Management & Operations

Challenges aplenty for transit industry

Posted on August 1, 2003

As the U.S. economy pushes into recovery mode, the transit industry continues to face numerous challenges on several fronts. That was one of the key messages heard at the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) annual meeting in Salt Lake City. The meeting, co-sponsored by the Utah Transit Authority, was held Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. “This has been a challenging year for transit,” said Jenna Dorn, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. Although some transit systems have had to raise fares and reduce service because of budget setbacks, Dorn told attendees that a few properties have managed to increase ridership significantly in the past year. “it’s nothing short of remarkable,” she said. Dorn urged the audience to focus on demonstrating to politicians and community leaders the return on investment that transit creates. Partnerships with real estate developers, lenders, human service agencies and other community organizations will be critical. “Economic benefits must be part of the case we make,” Dorn said. Roger Snoble, CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), agreed with Dorn’s assessment. “It’s been a tough year,” he said during a panel discussion about the impact of the economy on transit systems. Because of flagging sales tax revenue and cutbacks in state funding, the MTA has been forced to add to its debt load. “This is a growing concern for us, the cost of borrowing,” Snoble said. “The question is, how can we balance our debt and still expand our services?” Speaking on the same panel, Patrick Rona, president and CEO of North American Bus Industries, cited the role that product innovation can play in reinvigorating the economy. “Innovation can create opportunities that never existed before,” he said. The need to continue to press for increased transit funding in the reauthorization of TEA 21 was also a key message heard at the meeting. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill were unable to mete out a transportation bill by the Sept. 30 expiration, leading to a five-month extension of the current law. Transit officials were called upon to keep pushing their representatives in Washington, D.C., to make transit a top priority in the reauthorization. The meeting also featured a shift of power, as Celia Kupersmith, general manager of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District in San Francisco, completed her year-long tenure as chair of APTA and handed over the reins to George F. Dixon III, president of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

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

More News

King County Metro launches mobile ticketing app

The Transit GO Ticket app pilot project was created under contract by Bytemark, which has similar systems in use in Austin, Texas; Massachusetts DOT; and Atlanta.

L.A. approves selling naming rights to lines, stations

A marketing company could be hired by early next year to entertain offers and assign prices for naming rights of hundreds of Metro assets, the report said.

2 finalists chosen for new job as head of New Orleans RTA

The executive director job, which comes with a salary of up to $185,000 a year, was first spelled out in a 2015 contract between the RTA and its operator, Transdev.

First Transit to pilot autonomous vehicle passenger shuttle

The AV passenger shuttle will run a fixed-route stopping at designated stops within an office park. The pilot will begin with two vehicles — each with a customer service agent onboard for passenger questions and information.

Luminator introduces 'Get Real' repair service program

While a basic repair service program was in place, Luminator has restructured and formalized the program to improve service and market competitiveness.

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