New Campaign…Public Transportation Takes Us There…

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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.”

APTA President William Millar makes Statement.

Statement by American Public Transportation Association President William Millar

“APTA applauds the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood for his announcement today of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program.  These grant awards show a strong commitment to investing in public transportation as a part of a strategy to create jobs, grow the economy, improve our environment, and make our communities more livable.  We are very pleased that the administration supports a full range of projects that will help improve mobility and provide the American public with more transportation choices.

“These grants are a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and they show that DOT recognizes the importance of investing in public transportation in areas of all sizes.  APTA has long championed a stronger emphasis on multimodal transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits for entire regions.  These new grant awards move us in the right direction.

“The grant awards represent a tremendous advancement as we create more livable communities in the United States.  We look forward to working with the administration and putting these funds into action while helping to put Americans back to work.”

CTA to Borrow $550 Million to Buy 406 New L Train Cars

Mary Wisniewski

The Chicago Sun-Times

ILLINOIS – The CTA board agreed Wednesday to borrow $550 million through the issuance of bonds so the agency can buy 406 new L cars.

The cars originally were ordered in 2006, and the CTA has been testing prototypes of the cars to make sure they hold up in all weather.

The new cars, manufactured by Bombardier Transit Corp. in Pennsylvania, will replace L cars that are 30 to 40 years old. A malfunction on one of these cars was blamed for leaving 1,500 passengers trapped in the Blue Line subway in April 2008.

The new cars include security cameras and seats facing the aisle. The CTA last bought new L cars in the 1990s. The total cost of the new cars will be $674 million.

The CTA plans to pay off the bond issue primarily through federal funding and said some of the money will come through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The payment for the cars is a planned part of the CTA’s capital budget, which is separate from the operating budget. A $95.6 million operating budget shortfall led to this week’s bus and L service cuts.

The CTA board heard complaints about the cuts on Wednesday. Jackie Shen, executive chef of Red Light restaurant on West Randolph, told the board that the service cuts are hurting her staff members, who often work after midnight. She singled out the cuts in service on the No. 8 Halsted run, one of 41 bus routes on which hours and frequency have been reduced. Riders also face longer waits for L trains.

“We have a hard time with the new bus schedules,” said Shen, noting that her employees have started sharing rides to the L.

Her suggestion: Raise fares.

“Give us great service, we give you the great ridership,” Shen said. “We don’t care if you increase the fare.”

CTA Board Chairman Terry Peterson said the transit agency can’t raise fares for two years under the deal it made for the state to borrow $166 million on behalf of the CTA to stave off a fare increase

APTA Sustainability Commitment-Formal Launch 2010

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APTA Sustainability Commitment – Formal Launch 2010

APTA has formally launched its sustainability commitment following a successful pilot phase in 2009. APTA members who sign on commit to a core set of actions on sustainability. APTA members can also obtain further recognition for their actions by signing on to the higher levels of the commitment.

For further information on the APTA sustainability commitment, click here.

To sign the APTA Sustainability Commitment, please use the application form.

If you have already signed the commitment, but would like to apply for a  higher recognition level, please click here.

To see a current list of signatories to the APTA Sustainability Commitment, click here.

APTA members who have signed the Sustainability Commitment can access a discussion forum pertaining to implementation of the commitment here.

SAVE the DATE!  July 25-27, 2010

APTA Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop
Westin Hotel, New York, New York
Look for registration and preliminary agenda soon.

APTA Sustainability Workshop in Salt Lake City, Utah: August 2-5, 2009

Launch of APTA Sustainability Standards and Resources

APTA has recently published the following sustainability standards and resources:

International Association of Public Transport (UITP)

APTA has also signed on to UITP’s Charter on Sustainable Development.

Articles and Reports

For articles on sustainability in Passenger Transport, as well as reports, click here.

APTA President Applauds President Obama’s State of the Union Address

Statement by
American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar

“On behalf of the 1,500 member organizations of the American Public Transportation Association, I applaud President Obama for addressing the very important issue of creating American jobs in his State of the Union address.

I am especially pleased that President Obama recognizes that investment in transportation infrastructure is one of the key ways that Americans can get back to work.  Our nation has a backlog of transportation projects that need to be addressed, and passing a jobs bill to employ Americans in infrastructure rebuilding is a solid policy.  In regard to public transportation investment, research shows that for every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital and operations, 36,000 jobs are supported and created.

I also praise the president for taking the historic step of bringing the vision of high-speed passenger rail to fruition in the United States.  Both public transit and high-speed rail will create hundreds of thousands of long-term, good, “green” American jobs.   We stand ready to build a new industry that will help bring economic prosperity to this great nation.”