DECEMBER 2011

COVER STORY
 
University Transit Turns to Technology, Partnerships to Cope with Demand
By Nicole Schlosser, Senior Editor

State budgets are squeezing colleges and universities at a time when enrollment is higher and a sluggish economy is causing more students to board campus buses. Partnering with both local transit authorities and contractors has saved transit services for many schools.



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Features

APTA EXPO Revitalizes Industry

Outgoing APTA President William Millar offered his thanks to the industry and his ringing endorsement to incoming President Michael Melaniphy. The EXPO featured 750-plus exhibitors — 100 first-timers — displaying innovative products and services on the 300,000-square-foot show floor, including two complete railcars and two railcar mockups, and 54 buses and vans.



Q'Straint debuts Quantum self-securement system

Fresh off the release of the Q'POD at 2008's APTA EXPO, Q'Straint unveiled the Quantum system at this year's EXPO.



Alstom, OC Transpo foresee growth for public-private partnerships

During EXPO, Managing Editor Alex Roman sat down with Guillaume Mehlman (shown far right), managing director, Alstom Transportation Inc., North America, and Alain Mercier, president of OC Transpo, for a brief conversation.

BCI Opens Chinese Facility, Focuses on North American Growth

While buses for all its worldwide subsidiaries will be built in China, the Australian-based bus manufacturer plans on completing Altoona testing and opening a final assembly plant in the U.S. to meet Buy America requirements.



Melaniphy Eager to ‘Learn Something New Every Day’ as APTA Chief

New president/CEO discusses plans to meet with a broad cross-section of APTA members, including visits to facilities, bus garages, rail yards and factory floors. Meeting with members’ local and national stakeholder partners, such as regional FTA and FRA offices and other policy and regulatory partners, is also on his agenda.

DEPARTMENTS

Transit agencies turn to new, innovative contactless payment systems

Transit agencies, including NJ Transit and Utah Transit Authority, believe that contactless payment systems will help them more accurately plan routes and set fare prices.



Mich. transit’s ‘buddy system’ gives senior, disabled riders guidance

Monroe, Mich.-based Lake Erie Transit (LET) rolled out a "buddy system" in October to help seniors and new riders acclimate to using the transit system. The program is similar to travel training, but with more personal service, Mark Jagodzinski, LET's GM, said.

The business case for a gas tax increase gets stronger

Most private business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, support a gas tax increase, because they see the dire need for more U.S. transportation investment.



Plainclothes officers, station announcements used to quell handheld electronic thefts

As the popularity of handheld electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and e-readers grows, so has the temptation for would-be thieves.

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