Posts Tagged ‘American Public Transportation Association’

Worker Shortages Hindering Public Transit Agencies

November 23, 2022

Nearly all North American public transit agencies have worker shortages the American Public Transportation Association said this week.

The trade group said 96 percent of North American transit agencies responding to a survey it conducted do not have enough staff.

Eighty-four percent of agencies indicated the worker shortage is affecting their ability to provide regular service. The shortages are occurring at agencies in communities of all sizes.

“This shortage is complex, multifaceted, and connected to changes in the broader culture and economy,” said APTA President and CEO Paul Skoutelas. “This workforce shortage is the confluence of multiple factors and successfully responding to it will involve a comprehensive approach.”

APTA’s recommended steps to help ease the shortage in the short term includes increasing compensation, improving worker schedules, creating a positive work environment, and ensuring worker safety.

The APTA study also recommends building a resilient workforce development program.

Most Transit Agencies Have Cut Service

October 14, 2022

The American Public Transportation Association said this week that more than 80 percent of transit agencies have had to reduce service due to worker shortages.

Worker shortages have been felt by transit agencies of all sizes, APTA said in a news release.

The APTA report said 96 percent of agencies have experienced a shortage of workers, with 84 percent saying it has led to service reductions.

“This shortage is complex, multifaceted, and connected to changes in the broader culture and economy,” APTA CEO Paul P. Skoutelas said. “This workforce shortage is the confluence of multiple factors and successfully responding to it will involve a comprehensive approach.”

The report recommends that agencies address the issues by increasing wages for transit workers, improving work schedules, and establishing more effective recruiting and hiring practices.

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.”