Posts Tagged ‘American Public Transportation Association’

Public Transit Ridership Continues Rebound

September 30, 2022

Ridership of public transit has rebounded to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, the American Public Transportation Association said this week.

APTA said heavy- and light-rail are both at 61 percent of 2019 ridership, while commuter rail is at 54 percent. Bus ridership is 66 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The figures reflect data reported by 130 transit agencies.

The trade group attributed the increase in ridership to higher levels of workers returning to the office rather than working from home as became widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic took root in March 2020, some transit agencies suffered immediate declines of up to 40 percent. By April 2020 transit ridership has fallen to a national average of 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Rail transit sustained higher ridership levels than bus transit, APTA officials said.

Transit Agencies Seek $129M in Emergency Aid

September 20, 2022

Public transit agencies are seeking a $129 million emergency appropriation from Congress.

The American Public Transportation Association asked for the funding last week, citing unmet funding needs of transit agencies.

Many of those needs were inflicted by harsh weather, including foods, hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes.

If approved the funding would go to the Federal Transit Administration’s Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program.

That program provides funding for such things as rebuilding damaged infrastructure and replacement of vehicles destroyed by natural disasters.

APTA Honors 2 Cleveland RTA Executives

July 20, 2022

Two Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority executives were honored recently by the American Public Transportation Association.

RTA board member Valarie McCall was recognized as an Outstanding Public Transportation Board Member while former RTA General Manager Joseph Calabrese was named to APTA hall of fame.

APTA also has named Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation as one o f four transit agencies to receive an award for innovation.

Cleveland RTA Joins Racial Equity Program

June 22, 2022

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has joined Racial Equity Commitment Pilot Program of the American Public Transportation Association.

It is a pilot program that over two years weeks seeks to achieve “a tangible roadmap for advancing racial equity as part of a comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion framework, beyond legal compliance and with a view to continuous improvement.”

The program has 81 other public transit agencies and companies that provide public transportation under contract.

In a news release, Cleveland RTA said the roadmap includes making racial equity “an explicit strategic priority” through such measures as undertaking an annual diversity, equity and inclusion climate assessment; reviewing and analyzing demographic data to develop a baseline on how existing policies, practices and programs affect racial equity.

Cleveland RTA general manager India Birdsong said participating in the program will enable the agency to establish standardized metrics, identify essential resources, and determine how to structure recognition levels to measure and reward progress in advancing racial equity.

Cleveland RTA Wins APTA Safety Award

November 10, 2021

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association for safety and security measures taken during 2020.

The agency received a gold award in the heavy rail category in the 2021 Bus and Rail Safety, Security and COVID Response Excellence Awards.

In a news release, APTA said the awards are meant to honor agencies for their diligence and innovation through safety and security programs that serve as benchmarks of success for others.

Winners were chosen based upon effectiveness, benefit level, innovation and transferability, with the top honor being the gold award for the organization with the best example program in safety or security.

House Passes INVEST Act

July 6, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives approved last week a five year $715 billion surface transportation bill.

Known as Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act,, the legislation would authorize  $95 billion for passenger and freight rail, including $32 billion for Amtrak that could be used to pay for existing and new service.

The Association of American Railroads panned the bill, calling it filled with “misguided, divisive policies.”

AAR instead issued a statement lauding a bi-partisan proposal being considered in the Senate.

The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association in a statement said the House bill contains some beneficial provisions for short lines but also contained some “troubling provisions.”

The American Public Transportation Association was more enthusiastic about the INVEST legislation, noting that it authorizes $109 billion for public transportation, which would enable transit systems to begin to address a $105 billion state-of-good-repair backlog as well as provide funding for capital funding for new projects.

Transit Agencies Seeking $39.3B in Aid

January 29, 2021

Public transit agencies in the United States face a projected $39.3 billion shortfall through 2023 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic a study has concluded.

The study by EBP US was done on behalf of the American Public Transportation Association.

It said the shortfall is occurring due to the loss of ridership, fare revenue, and income from state and local taxes.

To some degree the effects of the pandemic have been mitigated by two allotments by Congress of emergency pandemic relief funding last year.

APTA now wants Congress and President Joseph Biden to provide $39.3 billion more in pandemic aid.

Without that aid APTA said many transit agencies will be forced to cut service and lay off or furlough workers.

APTA officials noted that four in 10 transit agencies are looking at service cuts to close budget gaps.

The trade group said public transit is needed to enable some essential workers to get to their jobs.

“The pandemic represents an existential threat to public transit jobs, businesses and service,” said APTA President Paul Skoutelas.

“Our request for $39.3 billion is necessary to avoid catastrophic decisions that will hurt our riders, our communities and the nation.”

Additional Pandic Aid Proposed for Public Transit

January 16, 2021

President-elect Joseph Biden has proposed giving $20 billion in emergency funding to the nation’s hardest hit public transit agencies.

The funding is part of a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief plan that he outlined this week.

The proposal must be approved by Congress. Plan documents said the transit aid is intended to prevent further worker layoffs and route cuts.

News reports indicate that Biden intends for the plan to be passed fairly quickly and then he will propose a broader recovery package for the pandemic-battered economy.

In a statement, American Public Transportation Association CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said additional emergency funding “is vital to the industry’s survival and will help prevent massive labor cuts and drastic service reductions.”

Transportation Trade Groups Seek Priority in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

December 18, 2020

Trade groups representing railroad workers, public transit agencies and companies that supply the railroad industry are trying to pressure government officials to give some of their workers priority in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine that is now being distributed.

Among those writing letters to federal and state officials have been the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Association of American Railroads, the American Public Transportation Association and the Railway Supply Institute.

Trade groups representing various other modes of transportation have also sought priority for their workers.

The groups are citing  a guideline of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that essential workers, including those in transportation, be included in the second priority group or Phase 1b of the vaccine distribution.

Highest priority (Phase 1a) is being given to health care workers and others such as those working in nursing homes.

Some of the letters being written by the transportation trade associations have been sent senators on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Transportation and Safety Subcommittee to request “timely access” to the vaccine.

APTA has written to all state governors “urging them to consider prioritizing transit workers as they develop their vaccination distribution plans.”

In its statement, RSI said those working for railway suppliers should be among the early recipient groups vaccine because of their supporting role for passenger and freight railroads “as they deliver people, food, fuel, medicine, and other supplies that have sustained our nation’s pandemic response and economic recovery.”

APTA Providing Transit Ridership Estimates

December 9, 2020

The American Public Transportation Association has teamed with the Transit trip-planning app to create a dashboard that provides weekly estimates of public transit ridership.

Use of public transportation has fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic in part in response to public health alerts.

APTA said fluctuations in ridership make it difficult for transit agencies that rely on monthly or quarterly reporting to follow up-to-date ridership trends and benchmark against their peers.

The estimates provided by APTA and the Transit app provide real time estimates of transit ridership.

Estimated ridership values for each week are statistically modeled based on measures of Transit app use and do not represent actual reported ridership counts from agencies.

The Transit app counts the frequency of how often its app is opened, providing a measure of demand for public transit. 

Also factored into the estimates are regional trends and the pandemic’s current severity.