PT Express 11-11-2022
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November 11, 2022 | An APTA Publication
IndyGo Veterans Day
APTA Proudly Salutes Veterans
APTA salutes all veterans this weekend and offers a special thank you for their service to the nation—including those who continue to serve communities through careers in public transportation. In observance of Veteran’s Day, many transit agencies are offering free rides for veterans and active-duty military. Pictured is an IndyGo (Indianapolis, IN) veterans-themed bus.
Voters Support Public Transportation at the Ballot Box
In communities across the U.S., voters continued to voice their overwhelming support for public transportation by approving 14 out of 19 measures supporting public transit on Election Day, Nov. 8. Results confirmed as of Nov. 9 add to the 15 public transit measures already passed by voters this year, bringing this year’s total to 29 out of 36 wins for public transit, an 80 percent win rate.
“Almost one year ago, President Biden signed the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to provide state and local communities with long overdue funding for transportation, including public transit,” said APTA President & CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “In the year since, communities have met the moment and stepped up with bold visions for their transportation futures and asked voters for local funding to match. We’re heartened to see that voters have once again put trust in their communities with overwhelming victories for measures funding public transit across the nation last night and throughout the past year.”
The measures winning at the ballot box represent more than $4 billion in new funding. Some of the biggest victories for public transit included:
  • An extension of a half-cent sales tax for 30 years in San Francisco, CA. This measure will allow the local transportation authority to issue up to $1.91 billion in bonds for transportation projects.
  • A statewide ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would place an additional four percent tax on earners over $1 million—in addition to the existing five percent flat-rate state income tax—to generate a total revenue of $1,300,000,000. The revenue can be used for education, roads, bridges and public transportation.
  • A $52,630,000 bond to fund a variety of transportation, road, pedestrian enhancement and transit projects across Arlington County, VA.
Some of the measures that fell short include:
  • An early renewal of Fresno County, CA’s, Measure C sales tax for transportation. The measure needed ⅔ supermajority support to pass but fell short of that mark. The current tax does not expire until 2026, so the county still has time to pursue another renewal without a loss of funding.
  • An early renewal of Madera County, CA’s, Measure T sales tax for transportation. The measure needed ⅔ supermajority support to pass but fell short of that mark. The current tax does not expire until 2026, so the county still has time to pursue another renewal without a loss of funding.
  • A sales tax measure for transportation in Hillsborough County, FL. The measure faced legal challenges in the last few weeks, with a judge removing the item from the ballot until the court of appeals issued a stay of that order.
“For years, the public’s support for transit has been on a roll, and 2022 is no different,” said Josh Cohen, executive director of APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence. “Voters support transit at the ballot box because it can transform a community and create pathways to a more equitable and accessible future. Transit is the only issue that unites leaders from all walks of society—from elected officials to transit agencies to business to labor to the grassroots—around a common vision that benefits all of us. While some of the larger measures suffered a setback, the results from the 2022 elections reflect a years-long trend toward greater investment.”
Read more here. For more information on transit ballot measures, visit APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence.
APTA Webinar Focuses on Election Outcomes
An APTA webinar, Nov. 10, discussed outcomes of the Nov. 8 elections at the federal, state and local levels, and the implications on public transportation.
APTA Vice Chair Adelee Le Grand, CEO of the HART system in Tampa, FL, presided over the two-part webinar. The first segment included an analysis of congressional elections and the emerging makeup of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The second segment featured champions from several local transit campaigns that were decided on Election Day.
“Each midterm election brings change” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas in opening the webinar. “This election this year brought special drama, with the margins and polls so tight. We will do our best to interpret the results and consider the path forward for advancing public transportation.”
Ward W. McCarragher, APTA vice president – government affairs & advocacy, and Phil English, consultant to APTA and former seven-term member of Congress, offered analysis of retirements, which party will be in the majority and those under consideration to become committee chairs. It was highlighted that new members of Congress provide the opportunity for new transportation advocates. It was also stressed that the need to address federal budget deficits may bring spending under scrutiny in the coming year.
A discussion of local transit ballot measures included Christina Barker, instrumental in energizing the Hillsborough County business community and other stakeholders behind the All for Transportation Campaign. Also on the panel were Reggie Cardozo, who served as campaign director for the Moving Orange County (FL) Forward campaign, and Josh Cohen, executive director of APTA’s Center for Transportation Excellence.
Panelists discussed the importance of establishing confidence in government and public administration prior to embarking on a transit campaign. Voters have supported transit in 29 of 36 transit ballot measures in 2022, a success rate of 80 percent.
With so much to learn from each other on transit elections, Henry Li and Shelly Valenton of Sacramento Regional Transit District and Matt Carpenter of Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority were on hand to discuss a second APTA webinar on transit ballot measures to be scheduled for early 2023.
