APTA Urges Congress To Increase Transit Security Funding

$6.4 Billion in Security Needs Identified

Washington, DC – The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) today called on Congress to appropriate $1.1 billion for public transportation security funding in the fiscal year 2011 budget to help safeguard the millions of public transit riders from terrorist attacks.

In testimony before the House Appropriations Committee on Homeland Security, APTA President William Millar announced the results of a recent survey of public transit systems that identifies $6.4 billion in security needs and urged Congress to provide at least $1.1 billion in funding for fiscal year 2011, which is the level authorized under the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.  Federal funding provided in fiscal year 2010 for public transportation security was $253 million.

“The terrorist attacks on transit systems in London and Madrid and the recent suicide bomb attacks in the Moscow subway are graphic reminders of the threats public transportation riders face,” said Millar. “Public transportation systems have taken many steps to improve security but almost 9 years since 9/11, we still need significant investment in order to protect our citizens who take 35 million trips each weekday on the nation’s public transit systems.”

Noting that only $1.25 billion of the $3.4 billion authorized in the 9/11 Act has been appropriated since it was enacted in 2007 and even less has been ultimately directed in grants to transit agencies, Millar said, “We do not need another wake-up call in public transportation. We need the financial resources to implement all we have learned since 9/11.”

The $6.4 billion in security-related investment needs identified in the survey includes $4.4 billion for capital investments and $2 billion for personnel and other operational expenses over the next five years.  Examples of projects include closed-circuit television, chemical detection equipment, tunnel communication equipment, control center redundancy and equipment, and intrusion and perimeter monitoring and protection.

2010 APTA Bus and Paratransit Conference May 2-5th

Public transportation industry experts from across the country will meet in Cleveland, OH May 2-5, 2010 for the Bus & Paratransit Conference and International Bus Roadeo. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and hosted by Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), the conference will focus on all aspects of the bus and paratransit industry, including: accessibility; safety & security; operations/maintenance/ management; sustainability; workforce development; business practices; technology; and technical and supervisory training. Technical tours, a bus display, and a bus and paratransit products and services showcase are also scheduled.

The 2010 International Bus Roadeo, which will be held on Sunday, May 2 at the West Park Station, highlights the best bus operators and bus maintenance teams in North America. Local bus roadeo competitions are held in North America to select the competitors in this prestigious competition. Additionally, on Monday, May 3 the finals for the Customer Service Challenge will be held at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel starting at 2:15 p.m. The winners for both the International Bus Roadeo and the Customer Service Challenge will be announced at an awards dinner on Tuesday, May 4 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel from 7-9:30 p.m.

Obama Encourages Americans to take Public Transportation on Earth Day!

President Obama Challenges Americans to Take Action to Improve the Environment in Honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

WhiteHouse.gov Features New Earth Day Page to Serve as a Resource Guide

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today challenged Americans to take action in their homes, communities, schools, or businesses to improve the environment in honor of the upcoming 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, 2010.  In conjunction with the video message of President Obama, the White House unveiledWhiteHouse.gov/EarthDay as a resource guide for all those interested in learning how they can help make a difference in their community.

The full text of the video is below:

“Forty one years ago, in the city of Cleveland, people watched in horror as the Cuyahoga River – choked with debris and covered in oil – caught on fire.

Images of the burning Cuyahoga shocked a nation, and it led one Wisconsin Senator the following year to organize the first Earth Day to call attention to the dangers of ignoring our environment.

In the four decades since, we have made remarkable progress. Today, our air and water are cleaner, pollution has been greatly reduced, and Americans everywhere are living in a healthier environment. We’ve passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and founded the Environmental Protection Agency. And in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River is cleaner than it’s been in 100 years.

But the true story of the environmental movement is not about the laws that have been passed. It’s about the citizens who have come together time and time again to demand cleaner air, healthier drinking water and safer food – and who have demanded that their representatives in government hold polluters accountable.

That progress continues today, as individuals and entrepreneurs across the country help lay the foundation for a Clean Energy Economy – one solar panel, smart meter and energy efficient home at a time.

Since taking office, my Administration has been a partner in the fight for a healthier environment. Through the Recovery Act, we’ve invested in clean energy and clean water infrastructure across the country. We’re taking the necessary steps to keep our children safe and hold polluters accountable. And we have rejected the notion that we have to choose between creating jobs and a healthy environment – because we know that the economy of the 21st century will be built on infrastructure powered by clean energy.

But even though we’ve made significant progress, there is much more to do. And as we continue to tackle our environmental challenges, it’s clear that change won’t come from Washington alone. It will come from Americans across the country who take steps in their own homes and their own communities to make that change happen.

