Passenger Transport Express - 04/13/2018 (Plain Text Version)
APTA Commends Administration's MOU on Regulatory Process
APTA has voiced its support for the White House's initiative to increase coordination among federal agencies responsible for environmental reviews and to accelerate the approval of major infrastructure projects. In a letter, APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas commended the administration's One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding, which is intended to make the regulatory process more efficient for transportation projects. Click here to read the letter.
Transportation Hearings on The Hill
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing April 11 to consider the appointments of Michelle Schultz and Patrick Fuchs—nominated by President Trump—to the Surface Transportation Board. Schultz currently serves as deputy general counsel at SEPTA; Fuchs is a senior staff member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. The nominees must now be confirmed by the full chamber.
The House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development held a hearing April 11 titled "FY 2019 Budget Rail Safety and Infrastructure: Stakeholder Perspectives." Providing testimony were Stephen Gardner, executive vice president, Amtrak; Ed Hamberger, president and chief executive officer, Association of American Railroads; John Fry, president of Drexel University; and James Derwinski, chief executive officer and executive director, Metra. View the testimonies here.
DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao testified before the Senate Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development April 11 on the FY 2019 budget request for DOT. View the testimony here. Chao also testified before the corresponding subcommittee in the House April 12 on the same subject. View the testimony here. Topics at both sessions included funding for the administration's infrastructure plan and the Gateway Program.
Also on April 12, TSA Administrator David Pekoske testified before the House Homeland Security Committee's Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee at a hearing on the president's FY 2019 budget request for TSA. View the testimony here. [return to top]
FTA Grants for BRT, Commuter Rail
FTA has awarded three Capital Investment Grants to public transit agencies in Washington State, Missouri and California.
A grant of $43.2 million went to Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA, for the Swift II (Green Line) BRT project in Everett, WA. The 12.3-mile line will include 18 new stations, two of which will be terminals served by high-capacity articulated buses. The grant also includes the purchase of 13 new vehicles.
A $30 million grant for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) will support the proposed Prospect MAX BRT corridor, which will extend BRT 10 miles south from downtown Kansas City. The new line will use 12 buses operating with signal priority and serve 27 stations and two transit centers.
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District in Petaluma, CA, received $22.5 million for a 2.1-mile extension of the agency’s existing 43-mile commuter rail line. The extension will connect downtown San Rafael to the Golden Gate Transit Larkspur Ferry terminal in Marin County. [return to top]
APTA Fare Collection/Revenue Management & TransITech Conferences
Nearly 400 public transportation information technology professionals and those engaged in fare collection and revenue management convened for APTA's 2018 co-located Fare Collection/Revenue Management & TransITech Conferences, April 9-11, in Jacksonville, FL.
The event, hosted by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), provided attendees with a broad perspective of fare collection operations and issues, and the latest technical innovations in bus, rail and demand-responsive applications. Advanced connectivity tools, such as multimodal mobile ticketing, and the growing use of eco-friendly and electric vehicles featured prominently at the conference.
APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., JTA CEO; and APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas delivered welcome remarks. Ford was a featured panelist at the April 10 CEOs Luncheon: Visions from the Top, moderated by Skoutelas—who also provided closing remarks.
SAVE THE DATE
Bus & Paratransit Conference
Have you registered for the APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference? This marquee event is less than a month away! Speakers have been announced for the May 9 Closing General Session: It’s All About the Ride: Strategies for Sustaining and Building Ridership:
Mark your calendars and plan to attend the APTA Rail Conference. The program includes technical sessions for all rail modes—urban, commuter, high-speed and intercity—along with the Rail Rodeo and the Products & Services Showcase. [return to top]
IN THE MEDIA
FrontRunner Operator Honored for Saving Autistic Child—Francis Rendon has been recognized by the Utah Transit Authority "for the lifesaving role he played while driving the No. 9 train."
Electric Buses on CDTA Wish List—Capital District Transportation Authority approves state-mandated five-year capital plan, including funds for electric buses. Last year, across the country, electric battery-powered buses made up four percent of contracted orders, according to APTA.
CT TOD Approved—City zoning commissioners have approved a 189-apartment TOD put forward by a local developer for Connecticut DOT's East Norwalk Train Station.
What Can We Do to Erode Misleading Stereotypes?—Public transit passengers have far lower traffic casualty rates than automobile occupants (according to an APTA report), yet safety-related stereotypes persist.
Free Wi-Fi Coming to Cincinnati Public Transit—SORTA / Metro will offer free wireless internet on more than 60 buses through a pilot program partially funded by the federal government.
CTA Unveils Interactive Artwork—Chicago Transit Authority's Damen Blue Line station is the latest to receive unique artwork as part of Mayor Emanuel's initiative to expand public art across CTA facilities.