Passenger Transport Express - 03/16/2018 (Plain Text Version)
APTA Joins Infrastructure Proponents at White House Briefing
APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas was invited to attend a White House briefing March 16, hosted by DJ Gribbin, special assistant to the president for economic policy, and staff of the National Economic Council. The policy briefing on infrastructure also included representatives from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Trucking Associations, Associated General Contractors of America and Building America's Future.
Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Administration Perspectives
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing: "Rebuilding Infrastructure in America: Administration Perspectives," March 14, focusing on the administration's infrastructure proposal. USDOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao and the secretaries of Commerce, Labor, Agriculture and Energy testified as a panel. This was the first time five cabinet members have testified simultaneously before a Senate committee since 2001.
"Our nation’s infrastructure is the backbone of our world-class economy, but too much of our country's infrastructure is aging and in need of repair," Chao said. "The challenges are everywhere. The transportation needs of rural America have been ignored for too long. That's why 12 agencies have been working to help develop a comprehensive infrastructure framework, which the president announced as a priority." Read all the written testimonies in their entirety and view the hearing here. [return to top]
Omnibus Spending Package Expected: Gateway Issue Remains
As Passenger Transport Express went to press, the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package was looking likely to be unveiled early next week, prior to the March 23 federal government funding deadline.
A number of policy issues remain unresolved, not least of which is nearly $1 billion in funding for the Gateway Program—the expansion and renovation of the Northeast Corridor rail line between Newark, NJ, and New York City. The program includes a new two-track rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and rehabilitation of the North River Tunnel, which incurred serious damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
President Trump opposes federal funding for the program and has threatened to veto a spending bill containing program funding. Continue to follow Passenger Transport Express, Passenger Transport and the APTA website for updates. [return to top]
Public Transit Users Can Save $824 a Month Over Driving
APTA's March Transit Savings Report shows that people who use public transit and live with one car fewer in a two-person household could save an average of $824 a month or $9,894 a year. Click here to see the savings in the top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership. [return to top]
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SAVE THE DATE
Make plans to attend these upcoming APTA events:
International Bus Roadeo
IN THE MEDIA
City Transit System Part of State Upgrade Study—Hazleton (PA) Public Transit is one of 32 systems targeted for technology upgrades to track vehicle revenue miles and hours, and ridership.
LYNX Blue Line's Honor System—Charlotte Area Transit System riders board without being checked for a ticket; inspectors make periodic checks and write citations. APTA's Polly Hanson says cities with light rail often have little choice but to rely on proof of payment.
A Look at MBTA's Snow-Fighting Equipment—With the Boston area hit with blizzard conditions, the agency is pulling out all the stops—and all the plows—to keep tracks clear.
Digital Displays Keep CTA Riders Updated in Real-Time—The Chicago Transit Authority is launching a new "Passenger Information Bar" on digital screens to improve the customer experience.
Golden Anniversary Operator—John Helm celebrates serving Seattle Transit, a predecessor to METRO and King County Metro, for 50 years: 40 as a bus operator and 10 as a light rail operator.
National Transit Driver Appreciation Day—To honor those who get riders from point A to point B and beyond, SEPTA and other public transit agencies are celebrating National Transit Driver Appreciation Day, March 16.