Passenger Transport Express - 12/09/2016 (Plain Text Version)

View Graphical Version


Federal Spending Budget Extended to April 29

The federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) through today, Dec. 9,  at Fiscal Year 2016 levels.

As Passenger Transport Express went to press, Congress was in the process of passing an additional CR through April 28, 2017. While the House approved the measure yesterday, as of press time the Senate was still working through the process. The bill is expected to be signed into law, thereby avoiding a government shutdown.

Unfortunately, this CR does not fund federal transit programs at the higher FY 2017 levels as authorized by the FAST Act, although it should allow FTA to make partial year apportionments to public transit agencies. APTA will continue to advocate for a subsequent full-year FY 2017 appropriations bill at FAST Act levels.

Chao, Trump Transition Team Start Outreach

News reports state that Elaine Chao, President-elect Trump’s nominee for DOT secretary, met with Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, on Dec. 6. The committee is responsible for moving her nomination to the Senate floor. Chao, a former labor secretary and DOT deputy secretary, also spoke with Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

In addition, according to published reports, members of Trump’s DOT transition team have begun work at the department's headquarters. Leading the team for transportation policy is Marcus Lemon, who previously served as FHWA chief counsel under President George W. Bush. He succeeds Martin Whitmer, a lobbyist and partner at Whitmer & Worrall, who stepped down earlier, based on a desire by the incoming Trump administration to limit the involvement of lobbyists. [return to top]

DOT Secretary Foxx Issues Notices

DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx recently released a “Dear Colleague” letter stipulating that public transportation organizations that partner with Transportation Network Companies (TNC) and related companies must comply with federal requirements such as ADA to receive federal funding.

He stated, “I am writing to remind you of your obligation to ensure equity and access as you partner with Transportation Network Companies and continue to develop relationships with other private entities that offer the potential to provide improved service at a lower cost.”

In a separate statement, Foxx announced funding availability for transportation organizations to be designated as U.S. DOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers, building on the “Beyond Traffic” draft report outlining trends for the next 30 years. Applications are due by Dec. 21. For details and to apply, click here.
 [return to top]

FRA Issues Safety Advisory

FRA recently issued a safety advisory to passenger and commuter railroads encouraging several measures to mitigate accidents resulting from human factors, assist in the investigation of such accidents and enhance the safety of operations in stations and terminals with stub end tracks.

Recommendations include installing inward- and outward-facing cameras in all controlling locomotives, training and information regarding potential sleep disorders that may affect employees and strengthening communication and adopting technology.

FRA has not yet developed a rule as required under the FAST Act to require camera installation for intercity or commuter rail passenger carriers, but the advisory encourages carriers to accelerate installation of the cameras in the meantime. [return to top]

Next Study Mission to Visit Asia

APTA invites 25 members, representing both the public and private sectors, to participate in an international study mission to Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, focusing on safety culture, state of good repair and innovative operations. Dates of the mission are March 29-April 7 and the signup deadline is Dec. 23. To learn more, contact Petra Mollet or click here. [return to top]


APTA Business Member Board of Governors' Annual Business Meeting
Clearwater, FL
January 24-27

Transit CEOs Seminar
San Diego, CA
February 11-14

Legal Affairs Seminar
Savannah, GA
February 26-28

Marketing & Communications Workshop
Tampa, FL
February 26-March 1 [return to top]


1,000 Words: If one picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how much more info you’ll find in a video! Watch the highlights of APTA’s recent high-speed rail forum in videos at the APTA website.

Money and Politics: This Fortune article summarizes funding mechanisms and the political landscape for the president-elect’s proposed $1 billion infrastructure plan.

Bright Lights, Big City
: Public transit goes to Broadway in In Transit, a new a cappella musical set in the New York City subway that follows 11 riders as they navigate big-city life. Watch the trailer here.

What's the Mannequin Challenge?
Click here to see MARTA's Operations Department participate in this fad.

Finish this Sentence: Read the high-speed rail shout out from actor Tom Hanks, who answered the Parade magazine question “If I were president …”.  [return to top]


Scott Pelley, CBS News:  Mr. Trump promised a $1 trillion infrastructure program. What are you going to build, and how are you going to pay for it?

House Speaker Paul Ryan:  Well, I think, that should be decided by the marketplace. That should be decided by the needs in the particular states and communities as to what is built or rebuilt. And it’s going to be one of our high priorities that we are going to be addressing this year. [return to top]