View a recording of the webinar at the APTAU Learning Center.
USDOT Taking Action on BABA Construction Materials Requirement
USDOT has issued two notices regarding implementation of the construction materials requirement of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA). In the notices, DOT is taking three concurrent actions:
  • It is not extending its temporary waiver for construction materials, making that requirement applicable effective Nov. 10, 2022.
  • It is proposing a narrow waiver for de minimis costs, small grants and minor components.
  • It is proposing to take two actions to help transition to the new construction materials standard: First, for awards obligated on or after the effective date of the final waiver, DOT is proposing to waive the construction materials requirements for any contracts entered into before Nov. 10, 2022. Second, DOT is proposing to waive the construction materials requirements for any contracts entered into before March 10, 2023 that result from solicitations published before May 14, 2022.
FTA Reports Available
FTA’s Specifications and Guidelines for Rail Tunnel Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Rehabilitation research report and findings presents industry needs related to rail tunnel design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation identified by reviewing past tunnel incidents and discussions with multiple transit agencies. The report also includes a literature review that compares U.S. rail transit and road tunnel specifications, guidelines and standards; and a gap analysis to determine deficiencies in current standards.
The FTA Standards Development Program: Needs Assessment for Transit Rail Transmission-Based Train Control (TBTC) report provides findings from a survey distributed to State Safety Oversight Agencies and rail transit agencies regarding train control-related incidents, including those that were the direct result of operator error risk mitigatable by TBTC or similar technologies. The report includes information on train control methods and standards used by U.S. transit agencies, a comparison of similarities across the industry and an evaluation to understand the practicality of standardizing train control technology.
The Use of Event Data Recorders in Rail Transit report focuses on event data recorders, devices installed on rail vehicles to record specific data and the data collected from computers and sensors onboard a rail vehicle. The report identifies industry needs and compares existing requirements with available standards.
FTA has published the Rail Transit Agency Accident Investigations—Background Research report as part of its Standards Development Program. The report breaks down each element of the Safety Management System (SMS) and explains how they support, direct and further the accident investigation process. The report also includes recommended policies and procedures. FTA’s SMS framework shifts the industry from a reactive stance to a more proactive one with a greater focus on safety event prevention.
New CEOs Named
Christy Wegener, LAVTA
Christy Wegener
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), Livermore, CA, has named Christy Wegener as its new executive director.
For the last four years, Wegener has served as director of planning for the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans). She previously worked at LAVTA from 2014-2018 as director of planning and operations.
Wegener has spent more than 20 years in the transit industry, including working for the Sacramento Regional Transit District and Fairfax County (VA) DOT. For APTA, she serves on the Bus Operations Committee and is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2011.
In Memoriam
Jim McLaughlin, Specialized Transportation Expert and Advocate
Jim McLaughlin
Long-serving advocate for transportation-disadvantaged persons, Jim McLaughlin, died Nov. 5. He leaves behind decades of service at City of Los Angeles DOT, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and, most recently, as a partner with Marlene Connor Associates LLC.
McLaughlin was an active member of APTA’s Access and Mobility Management committees, and guided APTA’s Welfare to Work initiative, which highlighted the critical role of public transportation in providing access to opportunity during national welfare reform efforts.
“Throughout his long career, Jim devoted his time and energy to figuring out the specialized mobility needs of riders and communities” said Christian Kent, chair, APTA Access Committee. “Whether through a new shuttle operation or specialized community service, the programs Jim advocated for and helped design opened doors and opportunities for many, many people.”
McLaughlin also served on APTA’s High-Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail and Business Member Small Business committees, among others.
APTAU’s Kaleidoscope Webinar Series
Fostering and Sustaining Employee Engagement in the DEI Journey
Nov. 17, 4:00 p.m. Eastern
How do you ensure your entire workforce is aware, informed and actively engaged in your organization’s DEI effort? How do you build trust in the process and ensure your DEI journey endures beyond leadership changes and extends from the boardroom to the frontline? Join a robust conversation on what establishing a DEI-focused organizational culture requires. Learn more and register. View more from the APTAU Kaleidoscope series.
Join industry-leading transit risk managers and safety professionals for APTA's thought-provoking seminar. Includes special tracks for both transit risk management professionals and safety professionals. Early registration discounts end today!
Jan. 24-27
Honolulu, HI
Make your voice heard and help shape APTA’s private-sector agenda at this dynamic, exclusive meeting for all APTA business members.
Marketing & Communications Workshop
Feb. 26-March 1
Las Vegas, NV

This intensive and interactive workshop focuses on all aspects of public transportation marketing and communications, including media relations, customer experience, social media, ridership initiatives and best practices.
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