That’s why, as we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I want to leave you with a challenge.

I want you to take action – in your home or your community; at your school or your business – to improve our environment. It can be as simple as riding the bus or the subway to work, making your home more energy efficient, or organizing your neighbors to clean up a nearby park.

Just go to whitehouse.gov/earthday to learn how you can help. And then tell us your story about what you’re doing to make a difference.

In the end, it’s people like you – the small business owners and community leaders; the teachers and the students; the young people and the grandparents – who have made Earth Day so successful.  And it’s going to be up to you to make an even bigger difference over the next 40 years.

So let’s get to work. Together, we can continue to make progress towards a cleaner environment and a healthier planet.”

Poll: Half of U.S. backs high-speed rail.

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) — About half of U.S. residents support President Barack Obama‘s plan to develop high-speed rail corridors, a poll released Tuesday indicated.

The Canadian polling company, Angus Reid Public Opinion, found 49 percent of those surveyed said they support high-speed rail. About one-third, 32 percent, said they would use the service rather than driving or taking a plane.

One-quarter of respondents, 26 percent, said they oppose building high-speed rail corridors.

Respondents were shown a map of proposed routes, which cover much of the country except the Plains and mountain states of the West. Obama has proposed high-speed rail in California and linking Portland, Ore., Seattle and Vancouver in Canada.

Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans — 70 percent to 34 percent — to support high-speed rail. Among independents, 44 percent support high-speed rail and 35 percent oppose it.

While 44 percent of Democrats would use high-speed rail, only 24 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of independents said they would.

Angus Reid surveyed 1,005 adults online March 31 and April 1. The margin of error is 3.1 percent either way.

APTA Applauds Passage of HIRE Act

Law Will Create Jobs for Americans through investments in public transit

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) applauds President Barack Obama for signing the HIRE Act into law today. The HIRE Act contains essential federal investment in public transportation that will help the tens of millions of Americans who ride public transportation and the millions of Americans seeking employment.

“When President Obama signed the HIRE Act into law today, he sent a strong signal that public transportation investment is a valuable tool in America’s recovery and future economic health,” said APTA President William Millar. “When it comes to job creation, public transportation takes us there – and this bill helps take us there faster.”

The HIRE Act, which extends the deadline for federal surface transportation legislation until December 31, 2010, is a much needed stop-gap measure. The Federal Transit Administration can now allocate the remaining funds that have already been appropriated for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.  The HIRE Act also provides a transfer of funds to the Highway Trust Fund, including $4.8 billion to the Mass Transit Account, ensuring the solvency of the Mass Transit Account through the end of FY 2011.

APTA continues to call on Congress to pass further jobs legislation and a robust multi-year surface transportation bill that will enable public transportation systems to plan for the future.

“The longer we wait for a new bill, the less public transit systems and public transit businesses can support and create American jobs. Passing a long-term transportation authorization bill will be the best thing for public transportation riders and will also help our country’s economic recovery,” said APTA President William Millar.

Upcoming Conferences!

4/10/2010 – 4/13/2010

Classic Center

Athens, Georgia

Make plans to attend the only conference created for you! If you provide transportation to a university, operate in a university community setting, are considering offering transit services to university students, or sell products and services to such a system, then you should plan to attend this conference!

If you are a partner in a transportation and university community, and interested in promoting transit-oriented development, then this is the conference for you!

APTA’s Transportation and University Communities Conference is all about you – your needs, challenges, solutions. It’s a rare opportunity to find the answers you need to ensure a cost-efficient and effective transit system to serve your campus. Meet others facing the same obstacles as you. Partner with transportation professionals, network with leading experts on university community transportation. Learn how to make your transit system thrive. It’s all here at this conference!

Join us for the educational and enlightening look at the opportunities and trends facing today’s universities and their student transportation systems.


  • Program sessions on the following topics:
  • Marketing
  • Universal Access
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation in Small University Communities
  • Transportation Safety and Security, Emergency Preparedness
  • Future University Trends
  • Networking Opportunities to meet transportation officials, leading experts and peers who can help you operate your system more successfully.

Who Should Attend

  • University officials, administrators, faculty, parking professionals, facility managers, and professionals responsible for transportation-related activities and facilities on campus.
  • Transportation executives, administrators, general managers, operations managers, board members and planners.
  • Municipal officers, policy makers, administrators, planners, finance, transit and transportation professionals, and board and commission members.
  • University students and student government officials and representatives.
  • Consultants, transit suppliers, and individuals interested in highly successful, effective and efficient transit operations, policies, plans and relationships; and individuals interested in highly successful, effective and efficient transit operations, policies, plans and relationships.

Airport Transportation

Transportation from the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Athens, GA will be provided free of charge to conference participants.

