PT Express 03-19-2021
March 18, 2021 | An APTA Publication
Passenger Transport Header
Leaderboard ad 650x80
APTA Holds Successful Mobility Conference
More than 500 people attended the first day of APTA’s three-day virtual Mobility Conference March 16. APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas kicked off the conference, noting that “after weathering not one, but several crises simultaneously—from the global pandemic to civil and political unrest …to one of the most difficult economic downturns in our history—after all that, we are here… ready to build back better!”
APTA Chair Jeff Nelson, general manager, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Moline, IL, said the industry has many issues ahead of it. “We need to win back riders, restore and reinvent services, advocate for more funding and invest in a different kind of post-COVID future.”
Kira Banks, associate professor of psychology at Saint Louis University, gave a compelling presentation on discrimination and its impact on individuals, communities and organizations.
FTA Acting Administrator Nuria I. Fernandez spoke March 17 about the industry’s efforts during the pandemic to safely transport essential workers to their jobs; funding; and the future.
APTA Vice Chair Matthew Tucker, executive director, North County Transit District, Oceanside, CA, welcomed Jessica Mefford-Miller, executive director, Metro St. Louis, MO; Alain Mercier, chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association; The Honorable Quinton Lucas, mayor, Kansas City and vice chair – transit, U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Committee; and Dr. Peter D. Norton, associate professor of science, technology and society, University of Virginia, for the March 18 opening session, titled “Visions of Recovery.” This session discussed how the public transit industry and its partners can work together to create communities and mobility networks that will be stronger and more sustainable, resilient, customer centric and equitable.
Look for more details on conference sessions in next week’s Passenger Transport.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
T&I Committee Explores Business Case for Climate Solutions
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held a hearing March 17 to explore private-sector actions to develop and implement solutions to climate change, with an emphasis on the surface transportation sector. Among those providing testimony were Jack Allen, CEO, Proterra, Inc.; Tom Lewis, national business line executive for climate, resilience & sustainability, WSP USA; Troy Rudd, CEO, AECOM; and Rafael Santana, president and CEO, Wabtec Corporation.
Committee Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said “We will need commitment at all levels of government, and from the private sector, to achieve significant reductions in carbon pollution in the transportation sector, to transition to large-scale decarbonization, and to invest in the infrastructure upgrades to make our assets and facilities resilient to extreme weather events,” he said. “Failure to protect assets and to invest in emissions reductions will have real financial consequences to businesses and transportation agencies both now and in the long run.”
Committee Ranking Member Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) stated that “While climate change is often considered to be a loaded issue that sends us all to our respective partisan corners, I can tell you that protecting the environment has bipartisan interest. We are willing to work with our Democratic colleagues on the goal of reducing emissions in transportation.” He stressed, however, that “my colleagues must also understand that people are not going to stop driving cars or flying on airplanes. COVID has completely disrupted our transportation network, and it’s important to see how the system rebalances itself and what our new reality will look like.”

See more of the remarks from DeFazio and Graves, and the testimonies of Allen, Lewis, Rudd and Santana, and other witnesses.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
APTA’s Skoutelas Participates in House Roundtable on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas participated in an off-the-record virtual roundtable with several Democratic members of the House Committee on Ways and Means, March 18, where he discussed how public transportation is a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.
Members included Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), who discussed H.R. 848, the GREEN Act of 2021, which includes H.R. 583, the Green Bus Tax Credit Act of 2021. The bill includes provisions to help offset up-front costs of purchasing electric vehicles with a manufacturer tax credit.
Skoutelas told the committee that in 2018, public transit in the U.S. saved 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. He also noted that it is important for Congress to support the industry and enable transit agencies to transition to green fleets by providing significant funding and fix the Highway Trust Fund.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
See the latest industry employment opportunities, proposals and notices.
Go to Classifieds Button
Leaderboard ad 650x80
APTA’s The Transit Authority: A Conversation with India Birdsong

In this episode of The Transit Authority, APTA’s official podcast, Greater Cleveland RTA General Manager and CEO India Birdsong discusses her leadership journey and leading in a time of crisis, as part of APTA’s ongoing celebration of Women’s History Month. Listen here.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
Leaderboard ad 650x80
APTA 2021 Legislative and Rail Conferences to Be Held Virtually

Due to continued uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and related national and local health directives, APTA has decided to hold its Legislative and Rail conferences virtually this year. Look for more information soon and mark your calendars: the Legislative Conference is May 18-19, and the Rail Conference is June 8-9.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
Industry Celebrates Essential Transit Workers
The public transportation industry joined together this week to celebrate the essential transit workers who have served tirelessly and selflessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to safely transport residents in their communities to jobs at, among others, hospitals and grocery stores, and to medical appointments and other important destinations. More recently, public transit workers have enabled many people to get to vaccination sites. APTA created an infographic for its members to use as they honor these critical workers.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
Upcoming APTA Virtual Events
Legal Affairs Virtual Mini Seminar
March 25
APTA’s Legal Affairs Virtual Mini Seminar addresses pressing issues facing public transit legal professionals. Hear from FTA’s chief counsel, including his assessment of recent executive orders on Buy American, mask mandates and climate change. There will also be an update from APTA’s government affairs and advocacy office about the status of COVID-19 relief and public transit funding. Earn CLE Ethics credit for a session on the limits of attorney advocacy as determined by the model rules of ethics. Learn more and register.
High-Speed Rail: Connecting America’s Cities
A Virtual Convening of the Elements of High-Speed Rail and Intercity Passenger Rail Advocacy
April 7-8
The coming years bring great opportunity to unleash the economic power of our megaregions, to enable equitable and affordable access and opportunity and to create short-term and permanent jobs in America. This can be achieved by building a robust high-speed and intercity passenger rail network that is environmentally friendly, resilient and sustainable. This conference brings together a wide range of stakeholders and advocates to discuss the questions that need to be addressed to make this vision a reality. Learn more and register.
Upcoming Webinars
Zero Emission Bus Planning and Deployment: Session 1
March 24, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern
This APTAU CEU Academy two-part series provides training on zero-emission bus (ZEB) deployments. The first session focuses on the planning stage with an overview of ZEB technology, review of the critical differences between planning for ZEBs and conventionally fueled buses, and how to determine the right bus and infrastructure technology for specific needs. Participants receive either 1.5 CEU planner credits or 1.5 CEU engineering credits. Learn more and register.
Zero Emission Bus Planning and Deployment: Session 2
March 31, 2:00–3:30 p.m. Eastern
This second session focuses on ZEB and infrastructure procurement and deployment, including topics such as developing technical specifications, infrastructure installation and performance monitoring. Participants receive either 1.5 CEU planner credits or 1.5 CEU engineering credits. Learn more and register.
APTA’s webinars are archived and available to the public transit industry. Please click here to access APTA’s library of recordings and videos to keep informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
The California State Transportation Agency has developed a plan to guide California transportation investments toward sustainable, clean transportation options.
Some cities are paving the way to getting beyond outdated governance and funding structures, creating viable alternatives for distributing transportation resources.
Low-income Pittsburghers are becoming increasingly reliant on public transit, bikes, walking and alternative transportation.
A new app exclusively for Morgan County, GA, is revolutionizing transportation needs for underserved rural communities.
The NYMTA is to begin a two-year phase-out of its 30-year-old mag-stripe fare card in favor of contactless options including open-loop debit and credit cards.
Miami’s Underline reimagines space below a Metrorail line.
Leaderboard ad 650x80
Leaderboard ad 650x80
American Public Transportation Association  |  1300 I St. NW, Suite 1200 East  |  Washington, DC 20005