FEBRUARY 2010

COVER STORY
 
Caught in a Perfect Storm: Will a New Transportation Bill Emerge in 2010?
By Alex Roman, Managing Editor

With the nation in the grips of an economic downturn and Congress inching slowly toward resolution on other important bills, it’s beginning to look as if SAFETEA-LU will continue to be extended until Congress and the Obama administration can clear their slate and focus on finding a way to fund the bill.



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Features

New Starts/Small Starts Shift to Focus on Livability

The changes may substantially impact what sort of projects will be selected in the program going forward, with more of a focus on sustainable, economically beneficial projects. The addition of programs, such as funding for urban circulators, may also play a major role in how New Starts/Small Starts decisions will be made in the future.



Improving Fare Collection System Security

Transit agencies report that reviewing fare collection controls and system security is a continual process. Experts recommend appointing a revenue auditor to perform daily checks and reports, performing regular preventive maintenance on fareboxes and putting policies and procedures in writing.

Alstom Expands U.S. Presence with New Bay Area Facility

The new $1.4 million, 120,000-square-foot rail service facility on Mare Island, currently offers the capacity to work on 15 railcars. The site, which features a 50-foot maintenance pit, is set up to handle maintenance/wreck repair, renovation/rebuilds, and supply chain management services.



Could a Voice From the Hill Change the Charter Rule?

After a senator’s proposal resulted in an exemption granted to a Seattle transit agency to provide transportation to sporting events, many in the motorcoach industry are concerned for the Rule’s future and defend its importance.

DEPARTMENTS

Central Arkansas weathers recession with budgeting, stimulus funding

Using $5.4 million in stimulus funding it received, the Central Arkansas Transit system purchased four paratransit vehicles and eight fixed-route buses. As a result, Executive Director Betty Wineland said that for the first time in more than 33 years, the agency will have no buses in its fleet that exceed the recommended 12-year retirement age.



Central Florida holds emergency preparedness workshop

The tragic earthquake in Haiti last January was still fresh in the minds of those who attended the Connecting Communities emergency preparedness workshop in Orlando, Fla.

Now more than ever, tell Congress to pass the longest authorization possible

How Congress and the administration respond to these demands of a lengthier extension or a full six-year renewal of federal law may determine the future of the industry as we know it.



New Starts moves continue rail favoritism over BRT

Cliff Henke, a contributing editor to METRO, is senior analyst at PB. His views herein are solely his own.

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