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Stirring up the industry

Paul Weyrich is a widely respected conservative supporter of public transportation, to the extent that companies and suppliers to the transit industry have contributed heavily to his research efforts. Recently, Weyrich commented on what appears to be the Federal Transit Administration favoring bus rapid transit (BRT) over light rail transit.

July 31, 2008

Not "good" enough

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.

April 9, 2009

The real stimulus benefactors

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.

February 23, 2009

Will transit lose riders to cheap gas?

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.

December 8, 2008

Employment bus is transit's boon

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.

May 29, 2009

Employment bust is transit's boon

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.

May 29, 2009

Transit playing catch-up

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.

September 3, 2009

It's going to be tricky

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.

June 18, 2009

Turning right to conserve fuel

A United Parcel Service (UPS) official was the featured speaker at a large community gathering recently. In his speech, he described how the UPS delivery fleet is computer programmed in a manner so that delivery trucks make only right-hand turns on their route as often as possible.

October 23, 2008

APTA business members rise through the ranks

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.

October 5, 2012

How well do you know your customers?

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.

September 24, 2009

Silver lining for suppliers

We talk about how escalating gas prices are favorably affecting ridership. Little is said about the other favorable fallout: how the flurry of ridership increases has pushed transit services beyond capacity, forcing agencies to bolster their fleets.

August 28, 2008

Public transit not an option for Chevron?

A recent ad for Chevron in the The Wall Street Journal featured a two-page spread showing in large script the words: "I will leave my car at home more" — words similar to those used in ads put forth by many transit agencies. I thought for sure they were promoting public transportation until I read the rest of the ad.

September 30, 2008

Deep pockets for Wall Street

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.

December 18, 2008

Fuel costs hurt transit industry too

The price of gas is front page news these days. Over-the-road truckers are at a point where fueling their vehicles eats up their profits and literally their livelihood. Airlines are looking for ways to stay aloft via surcharges...

June 5, 2008

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