ITLC Update
Remembering Our Friend and Colleague John Remark
Our friend and colleague for many years, John Remark, passed away on January 1, 2022. He had been elected and re-elected for 22 years to serve as the Financial Secretary of ATU Local 85 in Pittsburgh. After that, he spent another two decades representing the ATU International in helping dozens of Locals develop much needed quality training and apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania and around the entire country.  
Johnny worked very closely with the team at the International Transportation Learning Center in outreach to dozens of transit systems represented by ATU. He facilitated development of effective training programs in locations where none had existed, and he helped upgrade and expand training that existed to some degree but need substantial upgrading. He also helped ITLC and transit systems and unions in building national labor-management partnerships for training standards and frameworks for apprenticeship that were completely new. 
John Remark was a reliable friend and a perfect gentleman. He generously mentored many union members as they became training advocates and helped design and implement new high quality training programs.
Many in ITLC’s training network knew and respected Johnny. Here are a few of their observations about him:
  • John was very helpful and supportive of me in my work with Pennsylvania’s Keystone Development Partnership and our local ATU in Pittsburgh. I really appreciate all that he did for ATU union members throughout the country.
  • He always had respect for the members and leaders he worked with and it made my work so much easier. He was a gem of a human being. 
  • John had an infectious laugh, he always made you feel welcomed.
  • John was a great mentor for us at the Keystone Development Partnership and a kind soul . . . If it wasn’t for John and a couple of others, then I don’t think there would have been a KDP.
  • I’ve had the honor and pleasure of knowing John since 1981. He was a hell of a guy who impacted many across the country.
  • I’m not sure the Center and the Keystone Transit Career Ladder Partnership would have made it in Western PA without Johnny. He knew everybody and was respected by all.  
  • I was sad to hear about his passing but I will remember John as such a nice and welcoming spirit.
  • John was the kindest person I’ve ever met but so fiery and unyielding when it came to fighting for labor’s voice. He’s dearly missed.
ATU International President John Costa said this about John Remark:
“John Remark was a dedicated leader for ATU Local 85 in Pittsburgh, PA who fought for better wages, improved working conditions, strong health care, and pension benefits for thousands of our members. At the International, John also played an important role in developing workforce training and apprenticeship programs at our Locals to ensure our members were prepared to deal with the changing technology in our industry and advance their careers. We send our condolences to John’s family, friends, and our brothers and sisters at Local 85.”
Upcoming Webinars
SPUR –January 19, 12:30 pm PT
Though the Bay Area’s regional transportation plans are typically a step ahead of the rest of the country, they remain based on locally-nominated projects. This often leads to underinvestment in urban infrastructure and core transit service, hindering opportunities for connections between transit systems. Thinking of regional transit as a single network, however, would solve many of these difficulties and enable the Bay Area to make more effectual planning and investment decisions. That proactive approach is what the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has undertaken as part of its Bay Area Transit Transformation Action Plan, a new initiative that will create a service-based network in which all modes work together as a unified, reliable and effective package. Join us to learn how this ambitious plan can match the right transit mode to the right market and rectify many of the long-standing challenges of the region’s overly fragmented transit system.
APTAU – January 19, 1:30 pm ET
January is Human Trafficking Awareness month. Hear from federal partners, industry experts and stakeholders on effective programs, training and campaigns for the transit industry for Human Trafficking awareness.
Eno Center for Transportation – January 19th at 2:00 pm ET
Christof Spieler has recently released the second edition of his wildly popular book Trains, Buses, People. Christof’s new book now covers eight Canadian cities and two new US areas (Indianapolis and Puerto Rico). His original book was dubbed “a transit wonk’s bible” that has guided “a smarter conversation about urban transit”. Christof will discuss the evolving conversation around transit in the past three years since the book originally published. He’ll also briefly cover updates around fare policies, wayfinding, transit governance structures, customer experience, how to create inclusive transit systems that work for all riders.

Association for Commuter Transportation - January 20, 2:00 pm ET
Access to any form of transportation is one of the biggest hurdles for people with disabilities or for anyone living in an underserved community. Without accessible transportation, many people with disabilities simply cannot get to school or the workplace, hindering their full participation in society. Join us as we break down the barriers and challenges and discuss how to begin addressing these issues on the local level. We’ll also discuss creating partnerships with organizations in your community that will help develop community engagement and fill the need for employers.
APTAU – January 20, 3:00 pm ET
This webinar will allow attendees to glean more information from TSA regarding the incident response plan requirements, details of the vulnerability assessment form and what to expect when an incident is reported. Available resources will also be shared.
