APTA | Passenger Transport
August 2, 2010

In This Issue

Employment opportunities in this week's classifieds include two CEO positions and several high-level technical posts!


House Passes FY 2011 Transportation Appropriations

The full House voted July 29 to approve H.R. 5850, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, increasing public transit funding. The vote was 251 in favor and 167 opposed. [More]

NTSB Issues Recommendations on WMATA 2009 Rail Accident; Senators Propose DOT Legislation

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on July 27 cited a failure in track circuit modules for the June 22, 2009, incident in which one Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail train struck another on the Red Line. This failure caused the automatic train control system to lose detection of one train, allowing a second train to strike it from the rear. [More]

FTA: $77.7 Billion Needed for Transit State of Good Repair

As reported last week in Passenger Transport EXPRESS, to bring all the nation’s rail and bus transit systems into a state of good repair, U.S. public transportation agencies would need to invest $77.7 billion, according to a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) study released July 21. In addition, ongoing system maintenance would cost an average of $14.4 billion annually. [More]

‘Ride and Text’ to Aid Gulf Coast Recovery

APTA and its members invite public transportation riders and the public to join them in two activities that address the long- and short-term impact of the Gulf Coast oil spill crisis: ride public transit to reduce the nation’s oil consumption and donate to the Natural Resources Defense Council‘s (NRDC) Gulf Coast Recovery Fund. To make a $10 donation to the fund, text TRANSIT on a mobile phone to 25383. [More]

Buffalo, Atlanta Operators Recognized for Heroism

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) in Buffalo, NY, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) recently honored operators for their heroic efforts in saving lives while on the job. [More]

FRA Grant for Research into Post-Accident Stress

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is accepting grant applications through Aug. 16 for a program addressing post-traumatic interventions for train crews following grade crossing and trespasser incidents. Information on the program appears in the July 2, 2010, Federal Register. [More]

High-Speed Rail Conference to Convene in Las Vegas

The Western High Speed Rail Alliance (WHSRA) invites public transportation and municipal leaders from across the globe to participate in its first annual conference, “The Rail Ahead,” Oct. 13-15 in Las Vegas. [More]

Agencies: Learn Not to Duck
BY NATHANIEL P. FORD SR., Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco, CA

With the tenacity of prizefighters, public transit agencies throughout the country have found themselves on the ropes, deflecting blows delivered by battle-weary constituents, punch-drunk by a one-two combination of diminished service and across-the-board fare and fee hikes. [More]

Logan Is New GM in Bloomington-Normal, IL

The Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System in Bloomington, IL, has named Jeffrey F. Logan as its next general manager. He succeeds Pete Weber, who retired in December 2009. [More]

Behrman Takes Top Post in Birmingham, AL

Peter S. Behrman is the new executive director of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority in Birmingham, AL. [More]

Gregory Cooper Dies; Risk Manager of Pace Suburban Bus

Gregory J. Cooper, ARM, AAI, 48, risk manager for Pace Suburban Bus in Arlington Heights, IL, from 2005 to 2010, suffered a fatal heart attack July 3 at his home in Lakewood, IL. At the time of his death, Cooper was the incoming secretary of the APTA Risk Management Committee. [More]

Transit Systems Work Smarter
BY SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor, AND JOHN R. BELL, APTA Program Manager-Communications

In these very challenging economic times, public transportation agencies are compelled to make difficult choices—primarily, whether to raise fares or cut operations to cover their expense—despite an increased need for their service. In fact, a recent APTA survey found that 84 percent of U.S. transit agencies have either done or considered these actions since Jan. 1, 2009. [More]

Sign Public Transportation’s National Petition to Congress!

We’re Telling Our Story to Congress and we need you to sign Public Transportation’s Petition to Congress. It’s easy. Just go to APTA’s new Telling Our Story web site and in seconds you’ll be able to complete the petition letting our legislators know why transit is important to you. Next, encourage your employees, riders, and advocates also to sign the petition, which asks Congress to act now to support public transportation. [More]

Denver, Seattle Thinking Long-Term

Travel typically serves up the wonders of comparison and discovery. Having been born a couple of centuries too late to fully accommodate my wanderlust, I settle instead for leisure reading about the Oregon Trail and Lewis and Clark. My travels yield nowhere near the sense of awe that those pioneers experienced, but on the positive side, I’m less likely to become trapped in a blizzard, die of dysentery or ensnare myself in the nasty politics of a wagon train election. [More]

