PT 05-18-20
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May 18, 2020 | An APTA Publication
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APTA/Industry Leaders Address COVID-19 Challenges, Need for More Funding
 
During a press call May 12, APTA and ­public transportation industry leaders underscored the crucial need for an additional $23.8 billion in emergency funding to offset the staggering direct costs and revenue losses the industry is suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new funding would allow public transit agencies to continue to provide essential services and support the economic recovery of communities across the country. A recent, independent analysis conducted by EBP, US Inc., determined a $23.8 billion shortfall through the end of 2021, in addition to the $25 billion provided in the CARES Act.
 
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Public Transit Agencies Provide Staff Health And Wellness Resources
 
As public transit employees tirelessly serve on the frontlines to keep the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies are taking steps to ensure both the physical and the mental health and wellbeing of their employees.
 
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COMMENTARY

Working Together to Plan for a New Normal
 
Jannet_WalkerFord_989390.jpgWhere were each of you a year ago? Here in Denver, my colleagues at the Regional Transportation District (RTD) were celebrating the first few weeks of service on a new commuter rail line to the western suburbs, extending existing light rail lines farther south and embarking on a world-first mobile ticketing collaboration with Uber and Masabi. The pace was frenetic, we said then, and our capable team ably kept up with the challenges.
 
BY PAUL J. BALLARD
Chief Executive Officer and General Manager
Regional Transportation District
Denver, CO
 
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In Memoriam
Paul Jablonski
 
Paul Jablonski, CEO of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), died suddenly on May 10. He was 67.
Jablonski’s career spanned more than 40 years in transit-related positions, including 16 years at the MTS.
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Jim Capozzi
 
Jim Capozzi, one of the leading experts in automated fare collection systems in the U.S., died May 9 in New York. He was 67. Over the course of a career that spanned three decades, Capozzi installed, operated and maintained revenue collection systems throughout North America and established and built CAPTech, Inc. into one of the nation’s most respected technical services companies.
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New CEO Named
 
Cooney, San Diego MTS                                
 
0518-ELECTRONIC-CEO-Cooney_1565068.jpgThe San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors has unanimously appointed Sharon Cooney as CEO. Cooney, who has been serving as deputy CEO and chief of staff for the agency, takes over following the passing on May 10 of Paul Jablonksi. Cooney is the first woman CEO in MTS history.
      During her 15-year career at the agency, Cooney has also served as director of government affairs and director of planning. She was integral to the success of two of San Diego’s largest ever infrastructure projects: The Trolley Renewal Project ($660 million) and the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension Project ($2.1 billion).
      Cooney previously worked as a staff officer for the County of San Diego’s office of strategy and intergovernmental affairs, as the legislative director for former San Diego County Supervisor Rob Roberts.
      For APTA, Cooney is a member of the Legislative, Bus & Paratransit CEOs and Rail Transit CEOs committees, among others.
 
 
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Hamilton County Voters Pass Sales-Tax Increase to Fund Transit
 
Voters in Hamilton County, OH, made history May 14 when they passed a sales-tax increase to fund bus service and road improvements throughout the county.
      The passage of Issue 7 marks the first time that voters in the county have approved a sales-tax hike to support transportation improvements, and the first time a transit-oriented tax of any kind has gained local voters’ approval in nearly 50 years.
      The measure will raise the county sales tax by 0.8 percent to 7.8 percent, creating a new funding source for Cincinnati Metro bus service and transit-adjacent road and bridge improvements. The sales tax increase is expected to generate $135 million annually; of that, 75 percent will go to Metro, while the other 25 percent will go toward road and bridge improvements on or adjacent to Metro fixed bus routes.
      The Hamilton County vote was the largest-dollar election to date this year and the fourth-largest public transit ballot measure since 2018—behind the Houston bond last year, and Broward County and Tampa in 2018.
      Of note: this was the first large transit ballot measure in the COVID-19 era. One of the uncertainties of the pandemic has been what its impact might be on voters’ support of public transit referenda. This result shows voters are prepared to stand up for transit amidst very challenging times.
      Overall, the success rate for public transit at the ballot box in 2020 is 14 out of 16 or 88 percent.
 
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APTA Survey Emphasizes Importance of Public Transit During Pandemic
 
In late April, APTA surveyed its public transit agency members on the impacts of COVID-19 and how they are adapting their operations to respond to the pandemic and beyond. One hundred and twenty-one agencies, representing 76 percent of national ridership, responded to the survey.
 
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Classifieds
See the latest industry employment opportunities, proposals and notices .
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Exploring the Changing Face Of Public Transit
 
Following the cancellation of APTA's 2020 Mobility Conference and Bus Roadeo due to the coronavirus pandemic, Passenger Transport invited a cross section of public transit professionals to discuss some of the priorities and opportunities facing bus and paratransit systems and the changing environment in which they operate. Explore how autonomous vehicles, mobility hubs, multimodal trip planning and more continue to impact public transit and the ways in which it serves a critical function in communities across the country.
 
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APTA Committee Profile
This issue of Passenger Transport includes a profile of the Mobility Management Committee, chared since 2018 by Jameson T. Auten, deputy CEO and COO, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO.
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Ben Franklin Transit and Via Launch On-Demand Service
 
Ben Franklin Transit (BFT) has launched a new, on-demand service in Franklin County, WA, powered by Via. The service was originally intended as a first- / last-mile service but has been rapidly transformed to support residents and essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
 
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APTA Award Nominations Extended to May 29
 
The APTA Awards deadline has been extended to May 29. APTA understand the challenges its members are facing during these unprecedented times. We hope this extension provides the time necessary to compete your submission(s). The association truly appreciates all you are doing to keep essential workers and your communities moving. Nominate here.
 
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Metra Electric Service Increasing to Complete PTC Implementation
 
Metra in Chicago is due to add service on the Metra Electric Line May 18 to complete Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation on the line. The fuller schedule will enable the agency to test all equipment under normal operating conditions, troubleshoot any issues and train engineers and other personnel.
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Highlights from this Issue of Passenger Transport
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Passenger Transport Wishes to Thank its Advertisers:
 
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