Management & Operations

Reauthorization talks omnipresent at APTA legislative conference

Posted on April 28, 2008

Talk of the upcoming reauthorization dominated the American Public Transportation Authority’s (APTA) annual legislative conference, which took place March 9 to 11 in Washington, D.C. APTA President Bill Millar announced the latest record-breaking ridership statistics to the general session audience, saying that Americans took 10.3 billion trips on public transportation in 2007, the highest level in 50 years, representing a 2.1 percent increase over the previous year. “In light of high gas prices, increased road congestion and expanded public transit services, this continued growth in ridership demonstrates how important public transportation is for America,” said Millar. “Now with gas prices predicted to rise to $4 a gallon, there is a greater urgency for higher federal funding to expand U.S. public transportation systems so Americans have an affordable transportation choice.”

Millar also promoted the key role transportation plays in decreasing greenhouse gases and meeting the national goal of energy independence. “When more people ride public transportation, there are more reductions in carbon emissions and our country is less dependent on foreign oil.”

Thomas J. Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was a keynote speaker during the event. “We need to change the mindset of the people in this country,” he said. “We need smart transportation and infrastructure. The systems in this country are getting a D-plus rating from civil engineers.”

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, who is also the incoming chair for the National Governor’s Association, discussed the importance of transportation funding and the experiences with transportation projects in his state. “If you improve it, they will ride it,” he said. He also emphasized the importance of public participation with regard to projects.

APTA Chair Mike Townes, and president and CEO for Hampton Roads Transit, discussed the Transit Vision 2050 program and gave an overview of past Webinars before showing a promotional video presentation. Townes also reported on the availability of a new vision report online. “We want input from everyone on how to refine it,” he said. “It will frame our future in many ways.”

Other highlights during the general session portion of the conference included an insider’s look at the political scene in Washington provided by Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio, and Tony Blakely, panelist with The McLaughlin Group and editorial page editor for The Washington Times. Both gave their opinions on the three remaining presidential candidates and their predictions for the election.

During the second annual presentation of the FTA Ridership awards, Administrator James S. Simpson recognized agencies for their innovative ways of increasing ridership. Winners of the fewer than 50,000 population category included Go West Transit, Macomb, Ill. and Pulaski Area Transit, Pulaski, Va. In the 50,000 to 200,000 category, River Valley Metro Mass Transit District, Bourbonnais, Ill.; Wildcat Transit, Durham, N.H.; and City of Monroe Transit System, Monroe, La.

For the 200,000 to one million category, Spokane Transit, Spokane, Wash.; Denton County Transportation Authority, Lewisville, Texas; Sun Tran, Tucson, Ariz.; and Fort Worth Transportation Authority, Fort Worth, Texas. Delaware Transit Corp. in Dover, Del., won the more than one million population category.

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

More News

SORTA to sell advertising to pay for bus benches

In a separate ordinance, the city agreed to stop removing currently illegal benches at some stops unless they are unsafe.

Future for connected cars is promising, obstacles remain: study

Obstacles include privacy and security concerns, to a lack of infrastructure and the need for a legislative framework.

Caltrain begins courtesy campaign via social media

The campaign, called “Caltrain Manners,” is the result of a recent online survey, where passengers were asked what annoyed them most about their fellow riders. Caltrain tallied the results to determine the three worst passenger gaffes.

Sacramento RT receives state certification for bus apprenticeship program

Having trained and qualified mechanics is critical to RT’s mission of providing reliable bus service to the Sacramento region.

Community Transit programs removed 370K drive-alone trips in 2016

Choice Connections and Curb the Congestion target large employers and most-congested corridors, and recognize individuals who use transportation options.

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


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