Airport to Conference (April 10):

  • Shuttles from Atlanta to Athens will be on Saturday, April 10th with departures at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m.
  • Please go to the lower level, door LS2, downstairs from Delta baggage claim. The drivers will not be able to leave their bus, so anyone not at the bus at the departure time will need to wait for the next bus.
  • Look for shuttles that are red, white and black labeled “The University of Georgia” displaying either “University of Georgia” or “Special” on the destination signs.
  • Travel time is about two hours.

Conference to Airport (April 13):

  • Returning shuttles from Athens to Atlanta will be on Tuesday, April 13th with departures from the Hotel Indigo and the Athens Classic Center at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
  • Travel time is about two hours.


4/22/2010 – 4/23/2010

The Wyndham Riverfront

New Orleans, Louisiana

The American Public Transportation Association in consort with the Federal Transit Administration and the USDOT Joint Programs Office will conduct an International Transit ITS Best Practices workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana during the week of April 19th, 2010 (April 22nd and 23rd).

The workshop will focus on Electronic Payment Systems and will be conducted in conjunction with the ISO Technical Committee 204 meeting which occurs earlier in the week. This is the 18th in a series of workshops intended to encourage the deployment of ITS technologies in the transit industry and related fields such as traffic management and emergency services. We cordially invite you to join us for this meeting.

The meeting location is the Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans located at 701 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA and just a few blocks from the Lowes hotel in which the FTA will hold its own meeting. A room block has been set up with a nightly rate of $133.  Attendees should call the hotel directly at 504-524-8200 to make reservations.

The registration charge for this workshop is a modest $75.  Please download the registration form on the right and return to DeeNaye Williams by email atdwilliams@apta.com, or by fax to 202-496-4335.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this workshop please contact either Kevin Dow at kdow@apta.com (202) 496-4831 or DeeNaye Williams atdwilliams@apta.com or (202) 496-4899.

Your support and attendance is greatly encouraged.

Lou Sanders


The conference includes

  • National ITS Architecture
  • International ITS Models
  • Review of ISO (International) Standards Efforts

General Program

Coming Soon.  A preliminary program is now available.

Who Should Attend

ITS practitioners and those interested in implementing ITS into their system architectures.

Public Transportation in Serious Funding Crisis Due to Economic Recession

More than 80% of Transit Systems are being forced to raise fares or cut services due to widespread state and local revenue declines.

Public transportation systems are facing unprecedented funding challenges due to widespread declining state and local revenues, and have been forced to take a number of critical actions including: raising fares, cutting service, and laying off employees, according to a new survey released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

This report, Impacts of the Recession on Public Transportation Agencies, shows that since January 1, 2009, 84 percent of public transit systems have raised fares, cut service or are considering either of those actions. Fifty nine percent of public transit systems reported that they have already cut service or raised fares.

Service cuts that have been either implemented or will be considered for future action include: reductions in rush hour service (56%), reductions in off-peak service (62%), and reductions in geographic coverage (40%).

The severity of the funding situation is evident with seven out of ten public transit systems (69%) projecting budget shortfalls in their next fiscal year. According to the report, public transit systems have taken significant personnel actions to reduce spending. A total of 68 percent of public transportation systems have eliminated positions or are considering doing so in the future. Nearly half (47%) of public transit systems have laid off employees or are considering layoffs in the future.

In addition, more than half (54%) of public transportation systems responding have transferred funds from capital use to operations, thus aggravating efforts to keep systems in a state of good repair.

“Public transportation is experiencing a funding crisis and it is negatively impacting the millions of riders who depend on public transportation every day,” said APTA President William Millar.  “The results of this survey are grim as many public transportation systems are facing large budget shortfalls due to declining state and local revenues.

“As bad as things are today, more drastic service cuts, fare increases, layoffs, and deferred capital projects will occur if this problem is not addressed,” said Millar.

“I call on Congress to provide federal funds for operating expenses during this economic recession,” said Millar. “This funding crisis is not going away. Without help from the federal government, transit riders will be left behind at the curb or station.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) supported and created more than 200,000 jobs, through both capital investment and up to 10 percent of funding for operating expenses.  APTA’s survey found that about one-third of public transit systems used some of their ARRA funds to pay operating costs.  In December, the U.S. House of Representatives approved “The Jobs for Main Street Act,” which provides an additional $8.4 billion for public transportation, including funds for both capital and operating expenses.

“I urge the Senate to act now on its version of a new jobs bill, especially since no ARRA funding remains available for new grants,” said Millar.  “Absent a new jobs bill, further layoffs will occur as ARRA projects are completed.”

