Weekly Update - Week of October 1, 2012

Posted October 2012

Rail Vehicle Training Committee Calls for National Training Consortium          

The Joint Labor-Management Rail Vehicle Training Committee met last week at the Miami Dade Transit Authority to complete work on developing a system of training and qualifications previously funded by TCRP.  Committee members have worked hard to make sure that elements of training be developed and in place.  As this project comes to fruition, the committee members see a huge benefit to forming a consortium of transit properties and unions that would create training materials which match the nationally recognized training standards.  This work would be modeled after the industry’s Center-supported Transit Elevator/Escalator Training Consortium.

This proposal was presented at the APTA Rail CEOs meeting last Sunday, attended by dozens of transit CEOs and senior FTA officials.

Public Transportation

New MAP-21 Implementation Guidance Released by FHWA         
AASHTO - September 28, 2012
The Federal Highway Administration this week released various interim guidance documents on MAP-21 implementation, covering everything from the National Highway Performance Program to the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program to tolling. 

Data Shows Where Workers Relying More on Public Transportation               
Governing - September 28, 2012
New Census data shows some metropolitan areas became noticeably more reliant on public transportation last year, while a smaller number experienced slight declines.

Transit System/Partners

Washington Metro Wins Innovation Prize For Controversial Metroaccess Changes             
Washington Examiner - October 2, 2012
Metro has been awarded a top prize for innovation by a transit industry group for controversial changes it has made to its services for disabled riders.  The American Public Transportation Association awarded Metro its Innovation Award Tuesday for changing its services for disabled riders to save more than $25 million in fiscal 2011. 

190,000 Workers Say: Put Transit on Tappan Zee              
Sam Handler - Mobilizing the Region - October 2, 2012
Time and time again, Tappan Zee Bridge replacement boosters-including Tri-State-have emphasized the importance of the project in creating jobs. Any infrastructure initiative of this size will help construction workers’ families make ends meet, so long as construction continues. 

New York MTA Announces Digital Initiatives to Increase Transparency and Functionality               
New York MTA - October 1, 2012
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced digital initiatives that will increase transparency of its email and text message service alert program, provide more functionality for TripPlanner+ and streamline navigation within the website. 

Labor News

Republicans Reject Union Workers But Respect Union Refs 
Leo Girard - Huffington Post Blog - October 1, 2012
Republicans’ reaction to last week’s Monday Night Football debacle was record-breaking given their decades of hating on union workers.  After replacement refs bestowed on the Seattle Seahawks a game clearly won by the Green Bay Packers, GOP standard bearers Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the figurehead for GOP union-busting, called for the National Football League to restore its locked-out union refs.

Workforce Development

Making The Case For STEM Skills - For Everyone 
Joe McKendrick - Smart Planet - October 1, 2012
Should everyone strive to develop some literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)? Demand for people with STEM skills is white hot, even in an era of high unemployment. Even the most creative-type jobs now call for STEM abilities. One expert argues that everyone needs to have some STEM in their background, and it shouldn’t be limited to engineers, programmers and scientists.

Building Transportation Infrastructure

LACMTA Gets Funding For Crenshaw LRT                   
Douglas John Bowen - Railway Age - October 2, 2012
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been granted $545.9 million under a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to proceed with construction of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail transit poject. 

Sound Transit Awards Light-Rail Extension Contract, Begins 2013 Budget Process                
Railway Track and Signal
Seattle’s Sound Transit Board approved a contract with PCL Civil Constructors, Inc., to design and build the elevated station and guideway for the light-rail extension from Sea-Tac Airport to South 200th Street. 

Chicago, Suburbs At Impasse Over Transit Funding               
Marni Pyke - Daily Herald - October 1, 2012
Will the train of transit unity reach the station? Pace, Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority are in a standoff over discretionary revenues.  Allow me a few observations about the latest showdown at the transit corral. The current standoff between Pace, Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority over less than $6 million in funding is indicative of weightier turf wars to come as the city/suburbs divide re-emerges.


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Providing Training for Zero Emission Buses

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