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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis February 10, 2012
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APTA Members Share Expertise on Reducing Urban Congestion at the U.S.-China Transportation Forum in St. Louis
BY JULIA WALKER, APTA Program Manager-International Programs

The 4th Annual U.S./China Transportation Forum, held last month in St. Louis, concluded on a high note with the U.S. and China continuing to examine how to best tackle transportation challenges that both nations face. This year’s forum, led by DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari and Xu Zuyuan, vice minister, People’s Republic of China Ministry of Transport, provided an opportunity for the Chinese delegates to witness a city that is a major U.S. transport hub.

As part of the Strategic Economic Dialogue in 2008, the U.S. and Chinese governments recognized the need for the forum as the two nations face population increases and growing demand for transportation services.

The five priority areas determined after creation of the forum are urban congestion, new railway technologies, innovative financing, transport of hazardous goods, and disaster assistance coordination. Working groups centered on each priority meet at this now-annual event to discuss challenges and solutions and to share best and worse practices for each area.

The Federal Transit Administration, coordinator for this year’s Urban Congestion Working Group, asked APTA to be part of the dialogue and present public transportation challenges and successes for reducing urban congestion—by sharing with the Chinese government officials the many technologies, products, and services U.S. companies provide. These conversations helped the Chinese delegates gain a better understanding of how the U.S. industry—designers, engineers, consultants, and financiers—can contribute to confronting these issues and how U.S. public transportation professionals can assist with China’s future development in this area.

APTA business members and staff shared expertise on areas such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), accessibility for persons with disabilities, and urban public transportation standards. In turn, the Chinese participants shared China’s plans relating to rail and BRT development as well as strategic plans regarding that country’s public transportation investment. Parsons Brinckerhoff, MV Transportation, and Clever Devices sponsored the workshop.

Much of the forum’s success is due to existing Memorandums of Cooperation (MOC). Past partners included Los Angeles and Beijing and the Mineta Transportation Institute and the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS). This year, the University of South Florida and CATS signed such a cooperative agreement. APTA also officially joined this collaboration by signing an MOC with CATS in the areas of development, management, and organization of passenger transportation system standards.

The 5th Annual U.S./China Transportation Forum will take place this December—in China! For information on this event and how to participate, contact Julia Walker.


Participants in the Jan. 11 APTA/CATS Signing Ceremony include, from left, DOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari; Kathy Waters, APTA vice president-member services; Li Zuomin, CATS president; and Xu Zuyuan, vice minister, People’s Republic of China Ministry of Transport.


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