My Review: Riding Seattle’s Link Light Rail from the Airport to Downtown

For those of you in many other parts of the world, talking about public transportation options from the airport is not news. For us in Seattle, finally getting a public transportation option, other than the bus, is huge. In many regards Seattle (my home town) is a very progressive city, except when it comes to public transportation. We have tried many different times, but seem to get blocked at every turn…. [More]

Plan to Attend APTA’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio

It’s time, once again, for public transportation industry professionals to take advantage of the many informational sessions and networking opportunities planned for APTA’s 2010 Annual Meeting, to be held this year in San Antonio, Oct. 3-6.  With the understanding that these are challenging times for transit, APTA has designed a varied program to help all types of transit professionals cope with today’s ever-changing business environment. [More]

San Antonio Prepares for a Multimodal Future
BY ANDY SCHEIDT, Public Information Coordinator, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX

San Antonio—the seventh largest city in the United States—also has the distinction of being the biggest metropolitan area with a bus-only transit system. But VIA Metropolitan Transit is looking to change that with its efforts to develop the Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan. [More]

Topics of Concurrent Educational Sessions

Here’s a brief rundown on the concurrent sessions scheduled during the 2010 APTA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. [More]

From APTF, Scholarships, GALA 2010, and Golf!

The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) has scheduled a variety of activities during the 2010 APTA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, beginning with the presentation of the 2010 APTF Scholarship Awards recipients on Monday afternoon, Oct. 4. [More]

AdWheel Spotlights Imagination

APTA will honor the best and most imaginative in public transportation marketing and promotional campaigns at the 31st annual AdWheel ceremony, Monday afternoon, Oct. 4. [More]

Products Showcase No. 2

Building on the success of last year’s Annual Meeting Products and Services Showcase, APTA will again hold a showcase event at the 2010 Annual Meeting: at the site of the Oct. 3 Welcome Reception and during the lunch hour on Oct. 4. [More]

Conference Travel Discounts

APTA is making available reduced airfares, reduced train fares, and reduced car rental rates for participants in the 2010 Annual Meeting. [More]

Preliminary Program At-a-Glance

Following is a preliminary schedule of highlights at the 2010 APTA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX. [More]

San Antonio: Exploring Living History Lessons; A City Offering a Cavalcade of Culture, Character, and Charm

With more twists and turns than the River Walk—and more faces than the façade of the Alamo—San Antonio proudly wears its culture on its sleeve. From modern museums and old world missions to walking tours and architectural wonders, this city is bursting with cultural history, character, and charm. [More]

People on the Move

Passenger Transport announces the following hirings and promotions in public transportation agencies and suppliers. Items appear in People on the Move in the order in which they are received. [More]

Antelope Valley Adds Solar Panels to Parking Structure

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in Lancaster, CA, recently introduced a 360 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system at its maintenance facility that it estimates will generate approximately 680,000 kilowatt-hours of green electricity each year. The “SmartPark” system places the solar array on a fixed structure that provides outdoor covered parking on an existing lot. [More]

Fort Worth Honors Sibling Artists

The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) honored siblings Loan Phan and Tuon Phan for their contributions to the transit agency’s student art contest, Expressions That Move You. Their artworks will appear on 10 of The T’s buses until September. [More]

SunLine Receives EPA Award

The SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, CA, recently received one of 14 Clean Air Excellence Awards for 2009 presented by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency received the honor in the “Clean Air Technology” category. [More]

SFRTA Launches Bike Locker Program

The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) in Pompano Beach, FL, operator of Tri-Rail commuter rail, recently introduced its first Bicycle Locker Program at the West Palm Beach Station. The program provides space for 36 bicycles in 18 perforated-sheet steel lockers, each with a diagonal divider and separate door entries on either end. [More]

Akron METRO Qualifies for Gold LEED Certification

METRO Regional Transit Authority in Akron, OH, recently received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the design and use of environmentally friendly materials on its Intermodal Transit Center, which opened in January 2009. [More]

MBTA Breaks Ground for Four Corners/Geneva Commuter Rail Station

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) broke ground July 16 for the $17.7 million Four Corners/Geneva Commuter Rail station project, one of four new stations being built as part of the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line Rehabilitation Project. [More]

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