PT Express 10-27-2023
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October 27, 2023 | An APTA Publication
APTA Task Force Will Address Strengthening U.S. Bus Industry
APTA knows that a healthy U.S. bus manufacturing industry is critical to maximizing the impact of transformative investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. To advance these goals and with the support of the Biden-Harris Administration, APTA has created a special-purpose Task Force on Bus Procurement to recommend immediate and near-term actions to help ensure a viable and competitive bus manufacturing environment.
Led by APTA immediate past chair Dorval R. Carter Jr., president, Chicago Transit Authority, and Rich Davey, president, New York City Transit, the task force is expected to make initial recommendations over the next 60 days and additional near-term recommendations in early 2024.
APTA Urges HHS to Certify Laboratories for Oral Fluid Drug Testing
APTA wrote to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra, Oct. 26, urging him to certify laboratories needed to conduct oral fluid drug testing.
On June 1, USDOT’s final rule authorizing transportation industry oral fluid drug testing went into effect. However, testing cannot be implemented until HHS certifies at least two laboratories to conduct this type of testing (and the Food and Drug Administration approves a collection device).
Oral fluid drug testing, as an alternative testing methodology to urine drug testing, will provide public transportation agencies several key benefits, including: a less invasive specimen collection option for regulated employers and covered employees; a gender-neutral collection process; an observed collection that may reduce a donor’s ability to tamper with it; and greater ability for regulated employers to identify more recent use of a substance, which is particularly important in post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing situations.
APTA’s letter calls for swift action from HHS. Learn more and read the letter here.
2023 APTA Winter Legislative Meeting
Take Part in APTA’s Winter Legislative Committee Meeting
APTA is holding its Winter Legislative Committee Meeting Dec. 7, 1:30 p.m. Eastern, at the Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC. Join your peers in helping to advance APTA's public transportation advocacy efforts. ALL APTA members are welcome to participate.
Following the meeting, enjoy a Capitol Hill Holiday Reception with your colleagues and congressional staff at The Observatory at America’s Square from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Register for free here.
2023 APTA SRSeminar
Register for APTA’s Safety & Risk Management Seminar
Join industry-leading risk managers and safety professionals at APTA’s Safety & Risk Management Seminar Dec. 10-13 in Austin, TX, a thought-provoking seminar with special tracks for transit risk management professionals and safety professionals.
The APTA Safety Seminar provides an opportunity for safety professionals to discuss pertinent issues as well as network and learn from federal and state partners. Topics include Safety Management Systems, safety and security certification, battery-electric and hydrogen-fuel bus safety, driver and transit worker assaults, APTA Standards and recommended practices, cybersecurity, homelessness, trespassing and grade crossing awareness and more.
The APTA Risk Management Seminar is the only such seminar specifically designed for risk management professionals involved in public transit risk management. The seminar will focus on workers’ compensation, insurance updates, emerging technology, environmental exposures, post-COVID practices, battery-electric bus fires and more.
FTA Tribal Transit Program Virtual Consultation
FTA is conducting a consultation with Tribal Nations and requesting comments related to the Tribal Transit Program (TTP). Compared to the federal support before 2021, current annual funding for Tribal formula and competitive programs has increased by 31 percent.
FTA is increasing technical assistance efforts at the national and regional levels to ensure Tribal leaders and grant managers have the tools they need to successfully apply for grants and run efficient transit programs.
FTA issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on how its Tribal Transit competitive program and technical assistance are administered. The first consultation was held in person in Anchorage in September as part of the National Transportation in Indian Country annual conference.
Learn more and provide comments and feedback during a virtual consultation Nov. 2, 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
Webinar for FTA Rail Vehicle Replacement Funding Opportunity
FTA is hosting a webinar on a $197 million competitive funding opportunity that will help replace aging railcars, improving reliability, safety and accessibility on U.S. rail transit systems Nov. 2, 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
Potential applicants to the FY24 Rail Vehicle Replacement Program are welcome to attend. FTA staff will discuss funding amounts, eligibility requirements, the application process and the evaluation criteria.
FTA to Host Transit Asset Management Peer Discussion
FTA’s Transit Asset Management (TAM) Program is continuing a series of peer programs for public transit agency staff. The next session, a virtual discussion on Setting TAM Performance Targets, is Nov. 30, 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The 90-minute program will provide a forum for participants to discuss setting targets to meet agency goals.
The virtual discussion is limited to 10 participants, with the goal of obtaining a broad representation of roles and agencies. Applications are due by Nov. 2. Participants should be transit agency staff who are responsible for managing transit assets and contribute to fleet management planning or related practices. Participants should be well-versed in their agency’s asset management policies and processes and be willing to share ideas on performance targets.
To be considered for the discussion forum, and for more information, view the application form.
FTA Proposes Updates to Strengthen Safety Training Program
FTA has published proposed updates to its Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program (PTSCTP) regulation in the Federal Register to streamline processes and clarify requirements. The deadline to submit comments on the proposed changes is Dec. 26.
The proposed updates will refine the PTSCTP communication process, add administrative requirements and clarify voluntary PTSCTP participation and refresher training requirements. The rule maintains the existing minimum training requirements for State Safety Oversight Agency and rail transit safety personnel.
FTA also seeks comments on whether mandatory PTSCTP participation should extend to bus transit agencies and personnel.
FTA will host a webinar Nov. 8, 1:30 p.m. Eastern to review the PTSCTP NPRM proposed changes, timeline and how to submit comments.
Bus stops within walking distance of Head Start Centers will support families.
Philadelphia’s ‘Rosa Parks’ gets a headstone 100 years after her death.
New transportation hub coming to downtown Raleigh.