PT Express 07-02-20
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July 2, 2020 | An APTA Publication
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House Passes Historic “INVEST in America Act”
APTA Praises Congressional Leadership
 
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed landmark legislation that makes critical investments to surface transportation infrastructure, including $105 billion for public transportation and $60 billion for commuter rail, Amtrak and other high-performance rail. H.R. 2, the "Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act" (INVEST in America Act), also provides historic investments for Projects of National and Regional Significance and addressing climate change. The Senate, which has only marked up the highway and research titles of the surface transportation authorization bill, has a very limited window to pass its bill if Congress is going to complete action on the legislation prior to its expiration in 90 days.
 
In a statement, APTA thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and House Committee on Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) for their “extraordinary leadership and vision in crafting this legislation.”
 
“This forward-thinking investment in public transportation and passenger rail helps our communities meet growing mobility demands, create family-wage jobs, expand U.S. manufacturing and supply chains, and grow the economy. It puts us on the path to increase access to opportunities for all Americans and build more equitable communities. At a time when our economy desperately needs a boost, this bill will get projects off the ground and immediately create good-paying jobs that will get Americans back to work and ensure our communities keep moving.”
 
APTA said the legislation recognizes the immediate need for public transit agencies to continue to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic and support the nation’s economic recovery. It reflects two key pillars of APTA’s Surface Transportation Authorization Recommendations: addressing the $100 billion state-of-good-repair backlog and providing the necessary investment to meet growing demand by funding all projects in the Capital Investment Grant pipeline. View the entire statement here.
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APTA Urges Senators to Support LOCAL Infrastructure Act
 
APTA sent letters to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on June 30 expressing the association’s strong support of the Lifting Our Communities through Advance Liquidity for Infrastructure (“LOCAL Infrastructure Act”), which would amend the federal tax code to restore the ability of states and municipalities to issue tax-exempt advance refunding bonds. This is a key issue identified in APTA’s Recommendations on Surface Transportation Law.
 
Municipal bonds are an essential component of state and local government projects that have built the national infrastructure system. Advance refunding has allowed these governments to save billions of dollars and spend taxpayer dollars more efficiently.
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House Select Committee Releases Congressional Roadmap for Climate Action
 
The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.” The report, which lays out a climate crisis action plan, includes detailed solutions that could benefit communities across the nation. Read the report here.
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Industry Executives Examine Attitudes Toward Public Transit Post-COVID
 
APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas joins Scott Smith, CEO, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ; Phillip A. Washington, CEO, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; and Stephanie Wiggins, CEO, Metrolink, Los Angeles, CA; in an AlphaVu webinar that takes an in-depth look at the latest polling on attitudes toward public transit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join in, July 9, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The moderator and primary researcher is Scott Wilkinson, CEO of AlphaVu.
 
Panelists will discuss reestablishing trust among passengers, riders’ predictions for returning, how agencies are communicating to customers and communities, and more. Register here.
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REGISTER FOR THESE APTA EVENTS
 
Public Transit’s Response to COVID-19 Webinars
 
COVID-19 IT Response – Lessons Learned, Best Practices & Innovations
July 9
3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Eastern
 
Discover how public transit agencies are using technology to respond to coronavirus and manage the recovery of their operations. Speakers will also share how they are supporting new and/or changing business models with new technologies. Register here.
 
APTA PERSPECTIVES Interview: Cities and COVID-19 – Ways to Build Back Better
July 14
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern
 
Coronavirus has impacted cities in many ways, but it is also providing the opportunity to consider important changes. Guest Sam Zimbabwe, director of Seattle DOT, shares changes made in his city that will lead to improved mobility, equity and city living as his region recovers and rebuilds. Register here.
 
 
APTA Summer Virtual Events
 
Sustainability & Multimodal Planning Workshop
July 30-31
 
Features discussions on topics related to livable and sustainable development, facilities planning, clean bus technologies, and route design and service planning for enhanced mobility.  Learn more and register.
 
Mobility & Rail NOW!
August 12-13
 
Delivers the latest insights, trends and best practices impacting mobility and rail. It also features sessions dedicated to the “Future of Transit,” including exploring what public transit will look like in a post-pandemic world.  Learn more and register.
 
 
In Case You Missed It
 
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 help keep you informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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ELSEWHERE IN THE MEDIA

 

NJ TRANSIT has new rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, including asking passengers to “avoid loud talking; restrict phone conversations.”
 
 
Lane Transit District has voted to stop using fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the next 15 years.
 
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