Government Issues

Pub Perspective: Constant change has been the industry’s primary trend

Posted on December 23, 2014 by Frank Di Giacomo, Publisher

It’s been said that history may not be a song that repeats itself but it has verses that rhyme. Public transportation is one of those songs, and this past year has been one of those verses that rhyme with past ones.  But it’s always been a hopeful tune, and what happened this year and likely in the next will be hopeful as well.

Here are some specific examples of what I mean. We have seen fights about the future of federal funding before, maybe not like the current one, but close enough. In 1995, the Newt Gingrich-led Congress, confident of its conservative mandate from the 1994 mid-term election, turned around and passed the largest public transportation bill in history at the time, TEA-21, just a year later. We might see a similar step forward this time: at press time, a bipartisan group in Congress is calling for a gas tax increase to rescue the Highway Trust Fund.

The past year has also seen voter approval of more than 70% of the ballot initiatives put to them that involved public transportation investment, continuing this success streak that started more than 20 years ago. Sure, some high-profile measures were not approved, such as for Austin’s rail project, but many others were, such as in Clayton County, Ga., which voted to join the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority’s service area, expanding that system for the first time in 40 years.

It’s farewell from me, but not goodbye
This edition of Metro Magazine marks the end of the 110th year of its or its predecessor magazines. It began as Electric Traction, a publication devoted to streetcars, which we’re seeing a strong interest in again. The magazine covered our industry’s further evolution into buses, public takeover of private companies, and of course, the public-private partnerships we are seeing today. In other words, it finds a way to stay in business, because it has support.

It also marks the end of my 33-year involvement with the magazine on a full-time basis. When I started, the industry was about $12 billion (operations and capital spending). Today it’s about $60 billion each year, more than five times the size it was.

This edition is my last as the publisher. I leave it in good hands with a great editorial team and the latest addition to the team James Blue as GM. That doesn’t mean I am completely stepping away, as I will continue to work in a reduced role, focusing on special projects and various assignments.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished in growing the magazine and offering you more services. I expect only more from James and the team in the future. That’s because what has always made me hopeful about the industry is that we may not know what will be next, but we always know it will be of the same great tune.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

APTA displeased with Trump budget proposal to cut key public transit funding programs

In addition, while APTA officials appreciate the Administration putting forth an outline of an infrastructure proposal, they noted that public transit must be a significant part of any proposed infrastructure initiative.

Canadian town turns Uber into its public transit system

The town will subsidize a portion of the fare for all trips taken by residents, while offering additional subsidies for rides going to and from transit hubs.

FTA approves Caltrain FFGA for corridor electrification project

With the Caltrain project having met all of the statutory requirements, the FTA intends to sign the FFGA and intends to allocate the FY 2017 Congressionally-appropriated funds to the project in its upcoming apportionments notice.

Higher mass transit use associated with lower obesity rates, study says

Researchers controlled for a number of factors that could influence health or transportation, such as household income, poverty rate, education level, leisure physical activity and access to health care.

U.S. Senate confirms Rosen as Dep. Sec. USDOT

He has extensive experience in the transportation sector, serving previously as General Counsel at both the DOT and the Office of Management and Budget.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close