PT 11-04-22
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November 4, 2022 | An APTA Publication
Webinar on Election Outcomes Is on Nov. 10
 
Sign up for a free, members-only APTA webinar on 2022 Election Outcomes: Public Transportation Impacts at the Federal, State, and Local Levels on Nov. 10 from 2 - 3 p.m. ET.
 
The Nov. 8 elections will have significant implications for public transportation across America. Our speakers will provide up-to-the minute reports on outcomes, campaign messages, and how the public transportation stakeholders can position themselves going forward. Speakers Include: Paul P. Skoutelas, president and CEO, APTA; the Hon. Philip S. English, senior government relations advisor and co-chair of the government relations practice, Practice, ArentFox Schiff LLP; and former member, U.S. House of Representatives (1995 – 2009); Ward McCarragher, vice president, government affairs and advocacy, APTA; and Josh Cohen, executive director, APTA Center for Transportation Excellence.
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COMMENTARY
 
New APTA Chair Defines Priorities
 
1104-Dorval_Carter_Headshot_x140_2366172.jpgWhether you are a transit board member, business member, or agency president or CEO, you are likely spending a significant amount of time strategizing about your organization's future and the lingering effects of COVID-19.
 
I am acutely aware of the challenges you are struggling with–from workforce shortages to security to capital project delivery to lower ridership–and their related impacts on revenue, both short- and long-term. As APTA Chair, my top priority is to help you find solutions, innovate, grow, and succeed.
 
BY DORVAL R. CARTER, JR.
APTA Chair
President, Chicago Transit Authority
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APTA Requests USDOT Reconsider Aspects of DBE Program
 
APTA has filed comprehensive comments on USDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program Implementation Modifications Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), noting that the association and its members are strong supporters of the program. APTA also made suggestions for improvements to the program, including renaming it.
 
The letter stated that while certain revisions to the DBE program have long been sought, such as some of the proposed certification changes, other aspects of the NPRM appear to either “complicate or substantially increase the burden on recipients and businesses who are seeking to comply with DBE rules.” APTA is concerned that the NPRM focuses on compliance, as opposed to building a capacity-enhancing, collaborative program designed to ensure the accessibility and success of DBE businesses competing for public transit-related projects.
 
Read the letter at www.apta.com.
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PSTA SunRunner BRT Is Up and Running!
 
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), St. Petersburg, FL, has launched its SunRunner service, the region’s first-of-its-kind BRT system. SunRunner connects Pinellas County’s beaches with downtown St. Petersburg.
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Public Transit Agencies Make It Easier to Vote!
 
Public transit agencies across the U.S. are making it easier for community members to perform their civic duty by offering free rides to polling stations on Election Day, Nov. 8.
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The Importance of Dynamic Weather Alert Criteria in Railroad Operations
 
Many railroads contract with weather service providers for alerts for railroad dispatchers regarding hazardous weather conditions. The weather service provider collaborates with the railroad to develop static criteria for determining when an alert is warranted. NTSB recently issued a report concerning a derailment in Draffin, KY, caused by heavy rainfall, where the weather alert criteria did not account for the risks due to excessive rainfall before the accident.
 
BY THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD (NTSB)
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New CEO Named
 
Michelle Bouchard, Caltrain

1104-New_CEO_Michelle_Bouchard_x125_2366182.jpgThe Caltrain Board of Directors has unanimously appointed Michelle Bouchard to serve as the first permanent executive director of the railroad. Bouchard has worked for Caltrain for more than 20 years and has been the acting executive director since April 2021.

Bouchard has spent over 25 years in the transit industry, rising through the Caltrain ranks during the 2000s to eventually become director of rail transportation, where she managed all aspects of the procurement and transition of operations, maintenance and management services. During her tenure, the agency implemented key railroad systems, including the procurement, design and installation of a new rail operations control system. Her leadership was instrumental in completing operations and capital program planning in support of future blended High Speed Rail service on the Caltrain corridor that provided for the needed funding for electrification and the procurement of an electric fleet.
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Carpenter to Retire from RTS; Poftak to Depart MBTA

1104-Bill_Carpenter_x125_2366796.jpgRegional Transit Service (RTS) CEO Bill Carpenter announced at a meeting of the RGRTA Board of Commissioners that he will retire by the end of June 2023.

“It has been a privilege to serve RTS for the past 12 years, including 11 as Chief Executive Officer, and to work side-by-side with the most dedicated and hardest-working group of individuals I have ever worked with,” said Carpenter. “I thank the RGRTA Board of Commissioners for entrusting me with the responsibility to serve and support our employees and customers.” Carpenter was recently selected to serve on APTA’s Executive Committee.

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) General Manager Steve Poftak has announced he will be leaving the agency effective Jan. 3, 2023. In a letter to MBTA staff, Poftak called serving as general manager, “the experience of a lifetime” and noted that while he will be leaving the authority in January, his support of MBTA, and its workforce will continue.

“While we have faced and will continue to face challenges, I believe in the strength and resilience of the MBTA. As I look back on my four years as general manager, I take great pride in what we have accomplished together,” Poftak wrote.
 
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Rock Region Launches METRO Connect Conway
 
Rock Region METRO, North Little Rock, AR, has launched its METRO Connect Conway microtransit service, the first agency expansion beyond Pulaski County and the first such service in Conway.
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Metrolink Launches New Arrow Service

Metrolink, Los Angeles, CA has launched a new Arrow passenger rail service between the cities of San Bernardino and Redlands. The Arrow service adds four train stations in the two cities and introduces brand new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains to Metrolinkís cleaner-operating fleet.
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Halosil
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Transit Workforce Center Hosts National Conference
 
Transit Workforce Center, FTA’s first-ever national technical assistance center focusing on all aspects of transit workforce development, is inviting all industry practitioners to Making Connections 2022: The National Transit Workforce Conference. Taking place Dec. 13-14 in Washington, DC, the conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to take a deep dive into all aspects of workforce challenges and best practices.
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HRT Rebrands Metro Area Express as 757 Express
 
Hampton Roads Transit (HRT), Norfolk, VA, has rebranded its Metro Area Express inter-city bus service as the 757 Express, with the silver and blue buses now in a white livery and carrying the 757 Express logo. All HRT express-type service will now operate under the new branding.
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NJ TRANSIT Breaks Ground on Hoboken Connect Project
 
NJ TRANSIT has broken ground on its Hoboken Connect development and public infrastructure improvement project near Hoboken's historic train station. The project will include new office and retail space, affordable housing and improvements to public infrastructure and the surrounding streetscape.
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Community Transit Launches On-Demand Zip
 
Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA, launched a one-year pilot of the agency’s first on-demand ride service, Zip Shuttle, at the Lynnwood Convention Center recently.
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TransLink Unveils Indigenous Murals on Canada Line Bridge

TransLink, New Westminster, BC, Canada, has completed installation of three murals on a section of the Canada Line Bridge, which spans the Fraser River on the unceded and traditional territory of  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), connecting Richmond and Vancouver.
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Spokane Launches Connect Fare System with INIT
 
Spokane Transit Authority (STA), WA, has launched Connect, an account-based fare collection system supplied by INIT. Connect encompasses both physical cards and mobile payments within the eConnect mobile app to deliver real-time account management, facilitate new payment options and maintain customer data security.
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More in This Issue of Passenger Transport:
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TCRP
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