Many APTA business members have no idea of the unusual significance of Michael Melaniphy being selected to be the president of the association. Why is it so gratifying to business members? One need only know the history of the many years business members struggled just to be allowed to be members of the public transit association.
American transportation policy is hardly coherent anymore, with projects and policies taking off in different directions.
While we are all enamored with the current surge in redeveloping passenger rail, here is something to ponder.
In the mid-19th century, we discovered that hauling large swaths of people by rail was a profitable venture. Rail transportation, and its commercial use, grew rapidly until air travel was discovered and became the popular mode for travel.
The amount of money being talked about to improve and upgrade passenger rail in the U.S. has grabbed a lot of the attention away from public transportation's need for funding.
In a previous blog, I talked about the revival of passenger rail transportation. If there is going to be a long awaited interest and growth in this part of the transportation industry, who and where are the leaders that will coordinate and propel rail ridership throughout the U.S.?
We just got over “junk your car” rebates by the federal administration, now it’s “junk the bus.” This program makes sense in terms of the environment, since “junk your car” was directed at saving energy.
I recently read a story about a transit CEO who has made it a habit to ride a bus on a different route every week to learn customer’s opinions about their service experience firsthand. The CEO makes it known who he/she is when boarding the bus and they engage passengers in conversation while riding. The CEO makes notes of all the opinions they hear, good or bad, and follows up on them.
Compared to years past, authorities are experiencing a new day in public transportation because of a transit-friendly administration. Stimulus money is apparently rolling in everywhere. However, public transit still has its naysayers, who just can’t let go of old attitudes about empty buses, even though they are more filled today than ever before.
The public transportation industry is awakening to a new outlook on their future role in transit. Instead of making a wish list of capital plans, dreams are becoming realities. Transit is being urged to speed up plans for expanding facilities and buying new buses and equipment to meet the new growing demand.
Much attention is being paid to workforce development by the transit industry. APTA has put together a blue ribbon task force to study the issues and make recommendations. The association's business members are being encouraged to participate in the study.
A lot of attention is being paid to workforce development by the transit industry. APTA has a put together a blue ribbon task force to study the issues and make recommendations. The association's business members are being encouraged to participate in the study.
The term “transit funding” has become an oxymoron to transit agencies. Suddenly, money is literally being thrown at transit agencies to spend as quickly as they can. However, they cannot spend it on operations.
The billions of stimulus dollars that will be made available to transit agencies will flow through them into contracts for all kinds of goods and services. The real benefactors of this money will be the companies and suppliers that provide these goods and services.
Public transit is as much a part of the nation's infrastructure as highways, sanitation systems and other civil needs. Once in a while I hear, as background noise, references to upgrading our country’s infrastructure. The economy’s chaotic credit system is getting all the attention and billions of dollars are being made available to prop it up.
The confusion over what to do now that gas prices have dropped will test how well transit authorities hang on to their big ridership increases from the past four months. Obviously, gas prices were the reason for the 10-percent-or-more boost in ridership numbers across the country this past summer.