Passenger Transport Express - 08/19/2016 (Plain Text Version)

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Moorman Named Amtrak President & CEO

Charles W. "Wick" Moorman has been named Amtrak's next president & CEO effective Sept. 1.  He is the retired chairman, CEO and president of Norfolk Southern Corp., where he rose from management trainee to CEO during his more than 40 years with the company.  A graduate of Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School, he has a deep understanding of rail operations and a strong record of driving innovation.  Moorman succeeds current CEO Joe Boardman, who announced his intention to retire last fall.

State Public Transportation Partnerships Conference

More than 500 public transit professionals, public officials and mobility experts attenbded the State Public Transportation Partnerships / Transit Midwest Conference in Kansas City, MO on Aug. 14-16.  The joint event with CTAA, AASHTO and FTA was hosted by the public transportation associations of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.  FTA Executive Director Matt Welbes delivered the keynote address and Acting President & CEO Richard White participated in a panel discussion with Bud Wright, executive director of AASHTO, and Scott Bogren, executive director of CTAA.

Special thanks to Lisa Bacot of the Florida Public Transportation Association and Don Chartock of the Washington State DOT for their leadership as chair and vice chair respectively of APTA’s State Affairs Committee and for helping to organize the conference. [return to top]

FRA Status Report on PTC Implementation and Grants

U.S. DOT's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has released a report on the status of Positive Train Control (PTC) installations by passenger rail and freight rail systems.  The report underscored the need for additional federal funding to complete PTC installation as quickly as possible.  To read the PTC status report, click here.

In response to the FRA report, APTA released a statement reiterating the commuter rail industry’s commitment to implementation.  APTA Acting President & CEO Richard White said, "… it is conservatively estimated that $3.48 billion is needed to install PTC on the nation’s commuter rail systems."

Earlier this week, FRA awarded $25 million in grants to help install PTC equipment.  Of the 11 grant recipients, seven are APTA members; the others are freight railroads.  Recipients are: Metrolink, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), and Caltrain (all in CA); Amtrak and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (DC); Providence and Worcester Railroad Co. (MA); Twin Cities & Western Railroad Co. (MN); Missouri Department of Transportation (MO); North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC); Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Fort Worth & Western Railroad (both in TX).

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FTA Solicits Applicants for New Safety Grants

FTA announced this week that it will award $7 million in federal funding to projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to improving safety for public transportation workers and passengers.  The grants, which are under the Safety Research and Demonstration (SRD) program, will provide technical and financial support for transit agencies to pursue inventive approaches to eliminate or mitigate safety hazards.  The SRD program supports research on safer vehicle design and new technologies to prevent collisions, detect obstructions and protect operators from assault.  For more information about this funding opportunity, click here.

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Mineta Report: Improving Access for Persons with Disabilities

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) released a new report titled Improving Pathways to Transit for Persons with Disabilities that explores effective ways to improve access to public transportation.  Researchers conducted interviews and site visits at five transit agencies where policy initiatives, incremental enhancements and other modifications have significantly improved access for persons with disabilities or for those who rely on public transportation.  The agencies studied were: Broward County Transit (Broward County, FL); Memphis Area Transit Authority (Memphis, TN); NJ TRANSIT (Newark and New Brunswick, NJ); Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Portland, OR); and Link Transit (Wenatchee, WA).  See the MTI report here.

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August Transit Savings Report

APTA released its monthly Transit Savings Report for August, showing that a person can save $9,634 annually — or more than $803 per month — by using public transit for daily commutes rather than a private car.  The report shows how a two-person household can save a significant amount of money by having one less car and using public transportation.  Read more about the August savings report here.

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Sept. 11-14:  APTA Annual Meeting
J.W. Marriott Los Angeles  |  Los Angeles, CA 
Register now by clicking here.

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COTA Asks for Renewal Levy for First Time Since 2006
The Columbus Dispatch; Aug. 19

Are Our Rails as Safe as Our Planes?
Gray TV (distributed nationally); Aug. 18

One Issue Trump and Clinton Agree On
The Atlantic; Aug. 16

Uber and Lyft Want to Replace Public Buses
Bloomberg; Aug. 15

Central Valley Construction Update
California High-Speed Rail Authority video; Aug. 9

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"It's one thing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton unambiguously agree on: Roads, bridges, airports and other U.S. infrastructure assets are in woeful condition.  Both have pledged, if elected, to invest hundreds of billions of dollars on upgrades -- putting millions of people to work on projects coast to coast that tend to be popular with voters."

                                                                                                     CBS Money Watch

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