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APTA in 2016: Member Service, Support, Outreach

This has been a busy year for APTA as it strengthened its commitment to addressing the industry’s strategic challenges with expanded member services; research; standards development, best practice recommendations and advocacy. Here are a few highlights, as reported in Passenger Transport:

Participants in APTA’s Standards Development Program began using collaboration websites that allow users to share files and hyperlinks, review and edit documents and share ideas in confidential settings.APTA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the NFC Forum to strengthen industry awareness of near field communication (NFC) technologies.

Then-APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall spearheaded “Progress and Prosperity” receptions for APTA members and local officials July 19 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

APTA created the Industry Footprint, a continually updated online tool that helps members connect with congressional leaders and public transit providers and businesses in their region.

APTA released Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit during the 2016 Legislative Conference. The report analyzed the travel habits of 4,500 people in seven U.S. cities; 50 percent said they take a train and 45 percent said they used a bus frequently.

Other APTA reports released during the conference focused on the role of private-sector partners in public transit projects (Open for Business: The Business Case for Investment in Public Transportation), provisions of the FAST Act and Public Transportation’s Role in the Knowledge Economy.

APTA leaders met with the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association to discuss mutual interests, including shared mobility.

Richard A. White, APTA vice president, member services, became the association’s acting president & CEO. White named Randy Clarke, assistant vice president-public safety, operations and technical services, acting vice president, member services.

Approximately 1,460 people attended APTA’s 2016 Bus & Paratransit Conference in Charlotte, NC. Following North Carolina’s controversial HB 2 law, APTA strengthened conference events to emphasize the value of diversity and inclusion to the industry.

The APTA Task Force on Member Collaboration, launched by McCall in 2015, submitted its final report to the APTA Board of Directors with recommendations related to governance and membership, leading to the creation of several member-led task forces, which will report out in 2017.

More than 1,400 passenger rail professionals participated in the 2016 APTA Rail Conference in Phoenix.

APTA also held 12 smaller conferences and workshops throughout the year on more specialized topics including legal affairs, fare collection and revenue management, sustainability and technology.

Public transit agencies across the U.S. celebrated APTA’s 11th annual Dump the Pump Day in June.

APTA released the National Transit Curriculum (NTC), developed with numerous partners.

For the second consecutive year, APTA’s Voices for Public Transit initiative received a Telly Award, which honors exemplary film and video productions. APTA and its consultant received a bronze award for a grassroots recruitment production titled “Time Is Running Out.”

In advance of the 2016 elections, APTA and the Mineta Transportation Institute released a poll that showed approximately 73 percent of respondents say Congress should increase the level of federal spending on public transportation infrastructure.

APTA released The Hidden Traffic Safety Solution: Public Transportation, showing that people can reduce their risk of being in a traffic accident by more than 90 percent by taking public transit as opposed to commuting by car.

Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, was elected APTA chair; Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer, Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority, vice chair; and Kim R. Green, executive director, business development, Genfare, was elected to another term as secretary-treasurer. McCall serves as immediate past chair.

During the APTA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, attended by more than 2,500 people, Barnes convened the first meeting of the 50-member CEO Search Task Force.

A delegation of 15 APTA members and partners participated in a study mission to Havana, Cuba, in September to gain an understanding of Cuban transportation and infrastructure projects.

In early December, more than 150 passenger rail experts convened at the APTA offices for a day-long high-speed rail policy forum. APTA also hosted a Capitol Hill reception and several committee meetings during the week.

APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes and Acting President & CEO Richard White addressed the Board of Directors in December.

Photo by Mitchell Wood

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