Center Update
Center Delivers TC3 at "Community Works"
Frank Burnett, third from left, stands with Community Works participants

On Monday, March 2, Center subject-matter expert Frank Burnett and Center staffer Pat Greenfield delivered the Transit Core Competencies Curriculum (TC3) in Springfield, Massachusetts, as part of Community Works, a six-week workforce development program aimed at preparing qualified applicants for opportunities in the building trades and transportation industries. Through this multi-agency partnership of labor, management, government, colleges and universities, Community Works provides industry-recognized certifications, credentials, and training to low-income residents of the greater Springfield and Holyoke areas. Community Works focuses its outreach and training to work primarily with people of color, women, and disadvantaged young adults, creating career pathways into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and, ultimately, providing participants with family-sustaining careers and building economic vitality in Springfield and Holyoke.
For four years now, TC3 has been an integral part of the Community Works program. Using Frank's expertise as an IBEW Local 103 electrician, trainer, and signals maintainer at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), he and Pat spent the morning session on TC3's Industry Overview as a vehicle to understand the history and operation of, and technological advancements in, public transportation, along with an in-depth exploration of career opportunities in the field. In the afternoon session, the group moved on to TC3's Workplace Relations module, using a series of transportation-based scenarios to examine the importance of teamwork, communication, professionalism, conflict resolution, and issues of diversity in the workplace.
If you are interested in learning more about TC3 and how it can be used by your organization, please contact Pat Greenfield at
Public Transportation
Next City - March 9, 2020
Those who are planning for buses, trains, bikes or cars are having equity impacts whether they know it or not. Access to transit affects access to jobs, income, and even upward mobility. But these impacts are not just limited to a paycheck. Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color experience higher traffic deaths and injuries than their richer white counterparts, due to poor infrastructure, increased traffic exposure and driver bias. Wherever you look, poor people and people of color are at a greater risk of serious harm. In short, transportation planning without equity is a road to nowhere.
The Verge - March 9, 2020
While each city develops its own plan based on its own unique needs, there are broad similarities. That includes ramping up regularly scheduled cleanings and making regular announcements to staff and riders about best practices to protect themselves and others. It may also involve freeing up extra money to buy more protective supplies, like face masks and gloves, for transit workers. "Every system has employees who are trained on how to handle bodily fluids, so it's about logical preventative steps," Chitwood said.
Streetsblog - March 5, 2020
The power of journalistic spin is a formidable force in shaping a national culture - and when it comes to creating a world where traffic violence is considered inevitable and sustainable modes are stigmatized, reporters play an outsized role. But newspapers didn't always have a pro-car slant. In the early days of the motorcar, reporters reflected a far more rational public consensus: that automobiles were a violent, dirty scourge on our streets, and that it was time to do something about them.
Streetsblog USA- March 2, 2020
Driver "dead-heading," or the time spent circling the city waiting for a rider, is the other big reason why rideshare trips cause so many emissions - because the drivers of private cars park and turn off their engines more often while they go about their business than the average Uber driver does. The study might seem obvious to sustainable transportation advocates - but it's a bombshell to average Americans who bought the hype of trip-hailing apps. As recently as two years ago, even the Union of Concerned Scientists was wondering whether ride share might be a boon to the climate, especially if the industry could increase the share of carpooling, provide links to public transit, and encourage electric vehicle adoption. But, a decade into our national experiment, it's becoming clear that ride-share giants didn't do those things - and that they've hurt our cities.
Transit System/Partners
Metro Magazine - March 4, 2020
A two-year reverse-commute pilot project funded by a public-private partnership between Metra and Lake County businesses and governments is already exceeding the ridership goal set for the first year, officials announced on the first anniversary of the service.
WAMU - March 6, 2020
Metro will begin giving hand sanitizer to employees who don't have easy access to places to wash their hands (mostly bus operators). It will also more closely monitor employee absences from work, because a spike in sick days in Metro's large workforce could be an early indicator of a problem. Metro is also canceling all non-essential business travel for employees.
Statesman - March 6, 2020
The most eye-popping feature of Cap Metro's recommendation is the downtown subway system, which proposes tunnels under Guadalupe Street from Cesar Chavez Street to at least 14th Street; under Fourth Street from Republic Square Park to Trinity Street; and under Trinity Street from Fourth Street to Lady Bird Lake.
Mass Transit Magazine - March 6, 2020
Metropolitan Council says these BRT lines are the two most significant recent transit investments to begin operations, and this fast, frequent and reliable service is quickly becoming the banner of the regional transit system. Six months into operation, the C Line service closed the year at 1.2 million rides. "We're really talking about how we move people around and get them where they want to go, like reaching good jobs," said Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle. "It's not just about one transit line, it's about the whole network. We choose to invest in lines that best build out the system and where riders get what they need. Where we invest in transit, riders follow."
Economic Issues
Vice - March 10, 2020
We're talking about money here. Transit agencies are going to lose a lot of money. They get most of their money from two sources: fares and government subsidies, and both could be impacted by coronavirus. Some agencies depend on fare revenue more than others. On average, fares fund 32 percent of transit operations in the US, according to the Department of Transportation, and it is almost unheard of for an agency to get more than 50 percent of its operating budget through fares alone.
Prospect - March 10, 2020
The economic impact of an epidemic, if anything, is more severe than that of a financial collapse-because the necessary public-health responses themselves depress economic activity. People are being advised to avoid crowds. That reduces attendance at sports events, theaters, movies, concerts, and shopping malls, further contracting purchases.
Building Transportation Infrastructure
Vice - March 9, 2020
Ultimately, this is not about trains and buses. This is about a political system uninterested in reform, a system unconcerned with fixing what's broken. If we can understand how politics failed American transportation systems, perhaps we can make the solution part of broader reform that must occur if American government is to start addressing the needs of the people in all aspects of life, from health care to criminal justice to housing to employment law to digital privacy to climate change.
Streetsblog - March 4, 2020
"I hate to see transit projects and services get hung up for years securing funding; we need to find ways to expand and improve effective transit quicker and do so across local agency boundaries to make the regional system more seamless," wrote Livable City's Tom Radulovich, also in an email. "The region and the state can and should do more to stabilize, rationalize, and expand funding for transit services and infrastructure. The right 'mega-measure' could help enormously."
Safety and Health
Smart Cities Dive - March 9, 2020
In some cities, trains and buses can become ground zero for the spread of a virus that is easily communicable, as fleets are often packed with riders touching turnstiles and handrails. Agencies like the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) are monitoring the potential impact of the virus on public transportation, yet transit agencies are taking it upon themselves to combat the spread - and comfort customers - before ridership takes a massive hit.
Workforce Development
The New York Times - March 5, 2020
Apprenticeships like the one Ms. Hicks held provide on-the-job training and are vital to the success of women in the skilled-trade sector. In 2017, however, only 7.3 percent of those completing registered apprenticeships were women. "Growing the number of women in construction or the trades is no small feat," said C. Nicole Mason, president and chief executive of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. "It takes a tremendous amount of coordination between work-force development programs, labor unions, contractors and the government. These are higher-paying jobs with benefits, and potential for increased earnings over time - all things that are particularly meaningful for working women with families."
The New York Times- March - 7, 2020
Like other Americans, veterans have benefited from a roaring economy and a robust labor market. But as a group, they are often hampered by the difficulty of converting skills gained in wars to private-sector jobs, a lack of strong professional networks and a culture of treating veterans as charity cases.
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