PT 03-26-21
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March 26, 2021 | An APTA Publication
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USDOT Sec. Buttigieg Testifies on Need for Transportation Infrastructure Investment
 
USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I), March 25, on the Administration’s priorities for transportation infrastructure. “Now is the time…to clear the backlog and repair our highways, roads, bridges, maritime ports and airports; to enhance freight and passenger rail and to provide accessible public transit and mobility options for all,” he said.
 
In the more than five-hour hearing, chair of the T&I Committee Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said that the committee is “kicking into high gear” its work to advance transportation authorization and infrastructure investment. “We have no time to waste,” he said. “The American people—who rely on our roads, bridges, bike lanes, transit systems, railroads, airports and waterways for their mobility and for their livelihoods—cannot wait. Infrastructure is integral to the functioning of our economy and investing heavily in it at this moment in time is key to our nation’s recovery.”
 
Chair DeFazio told Buttigieg, a former mayor, that he knows first-hand how “vital seamless mobility and well-functioning transportation systems are to quality of life in cities and towns across America. Moving people and goods safely and efficiently is the whole point of good transportation policy.”
 
Ranking Member Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) told the committee that he hopes the next major bill prioritizes transportation infrastructure and that “we don’t reduce our core programs—roads, bridges, ports and rails—to an afterthought.”
 
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Commerce Committee Holds Executive Session and Hearing on Transportation Infrastructure
 
The Senate Commerce Committee held an Executive Session and Hearing this week on rebuilding America’s transportation infrastructure.
 
Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said American workers and businesses need “world-class infrastructure to reach customers, and we need to be competitive. Instead, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States infrastructure a rating of C-minus. So, we definitely need to improve that grade.” Read her remarks here.
 
Former Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Porcari testified that, “We now face the urgent need to make immediate and profound changes throughout our transportation system if we are to ensure a better future for the next generation of Americans. A strong and compelling case is being made across the country and by my colleagues here today for increased investment across the transportation system.” Read his testimony here.
 
The committee also reported the nomination of Polly Trottenberg to be Deputy Secretary of the USDOT to the floor by a vote of 20-4. The Senate is scheduled to consider her nomination in April.
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CTA’s Carter Testifies on Equity Before House Appropriations Subcommittee
 
This week, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development on “Creating Equitable Communities through Transportation and Housing.”
 
Carter expressed to the subcommittee that he was honored to speak about a topic that is “very important to me as a transportation professional, lifelong Chicagoan and African American.”
 
Carter said, “The public transit industry, like the rest of the United States, is currently experiencing a reckoning regarding the critical role of equity in our society. Many transportation professionals are having important conversations on how issues of inequity have impacted transportation in the past and we are hard at work coming up with solutions to confront and resolve those issues, for today and for the future.”
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APTA Holds Successful Mobility Conference
 
More than 500 people attended APTA’s three-day virtual Mobility Conference March 16-18. Speakers included APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas; APTA Chair Jeff Nelson, general manager, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Moline, IL; FTA Acting Administrator Nuria Fernandez; and Kira Banks, associate professor, St. Louis University, among many others.
 
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Celebrating Women in Public Transportation
 
Womens_Month_Nuria_Fernandez_small_1864114.jpgMarch is Women’s History Month. In this issue of Passenger Transport, a broad cross-section of female leaders discuss the role of women and the opportunities and challenges they have faced during their careers in public transportation.
 
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COMMENTARY
 
Committing to Those Who’ve Come Before Us, and Setting The Stage for Those to Come
 
Carrie_Butler_1864128.jpgI would not be where I am without a long list of family, friends, babysitters, teachers, coaches, managers, bosses, colleagues, clients, salesclerks, flight attendants, servers, nurses, doctors, drivers—too many to name, but all of whom played some small or large role in my present status. And for that, I am grateful. Truly, deeply grateful. But what about all the people—women—who I don’t know personally or who came well before me or my time?
 
BY CARRIE BUTLER
Executive Director
Transit Authority of River City (TARC)
Louisville, KY
 
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Nominate for 2021 APTA Awards!
 
Have you nominated yet for the 2021 APTA Awards? The annual APTA Awards recognize public transit excellence in North America at both the individual and the organizational level. Nominate your choices by April 13 and celebrate the public transportation industry’s “Best of the Best!”
 
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APTA’s 2021 Virtual Canada Study Mission
 
Join APTA in a virtual study mission to Canada, April 20-22, in collaboration with the Canadian Urban Transit Association, to examine the future of transit through the lens of recovery, touching on such topics as new innovative revenue and financing opportunities, infrastructure planning and investment, gaining back ridership, alternative service delivery models and mobility innovation.
 
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New Flyer Unveils Xcelsior CHARGE NG
 
New Flyer has unveiled its next-generation battery-electric heavy-duty bus, the Xcelsior CHARGE NG. The Xcelsior CHARGE NG incorporates three distinct technology advancements.
 
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Classifieds
See the latest industry employment opportunities, proposals and notices.
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USDOT Launches “Mask Up” Campaign
 
USDOT has Launched its “Mask Up” campaign to help ensure the safety of transportation workers across all forms of transportation. The campaign is a joint effort.
 
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Ottawa’s Stage 2 LRT Project Digs Deep
 
Ottawa’s public transit network is undergoing a significant transformation. In 2019, Canada’s capital city entered a new chapter in public transit when it replaced diesel buses in the downtown core.
 
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Laketran Opens New Transit Center
 
Laketran, Lake County, OH, has opened its Frank J. Polivka Transit Center at Lakeland Community College—named in honor of Laketran’s first employee, who served as the agency’s general manager from 1979 to 2003.
 
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Highlights from this Issue of Passenger Transport
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Passenger Transport Wishes to Thank its Advertisers
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