Passenger Transport Express - 05/23/2014 (Plain Text Version)

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NEWS HEADLINES

House Appropriations Committee Passes THUD Bill

The House Committee on Appropriations passed, by a vote of 28-21, the Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Bill. In the absence of new legislation -- MAP-21 expires at the end of September -- the committee's bill will extend programs at funding FY14 appropriations through FY15.

The core formula programs, including Urban and Rural Formula programs, State of Good Repair grants, and Bus and Bus Facilities, which are funded from the Highway Trust Fund, remain at the FY14 authorized levels.

However, cuts were made to New Starts programs, Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grants, and research programs, among other programs. See APTA's Legislative Alert for more details.

FTA Awards L.A. Metro More than $2 Billion for Rail Extension

FTA awarded L.A. Metro more than $2 billion in grants and low-interest  loans    to help pay for a nearly four-mile, $2.821 billion rail extension project. In attendance at a May 21 signing ceremony in Washington, DC, were L.A. Metro Board Members, APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy (not pictured), and members of Congress. Photo from left: Art Najarian, board member; Pam O'Connor, board member; Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA); Eric Garcetti, mayor, Los Angeles; Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA); Zev Yaroslavsky, board member; Dorval Carter, chief counsel, FTA; Dianne DuBois, chair; and Art Leahy, Metro CEO. (Photo by Mitch Wood).

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APTA Members Testify Before Senate Committee

Three APTA members spoke before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs on May 22. Joseph Casey, general manager, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority; Beverly Scott, general manager and chief executive officer, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; and Gary Thomas, president and executive director, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, testified about the need for federal investment to help bring public transit to a state of good repair. [return to top]

Oregon Voters Approve Rail Construction Bond

Voters in Milwaukie, OR, approved a ballot measure on May 20 that allows the city to issue $4 million in general obligation bonds to refinance debts left after constructing TriMet, the light rail line.


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TIGER Grant Applications Total $9.5 Billion

Applications for TIGER grants in FY14 totaled $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program, according to DOT. "These applicants confirm what I saw as I traveled through eight states and 13 cities as part of my 'Invest in America, Commit to the Future' bus tour last month: America is hungry for infrastructure investment," said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.  [return to top]

Energy Efficiency Forum Attracts Global Experts

APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy spoke in Washington, DC, May 21 before the 2014 Energy Efficiency Global Forum. Discussing public transportation's contributions to efforts to double U.S. energy productivity by 2030, Melaniphy was joined at the conference by members of the U.S. Department of State, ambassadors, and business leaders from around the world.

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APTA Joins Coalition to Send Letter to Congress on National Preparedness

APTA and 16 other national organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate expressing opposition to the proposed National Preparedness Grant Program. The letter, signed by a diverse group of partners such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Major County Sheriffs' Association, relays concerns about several of the program's provisions, including the broadening of the definition of 'local government' to include transit and port authorities and private organizations.


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SAVE THE DATE

Today is the last day to get early-bird rates for hotel accommodations for APTA's International Practicum on Innovative Transit Funding & Financing, June 12 - 13, in Montreal, QC. The practicum will have seven distinct focus areas of instruction on transferable funding and financing tools for transit projects. Don't miss it!  


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IN THE MEDIA

Investing in public transportation generates an economic return of $4 for every $1 invested--and creates more than 50,700 jobs per $1 billion spent, according to a recent APTA report.

Congress must increase the gas tax to create and sustain tens of thousands of jobs and construction projects, according to former DOT Sec. Ray LaHood and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

Anthony Foxx has taken a high-profile leadership role as DOT Secretary. [return to top]