Rail

<font color=red>Web Extra:</font> Growth, cost control hot topics at light rail event

Posted on April 23, 2009

[IMAGE]Millar-light-rail2-full.jpg[/IMAGE]With “Growth and Renewal” serving as the theme, the 2009 Joint Light Rail Conference, co-sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), glided into Los Angeles April 19 to 21.

Much of the focus of this year’s installment was on the reinvigorated interest in public transportation, in general, as well as the increased number of rail and other projects being funded, specifically, that have come with President Barack Obama’s $8.4 billion pledge through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and his recent call for sizable investment in high-speed rail programs.

“We have never been more excited or more energized,” said Leslie T. Rogers, region IX administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), when discussing the President’s and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s dedication to public transportation and its impact on the FTA during the Opening Session.

Also during the opening session, APTA President William W. Millar touted public transportation for its record ridership and pointed out that it continues to increase despite fuel prices continuing to decrease. Similar to many who spoke during the opening session, Millar also spoke about the impact that President Obama has had on the industry in his first 100 days, including funding 2,000 projects under ARRA within two months of its inception.

Another focus of day one was on being green, with several speakers discussing the benefits of rail transit on the environment, either through the conservation of energy or its inherently lower emissions, when compared to travel by vehicle or bus, during the “Energy, Environment & Transit: Greener/Efficient” session.

Other day one topics included controlling capital costs through design and delivery and the importance of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), attractive stop and station design, and art along rail lines to attract riders. The latter session – “Stations, Stops, and Arts in Transit” – featured Rick Simonetta, CEO of the Phoenix, Ariz.-based Valley Metro Rail, discussing the logistics of the agency’s rail system and its focus on TOD along its line, which was started before the system was officially opened.

APTA and TRB also feted California Senator James R. Mills for his lifelong commitment to transit. During his 16 years as Senator, Mills introduced bills that imposed a sales tax on gasoline to fund transportation development, allowed a portion of state highway funds to be used to build guideway systems and set up funds for multimodal projects. He also authored the Mills Act, which lets owners of historically designated buildings reduce their property taxes in exchange for restoring and maintaining those buildings.

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

More News

Siemens wins New York Communications-Based Train Control contract

The $156 million contract is to install the system on the Queens Boulevard Line, one of the busiest subway lines on the New York City Transit system.

Bike repair kiosks coming to select MARTA stations

MARTA partnered with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a bike advocacy and rider education organization, to initiate the campaign and identify locations for the repair kiosks.

Sacramento RT's Blue Line extension begins service

The expansion offers local commuters an alternative to congested Highway 99 and brings new transit service to the area’s major employers. It will also encourage new retail and residential development in specially zoned areas along the light rail line.

Ariz.'s Valley Metro extends rail line into Downtown Mesa

Seven months ahead of schedule and on budget, the additional 3.1-miles of service on Main Street between Sycamore Drive and Mesa Drive was greeted with big cheers from riders, business owners and local leaders.

San Diego MTS offers free video-on-demand service on trolleys

First U.S. public transportation system offering mobile-based multi-channel VOD

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 resource for managers of class 1-7 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