects. APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas stresses the industry's concern over the shutdown.

As Shutdown Stretches on, Transportation Officials Worry about Long-Term Effects—Local transit agencies are being hit harder than state highway departments. But the shutdown is only part of the problem for transportation funding.

Lyft Shows CTA and Metra Schedules in its App—Lyft has begun displaying public transit routes and schedules in its app for some Chicago-area users.

New Head of Bi-State Development Pledges to Ride MetroLink Every Day to Work—The saying goes, “if you want to walk the walk, you have to the talk the talk.” In Taulby Roach’s case, he plans on doing just that as he takes over as president and CEO of the Bi-State Development Agency (St. Louis, MO).

Soon-to-be-Retired BART Cars Could Become Airbnb Hotels, Homeless Shelters or Housing—Bay Area Rapid Transit is considering outside-the-box ways to retire its aging rail cars when the Fleet of the Future is phased into service.

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