Noting that nearly 60 percent of all the trips taken on public transportation are taken to commute to and from work, Millar said, “Now is not the time to cut service that helps people commute to work or enables the unemployed to look for work.  Now is the time for federal, state and local governments to invest in public transportation to help support and create jobs, and maintain service to the public.”

The report is based on a survey of 151 APTA transit system members representing more than 80 percent of the nation’s transit riders, and includes 19 of the top 25 agencies in terms of annual ridership.

To view the full report, go to:

New Campaign…Public Transportation Takes Us There…


The campaign is based on the following principles.

  • America is facing significantly tough economic times. Investing now in public transportation can help us get out of this mess. For every $1 invested in public transportation, $6 is generated in economic returns. Every $1 billion invested in public transportation creates 30,000 jobs. Simply put, public transportation creates jobs and stimulates our economy.
  • America needs to invest now to reduce our dependence on foreign oil so we can create long term growth, stability, and national security. Public transportation allows us to save 900,000 automobile fill-ups each day. That’s 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline that otherwise would come from countries unfriendly to America.
  • Public transportation is the one thing we can do now to make a responsible environmental choice. Public transportation saves 37 million metric tons of CO2 annually. That’s the amount emitted from the electricity production needed to power every household in DC, NYC, LA, Denver, and Atlanta combined. Individually, there may be no better choice for reducing your personal carbon footprint: switching to public transportation reduces individual carbon emissions by 20 pounds per day or 4,800 pounds per year.
  • Public transportation reduces traffic congestion and provides the options Americans need, right now, to get our citizens to and from work efficiently and effectively. Each year, public transportation saves hundreds of millions of hours in travel time, which in turn, reduces stress and decreases congestion on our busy roadways. No matter where you live, in a city, suburb, or beyond, there are public transportation choices you can call on to link you to your job, church, or doctor

Riding Public Transit Saves Individuals $9,215 Annually Transit riders now save $715 more per year compared to last year at this time as the cost of gas has increased $0.77 per gallon

Washington, DC – Individuals who ride public transportation can save on average $9,215 annually based on the March 3, 2010 national average gas price and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. Compared to last year at this time, the average cost per gallon of gas was $1.933 which is $0.77 less than the current price of gas at $2.703 per gallon. The total savings as compared to last year at this time equates to an increase of an additional $715 in savings per year for transit commuters. “The Transit Savings Report” released monthly by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) calculates the average annual and monthly savings for public transit users. The report examines how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car. Transit riders can save on average $768 per month. The savings amount is based on the cost of the national averages for parking and driving, as well as the March 3 national average gas price of $2.703 per gallon for self-serve regular gasoline as reported by AAA. Taking public transportation provides a safe and affordable way for individuals and families to cut costs, according to APTA. In addition, local public transit offers a travel option that has an immediate positive impact in reducing an individual’s overall carbon footprint while helping reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $154.23, according to the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,850. Methodology APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass on the local transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis. APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2009 AAA average cost of driving formula. AAA cost of driving formula is based on variable costs and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.4 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on March 3 at $2.703 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assume a person in a two-person household lives with one less car. In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2009 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States. To calculate your individual savings with or without car ownership, go to http://www.publictransportation.org.

$8.4 Billion invested in Public Transportation creates jobs!

APTA Applauds ARRA Success and Encourages Congress to Continue Investment in Public Transportation

Thanks to the $8.4 billion investment in public transportation in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 252,000 American jobs are being supported and created.  Since the enactment into law of ARRA one year ago today, 2,394 public transportation projects are underway.  No ARRA funding remains for new “ready to go projects,” but all remaining ARRA transit funding has been committed to projects.

“The facts are clear that public transportation infrastructure investment supports and creates good, quality ‘green’ jobs,” said APTA President William Millar.  “We urge the Senate to act now and pass the HIRE Act, which will provide a much-needed extension of current federal transportation programs.  Without an extension, thousands of public transit projects that are underway will be halted and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost.”

“In addition to passing the HIRE Act, I call on Congress to pass further jobs legislation that includes subsequent public transportation investment,” said Millar. “APTA has identified more than $15 billion in public transportation projects that could provide much needed American jobs and crucial funding for financially strapped public transportation systems that have been affected by the recession.”

Without a new jobs bill and a long-term transportation authorization, the contractors and suppliers that provide goods and services to public transportation systems will be forced to begin laying workers off as ARRA projects are completed.

“We have made great strides in the past year by putting hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in transportation-related jobs and we need to continue to build on this momentum,” said Millar.  “I strongly urge the Senate to act now and pass HIRE so that Congress has the time to pass a longer-term surface transportation authorization act that is essential to allow public transit systems and businesses to make their project and hiring decisions.”