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December 17, 2021 | An APTA Publication
Senate Passes Public Transit Provisions as Part of National Defense Authorization Act

The Senate passed S. 1605, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, on Dec. 15. The NDAA includes several important public transportation provisions, including ones related to cybersecurity, transit security grants, and disposition of transit property for affordable housing. The bill now will go to President Biden, who is expected to sign it. For details, please read APTA’s Legislative Alert.
From left to right: Mayor of Nashua, NH James Donchess; Mayor of Manchester, NH Joyce Craig; Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH); Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); US DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg; Rep. Annie Custer (D-NH); and Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) at the press conference. (Photo courtesy of US DOT)
Buttigieg Visits New Hampshire to Talk About Infrastructure
US DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in New Hampshire this week promoting the benefits of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package President Biden signed into law last month. He has been traveling around the country to talk about the infrastructure package.

At a news conference, he said the law “represents a once in a generation investment in infrastructure and in jobs.” He said there has not been enough investment as a country in infrastructure. “This law changes that. It's a bipartisan law led by the President to properly fund everything from roads and bridges to trains and transit, and New Hampshire's a great place to discuss the impact that it is going to have."

The new funding includes $126 million for public transit formula funds in New Hampshire. The state would also be eligible for significant additional public transit and passenger rail competitive grants. The state’s proposed passenger rail project would connect cities such as Manchester and Nashua to Boston.
Buttigieg met with the state's congressional delegation, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess.
Hedlund Confirmed by Senate

By unanimous consent, Karen Hedlund was confirmed by the Senate Dec. 16 to the five-member Surface Transportation Board (STB). She was nominated to the STB by President Biden in April 2021. Hedlund served as chief counsel and deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration from 2010-2014. She served as co-chair of APTA’s Commuter & Intercity Passenger Rail Legislative Subcommittee.
FTA to Hold Webinar on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

FTA will take a detailed look at the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and how it will be implemented at a webinar at 2 p.m. ET Friday, Jan. 7, 2022.

The law, which authorizes up to $108 billion for public transit over five years, is the largest federal investment in the nation’s history. It supports new programs or supplements existing ones—to enhance safety, modernize and repair transit assets, confront climate change, and improve transit service for communities, including substantial upgrades to station accessibility.

Register for the webinar here and view the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law webpage for more information and related fact sheets.
Seeking Input to Update Key Transit Civil Rights Policies

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing equity, FTA is seeking input through a Request for Information (RFI) from transit agencies, transit planners and riders to improve equitable access to public transportation nationwide. FTA will use these public comments to update its Title VI guidance, the primary policy document addressing anti-discrimination rules for transit.

The RFI, published in the Federal Register, solicits input on potential updates for FTA’s Title VI Circular, which outlines requirements and guidelines and was last updated in 2012. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, along with the DOT Title VI regulations, prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in federally funded programs, including public transportation. The RFI closes Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.
FTA to Hold Webinar on PTASP Regulation
FTA is continuing its webinar series to provide technical assistance to transit agencies on the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) regulation (49 CFR Part 673).

The webinar, Using the NTD to Support Safety Analysis in Safety Management Systems (SMS), will be held on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, 1:00–2:30 pm ET. Register here.

This presentation will review National Transit Database (NTD) data available to support transit safety analysis and provide examples of how agencies can use this data in their safety management activities. It will also include tips for using NTD  tools, such as the Accessing and Using NTD Safety and Security Event Data Guide.
New CEO Named
Gardner, Amtrak
CEO_Gardner_1771554.jpgAmtrak has announced that Stephen J. Gardner will be appointed the company’s new president and Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 17, 2022. Bill Flynn will be retiring after leading Amtrak since April 2020. Gardner currently serves as Amtrak’s president, leading the railroad’s day-to-day operations, customer growth initiatives and strategies to modernize Amtrak’s products, services, infrastructure and fleet.

Gardner has been with Amtrak since 2009 serving in a variety of leadership roles including Chief Operating and Commercial Officer. He has been responsible for efforts to expand state-supported service partnerships, increase Acela capacity, improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure and develop Amtrak’s strategic plan.
In Memoriam
Ryan Popple
12-17_Ryan_Popplex125_2096193.jpgRyan Popple, former CEO of Proterra, died Dec. 15, 2021, at age 44. A statement released by Proterra, where he served on its board, stated that he “embodied entrepreneurial spirit and devoted his life to creating a better future. His leadership at Proterra was first and foremost about increasing access to affordable, sustainable solutions and shaping a zero-emission transportation future for the health of our planet and communities.”
Proterra marked several milestones under Popple’s leadership including the introduction of the Catalyst E2, the launch of company’s connected vehicle intelligence system and Proterra Energy fleet solutions, and the scaling of the company’s battery leasing program. Prior to Proterra, he was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and was an early employee of Tesla Motors. Popple also was an officer in the U.S. Army.
See the latest industry employment opportunities, proposals and notices.
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January 26 & February 2
An APTA Virtual Event
January 19-21
Miami, FL
Marketing & Communications Workshop
February 23-24
An APTA Virtual Event
Legislative Conference
March 13-15
Washington, DC
High-Speed Rail Conference
March 30-April 1
Philadelphia, PA
Hear the views of experts from FTA, Transportation for America, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on how the recently enacted bipartisan infrastructure package can help ensure the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are embodied in new transportation projects and investments.
Downtown Houston to install new red lanes.
New York MTA leaders hope to boost ridership by putting a weekly fare cap on trips made with the subway’s new “tap-and-go” payment system.
Santa signals reopening of the Canal Streetcar Line.
Allison Transmission