Public Transportation
Bloomberg CityLab – January 10, 2022
With transit agencies scrambling to win back passengers who avoided riding during the pandemic, the new technology arrives at an opportune time. Clear lanes mean faster trips and better on-time performance, easing the commutes of a largely low-income passenger base. Surveys show that transit’s frequency, duration and reliability — not its cost, notably — are the qualities that bus passengers care about most. Lane enforcement cameras could give agencies a potent new tool as they face a challenging path to recovery.
Transit Partners
GCRTA – January 10, 2022
“All of the buses come with features that will be of great service to our passengers, such as Free Wi-Fi and LCD screens that display real time route updates, along with news and weather reports,” said GCRTA General Manager/CEO India Birdsong. “The buses are powered by low emission technology and meets both EPA and NHTSA program goals to reduce harmful emission and fuel consumption.”  

KTLA – January 10, 2022
The buses, which have been free since March 2020 due to the pandemic, will once again cost $1.75 per one-way trip starting Monday, Jan. 10. “Your fares help keep our system running,” Metro said in a press release. Metro board moves to require vaccinations for law enforcement officers
Riders will also have to enter through the front door by the driver, instead of through the back, which was allowed to assist with social distancing, the Los Angeles Times reports.
BART – January 11, 2022
Crisis Intervention Specialists are unarmed BPD employees who have a background in social services. Their mission is to proactively ride trains and walk platforms to respond to reports of people in the BART system who are experiencing a crisis with mental health, a lack of housing, or drug issues and connect them with services. BART wants to reduce incidents inside trains and stations related to this vulnerable population and respond to calls for welfare checks with the CIS teams. The new approach is already paying off. In November CIS teams made 208 contacts across the BART system which resulted in 35 referrals to support services.
Economic Issues
Governing – January 11, 2022
To get the attention of Buttigieg, and less well-known figures in the federal bureaucracy, localities need to be able to craft a winning proposal. There are regions where this will not be a heavy lift. Metro areas like Boston have a deep bench of experienced planners, a rich network of foundations and community development corporations, and organized business groups that push for transit and housing reform. But what about rural areas, deindustrialized Midwestern regions, or traditionally low tax and low service corners of the country like much of the American South?
Business Insider – January 9, 2022
The paper leaves "open questions" about what could improve workers' information around pay. Things like salary transparency laws, which are on the rise, might help. Online job platforms where you can easily see how much others make might help workers figure out if they're getting underpaid.
The Nation – January 7, 2022
Underneath all the economic reporting of 2021, there was a hidden story: Aided by the American Recovery Act and other stimulus measures, low-wage workers launched a small-scale revolution. Employees and contractors used the additional resources of the past year to successfully demand better pay and working conditions. This occurred alongside giant job gains—over 6 million new jobs this year—creating a recovery about eight times faster than the one that followed the Great Recession of 2008-9. The way in which this is happening is one of the more important and hopeful stories about the labor market today.
International Transit News
Railway Technology - January 10, 2022
This train is said to be the world’s first high-speed train to feature a 5G live broadcast studio, which can broadcast content using 5G. The eight-car electric multiple unit (EMU) bullet train will be able to accommodate more than 560 people, with one of the carriages including a media workspace.
Workforce Development
The Annie E. Casey Foundation – January 8, 2022
In today’s job mar­ket, many employ­ers are look­ing for can­di­dates with a col­lege degree or spe­cial­ized train­ing. These expec­ta­tions are often a road­block for young peo­ple from low-income fam­i­lies, who strug­gle to afford the ris­ing cost of tuition and may not have the job expe­ri­ence or pro­fes­sion­al con­nec­tions needed. What’s more, prospec­tive col­lege stu­dents face daunt­ing obsta­cles — includ­ing shrink­ing finan­cial aid and the heavy bur­den of stu­dent loan debt — that may pre­vent them from com­plet­ing their degree or credential. Youth appren­tice­ships com­bat these chal­lenges by com­bin­ing com­pen­sat­ed, hands-on train­ing with crit­i­cal class­room learn­ing to give stu­dents the tools and skills they need to suc­ceed as work­ing adults.
Green News
Streetsblog – January 10, 2022
Leaders can do more to increase active transportation mode share without cannibalizing customers from transit agencies, by making streets comprehensively safe for riders and walkers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, rethinking restrictive land use to put more destinations within easy rolling distance, and expanding access to both electric and acoustic cycles through incentive programs at all levels of government. And of course, making transit a convenient and attractive way to get around by funding it robustly can drive emissions down even more — especially as public perceptions of the viral risks of shared transportation begin to shift.
International Transportation Learning Center