The American Public Transportation Association issued a letter from its President/CEO Paul P. Skoutelas outlining new communication plans, resources and advocacy efforts to assist members during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Letter to APTA Members from Paul P. Skoutelas
March 16, 2020
Dear APTA Member,
I’m reaching out to you as a valued member of APTA and the public transportation community regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At a time when we are being advised to maintain “social distance,” it is more important than ever for the APTA family to stay together. We recognize and applaud the extraordinary efforts that you and your employees are making in your agencies, businesses, and communities. APTA Chair Nuria Fernandez and I are in touch daily on all developments.
Beginning today, I will be communicating with you weekly to share information, address your concerns, and provide support to you, your organizations, and families.
Here’s what APTA is doing to assist you:
- APTA remains open to serve you. We are maintaining operations via online and teleconferencing services, and we are here to assist you. The below resources are immediately available to you:
- Coronavirus resource page on APTA.com: Updated daily with important, useful information.
- APTA Publications and Alerts: Passenger Transport, Passenger Transport Express, and Legislative Alerts as well as social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, will continue to provide the latest news, along with this weekly letter.
- Hotline Email Address: Using firstname.lastname@example.org, you can ask APTA any question. An expert on our staff will respond directly to you and useful information from Q&As will be added to our resource page for the benefit of all APTA members.
- We are advocating for you in Washington – for administrative actions and for legislation.
- Administrative Actions: We reported in Passenger Transport on Friday that FTA announced increased flexibility under its Emergency Relief Program to help transit agencies respond to the coronavirus. Read more here. We’ll continue working with FTA on additional administrative decisions that can help our industry.
- Legislation: Congress and the Administration have agreed upon an emergency aid package, primarily for workers and small businesses. APTA is currently working with Congress on legislation that would provide targeted assistance to the public transportation industry. To achieve this goal, we sent an online questionnaire to gather information from transit CEOs. The responses will show the types of aid needed and help us generate support in Congress.
- Transit CEO Town Halls: On Tuesday, March 17, APTA will host three online town hall meetings exclusively for transit CEOs (organized by Commuter Rail, Bus & Paratransit, and Rail Transit) to engage in CEO-to-CEO discussions on such topics as staffing, screening, and reductions in service, ridership, and revenue. We will be scheduling more town halls in the coming days organized around the APTA committee structure.
- Online FTA Update & Webinars: In the coming days, APTA will host a live, online update by Acting FTA Administrator K. Jane Williams. We’ll provide final details soon and all APTA members are invited to participate. In addition, we’ll hold a webinar titled "Paratransit Operations Response Plan to Coronavirus COVID-19" on Thursday, March 19. This paratransit webinar is for members only, and you may register here after logging into apta.com. Additional webinars will be scheduled soon and details will be posted on APTA’s coronavirus resource page.
- APTA Conferences & Events: We have cancelled the Transit CEOs Seminar that had been scheduled for April 25 - 27 and Get On Board Day scheduled for April 16. We will keep you informed about the status of other APTA events so that you have as much advance notice as possible.
If you feel an issue or question should be brought to my personal attention, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com or call me at 202-748-7934.
I wish all of you the best during these unprecedented challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy.
Paul P. Skoutelas
President and CEO