Passenger Transport Express - 04/16/2010 (Plain Text Version)

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FTA Announces New Discretionary Grants

The FTA has announced the availability of new discretionary grants for public transportation systems. A total of $75 million will be available through the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reductions (TIGGER) program, and $81.2 million will be awarded under the Clean Fuels Grant Program. Applications are due by June 14.

APTA Members Testify on Merits of Innovative Financing

Representatives from APTA public transportation member systems testified April 14 at a hearing of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee on ways their systems have used public-private partnerships, special grant programs, and other measures to fund projects in their communities. Among those testifying were Phillip Washington, general manager and CEO of Denver's Regional Transportation District, and Arthur Leahy, CEO of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Look for more details in the April 26 issue of Passenger Transport. [return to top]

President Urges Americans to Ride Public Transit for Earth Day

President Obama is urging Americans to take action in their local communities to improve the nation's environment--actions that include using public transportation, the president noted in a video statement. "I want you to take action--in your home or your community; at your school or your business--to improve our environment. It can be as simple as riding the bus or the subway to work, making your home more energy efficient, or organizing your neighbors to clean up a nearby park."

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and APTA has developed a Telling Our Story: Earth Day 2010 Toolkit, featuring outreach tools, advertising that highlights the use of public transportation, activities to help save the environment, a press release template, and more.  [return to top]

Climate Change Bill to Emerge April 26

The climate change legislation being developed under the leadership of Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is expected to be released April 26.

While the three senators, as well as the White House, have opposed any increase in the gas tax to support a surface transportation authorization bill, the climate change bill would include a "linked fee" on motor fuels, which would effectively be a significant gas tax increase. APTA and other stakeholder organizations have urged the senators to ensure that such fees be reinvested back into the transportation infrastructure. [return to top]

Save the Date

There is still time to register for the 2010 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference, in Cleveland May 2-6. This year's Bus Products and Services Showcase already has broken the record for booths sold, with 134 so far. [return to top]

In the Media

First Lady Michelle Obama told Conde Nast Traveler she wishes she could once again use public transportation. "I want to get on the Metro," she said.

The Delaware County (PA) Daily Times reported on employees of Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Transportation Authority who took it upon themselves to organize the replacement of stolen donations to Easter Seals.

A University of Oregon a capella group recently gave riders of the New York MTA subway some unexpected entertainment, as featured on the sports website Deadspin. [return to top]