APTA | Passenger Transport
January 17, 2011

In This Issue

The classifieds in this issue include 1 notice, 12 bids & proposals, and 7 job opportunities!


Sun Tran Provided Free Service to Arizona Memorial Event

Sun Tran in Tucson, AZ, and its bus operators—members of Teamsters Union Local 104—provided more than 3,000 free passenger trips to the Jan. 12 memorial event on the University of Arizona campus honoring the victims of the Jan. 8 mass shooting in the city. Passengers were able to park free at two locations and take the shuttles to and from McKale Center on campus. [More]

Random Bag Searches: Security Tool, Psychological Deterrent
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor

Security changes anywhere do not come easily. When Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) wanted to search bags during the 2004 presidential conventions, it took two separate court rulings to make this happen. Both agencies have since institutionalized this practice, searching bags on a random basis since 2005 (New York) and 2006 (Boston). [More]

What’s Next for the Industry? Transportation Professionals Weigh In
BY SUSAN R. PAISNER, Senior Managing Editor, and SUSAN BERLIN, Senior Editor

What are some of the critical issues public transportation will face in 2011? Passenger Transport interviewed members and received responses reflecting both local and national viewpoints, but all listed funding—first. [More]

Presidential Selection Task Force Announced

The APTA Board of Directors agreed on the process to select the next APTA president in a meeting held Jan. 7. APTA Chair Michael J. Scanlon announced the 12 members of the task force assigned to oversee the process. [More]

FTA Seeks Workforce Development Proposals

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting proposals by March 15, 2011, which demonstrate innovative workforce development practices and programs in public transportation. [More]

Proterra’s All-Electric Bus

Proterra Inc. recently completed construction of its first all-electric bus—EcoRide BE35™—assembled entirely at its Phase 1 manufacturing facility in Greenville, SC. This battery-powered electric vehicle can charge in less than 10 minutes and provides fuel efficiency of between 17 and 29 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent). [More]

NFTA Promotes Minkel to Executive Director

The Board of Commissioners of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) in Buffalo, NY, announced the promotion of Kimberley A. Minkel to the agency’s top position, executive director. [More]

McNamara Heads Gannett Fleming Transit & Rail

Gannett Fleming Transit & Rail Systems has named Michael T. McNamara, P.E., its president. The firm is a division of Gannett Fleming specializing in transit and railroad track, signal, communication, and electric traction design. [More]

Kansas City Launches Second ‘MAX’ BRT Line

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) celebrated the beginning of 2011 by introducing service on its second MAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, the Troost MAX Green Line, on New Year’s Day. [More]

Charitable Acts in Canada, Wisconsin, Benefit Many

GO Transit in Toronto and its parent agency, Metrolinx, have announced that their employees and customers raised $200,000 (Cdn.) for various charities during 2010. The funds benefited Canadian charitable and nonprofit organizations, supporting national and international relief initiatives. [More]

NTI Announces Trainers’ Workshop in April

The National Transit Institute at Rutgers University will hold its 2011 Transit Trainers’ Workshop April 10-12 in Tampa, FL, in partnership with the Professional Development Workshop conducted by Florida DOT, the Florida Public Transportation Association, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida. [More]

Parsons Dies; Past APTA, GO Transit Chair

Lou Parsons, 76, APTA chair in 1991-92 and a two-term chair of GO Transit in Toronto, died Dec. 29, 2010. [More]

Nielsen Dies; VP of Honolulu’s TheHandi-Van

Patricia M. Nielsen, 62, vice president of paratransit services for Oahu Transit Services Inc. in Honolulu, HI, operator of TheHandi-Van, died Dec. 25, 2010. [More]


APTA Looks Forward to 2011

Winston Churchill once wrote: “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

It is my nature to be optimistic. At the same time, I am no Pollyanna. I recognize the importance of maintaining full awareness of the difficulties that face our industry in 2011 and the work involved in transforming those difficulties into opportunities. [More]


Invest for Sustainable Economic Recovery
BY GREG EVANS, M.Ed., Vice President, Board of Directors, Lane Transit District, Eugene, OR

Our nation is currently mired in the depths of an economic crisis rivaling the Great Depression of the 1930s. The national unemployment rate has ballooned to nearly 10 percent in official statistics—12 percent if one counts the people who have fallen off the radar screen into the newest category of economic indicators, the “Underclass.” [More]

2011 Outlook: Inform and Inspire for Success
BY DORAN BARNES, Executive Director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA

I am executive director of one of the largest fixed route bus agencies in southern California, chair of the California Transportation Association (CTA), board chair for Access Services, and vice president of transportation management for Veolia Transportation, in addition to my member-at-large seat on the APTA Executive Committee. These varied assignments give me numerous perspectives from which to view public transportation and consider where it’s going in 2011. [More]

To Deal with Transit’s Future, Consider the Past
BY ALAN WULKAN, Managing Partner, InfraConsult LLC, Scottsdale, AZ

In the truest sense of the word, 2011 will be a year of change for the transit industry.

First, as we know, a new, more conservative Congress will tackle tough issues like a new surface transportation authorization bill, deficit reduction, health care repeal, climate change, energy policy, and—perhaps most important—a slowly recovering economy.


Fiscal Efficiency Keeps NJ Transit Operating Well
BY JAMES WEINSTEIN, Executive Director, New Jersey Transit Corporation, Newark, NJ

As public transportation agencies enter the new year, the biggest issue we face across the nation remains largely unchanged: budget constraints due to a volatile economy. [More]

Funding: The First Hurdle for Transit Agencies
BY PETER VARGA, Chief Executive Officer, Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid), Grand Rapids, MI

One of the biggest challenges for the public transportation industry in 2011 will undoubtedly be the uncertainty of federal funding. For many systems, including The Rapid, a similar situation exists with state funding. This impacts our ability to serve our existing customers and inhibits the ability to plan for future growth and expansion. [More]

TARC Focuses on Building a Stronger Community
BY J. BARRY BARKER, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY

Rebounding from a year of service cuts and layoffs, the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) is refocusing on its mission to enhance the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the greater Louisville region. [More]


Delaware’s DART First State Wins Award, Federal Funds

The Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) in Dover, operator of DART First State, recently received the 2010 Human Resources (HR) Excellence Award in Technology and was nominated for the 2010 HR Department of the Year Award. [More]

Los Angeles Architects’ Group Honors Big Blue Bus Shelter Construction Plan

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, CA, recently received the “Next LA” Citation Award presented by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its shelter and bus stop redevelopment program. The award honors excellence in design by Los Angeles architects for projects not yet built. [More]

WV’s Mountain Line Offers a ‘NewFIT’

The Mountain Line Transit Authority in Morgantown, WV, recently introduced its “NewFIT” curb-to-curb service: a joint venture with In Touch & Concerned, a social service agency that provides accessible services including trips to appointments and supermarkets. [More]

PRTC Recognizes ‘Gold Level Employers’ for Support of Programs for Commuters

Omni SmartCommute, a program of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) in Woodbridge, VA, has recognized four companies in the agency’s service area as “Gold Level Employers” for the variety of commuter benefits and programs they offer their employees. Employers in Prince William County, VA, can receive free commuter consultations through Omni SmartCommute. [More]

L.A. Metro Operates All Clean-Fuel Fleet as Last Diesel Bus Retires

Los Angeles Metro retired the last diesel bus in its 2,228-vehicle fleet on Jan. 12, becoming the largest major transit agency in the U.S. to operate only alternative clean fueled buses. The “retirement” ceremony highlighted the agency’s significant contribution to reducing air pollution in one of America’s smoggiest regions. [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]

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