PT 06-04-21
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June 4, 2021 | An APTA Publication
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APTA Lauds House T&I Committee for Introduction of Surface Transportation Authorization Bill
 
APTA today lauded House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) for their “exemplary leadership and foresight in crafting H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act, which will put American infrastructure on a footing to compete with any country in the world.”
 
In a statement, APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said that APTA strongly supports the bill, which includes $109 billion for public transportation and $95 billion for commuter rail, Amtrak and other high-performance rail.
 
“This once-in-a-generation, forward-thinking investment,” Skoutelas said, “will help our communities meet growing mobility demands, create family-wage jobs, expand U.S. manufacturing and supply chains and grow the economy. This legislation will put us on the path to increase access to opportunities for all Americans and build more equitable communities, while also addressing the environmental and sustainability challenges facing our communities, nation and the world.”
 
The Act also includes important policies—from streamlining the Capital Investment Grant program to investing in new technologies such as zero-emission buses—that will create the transportation systems of the future.
 
“The time is now to make this transformational investment in our national infrastructure that will provide staying power to drive our economy for years to come,” said Skoutelas.
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Revolutionizing Rail with APTA-UITP
 
The APTA-UITP (International Association of Public Transport) virtual Rail Conference, presented by HNTB, June 8-9, examines the future of urban, commuter, high-speed and intercity rail modes with interactive sessions on technology, operations, safety and security, planning, finance, capital projects, workforce development, diversity and inclusion and more. Learn more and register today.
 
Ahead of the event, Passenger Transport invited a broad cross-section of APTA members to discuss their most critical priorities, concerns and initiatives. In this issue, agencies discuss improving safety, recovering from the pandemic, expanding service, connecting with riders and more.
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COMMENTARY
 
COVID-19: A Unique Opportunity To Put People First
 
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Despite the drop in ridership and the financial issues that transit agencies have been facing due to COVID-19, I have never been concerned about the capacity of our industry to rebound. On the contrary; as time goes on, I become more optimistic, because I see many opportunities for public transport to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
 
BY MOHAMED MEZGHANI
Secretary General
UITP (International Association of Public Transport)
Brussels, Belgium
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Partnering for Success Post COVID-19
 
0219-Matthew_Tucker_New_Edit-Slim_x150_1829304.jpgThe North County Transit District (NCTD) primarily serves the northern half of San Diego County, operating commuter rail, hybrid rail, fixed-route bus and ADA paratransit services. NCTD, like all public transit agencies, has experienced significant declines in ridership across all modes due to the pandemic. With that said, the most precipitous decline has been with commuter rail. NCTD’s commuter rail ridership and the revenue that it generates is a significant part of our overall revenue and subsidizes our other modes. So, NCTD is laser focused on growing ridership and revenue.
 
BY MATTHEW TUCKER
Vice Chair, APTA
Executive Director
North County Transit District
Oceanside, CA
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President Biden Releases FY 2022 Budget Request
 
President Biden released his fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget request May 28. He requested $6 trillion of spending for FY 2022, including $88 billion for USDOT—a nearly $350 million increase over FY 2021 enacted funding.
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$2.5 Billion Recommended for New and Expanded Public Transit Services
 
USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg has recommended $2.5 billion to advance the construction or completion of 25 rail, streetcar and BRT projects in 12 states, as well as other projects that may become ready for funding in FY 2022.
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Colorado Legislature Sends $5 Billion Transportation Funding Bill to Governor’s Office
 
The Colorado House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 21-260 this week, which would diversify how transportation funding is raised and spent in the state. Fuel taxes have been the primary source of revenue. Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign it.
 
Under the bill, the existing fuel taxes, in addition to more than half a dozen new fees totaling $3.7 billion over a decade, will pay for everything from electric vehicle incentives, electric public transit vehicles, road repair and expansion to environmental mitigation. Another $1.484 billion will come from the state’s general fund and one-time stimulus funding.
 
The bill’s sponsors used fees, not taxes, so there was no need for voter approval. However, State Rep. Andres Pico has said Colorado should emulate the Pikes Peak region, where, in 2017, voters approved a sales tax increase to fund local transportation projects.
 
“You check in with the voters. You give them the project list of what you’re going to work on. You keep faith, and you report back to them and tell them what you accomplished,” Pico said. “None of that is in this bill.”
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0521-LBCG_ptcv21-web-banner-100x100_(2)_1918870.jpgPTC, CBTC & Advanced Signalling Systems To Further Improve North American Grade Crossing Safety Virtual Congress: Delivering solutions to challenges facing rail operators. Separately bookable days offering a deep dive into PTC (June 29), Grade Crossing Safety (June 30), CBTC (July 1) helping you develop an action plan for project success. Full Details
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Midtown Manhattan 57 St. Station Accessible to All Riders
 
The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced that the 57 St. subway station on the N / Q / R / W lines in Midtown Manhattan is now fully accessible, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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Increasing Bicycle Access on Trains
 
Maryland Transit Administration is now welcoming full-size bicycles aboard all MARC Trains, while Metra, Chicago, IL, has expanded its Bike Car program to the Rock Island and BNSF lines.
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Classifieds
See the latest industry employment opportunities, proposals and notices.
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MBTA and Partners Raise Grade Crossing Safety Awareness
 
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) General Manager Steve Poftak, Chief Safety Officer Ron Ester, Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green and others kicked off the beginning of National Safety Month in Massachusetts with an event highlighting awareness of the risks associated with rail grade crossings.
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Calgary Celebrates CTrain’s 40th Birthday
 
May 25 marked a historic day for Calgary Transit: that day in 1981 saw the CTrain light rail service begin operations. Calgary Transit’s CTrain is one of the busiest light rail systems in North America, with 306,900 pre-pandemic weekday passengers riding its Red and Blue lines. Approximately 45 percent of workers in Downtown Calgary ­traditionally take the CTrain to work.
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Sound Transit Completes New Light Rail Base in Bellevue
 
Sound Transit, Seattle, WA, has completed its new Operations and Maintenance Facility: East (OMF East), a key component of upcoming Link extensions to Northgate, Lynnwood, Federal Way and Redmond.
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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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