President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Jan. 14 that includes a $20 billion investment to “protect the future of transit.”
American Public Transportation Association
Congress passed the $2.3 trillion “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021” (H.R. 133), an omnibus spending bill that includes a $900 billion COVID-19 emergency relief package as well as government appropriations for fiscal year 2021, tax extenders and other provisions. While many in the rail industry expressed appreciation—stressing that additional transit aid, for instance, will be needed—outgoing President Donald Trump did not. He refused to approve the bill—calling for higher direct relief checks to Americans and other changes—but he finally signed it into law late Dec. 27, averting a government shutdown Dec. 29.
Freight rail and transit organizations are requesting that Congress and state governors, respectively, consider their members’ employees as the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed.
As the COVID-19 virus continues its relentless march across the nation and around the world, U.S. transit is quickly becoming one of its casualties. The picture will probably get worse as the $24.9 billion that transit got from the CARES Act runs out next year.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has teamed with Transit app to track demand for public transit and publish week-by-week estimates of ridership change for agencies across the U.S.
“Examining the Surface Transportation Board’s Role in Ensuring a Robust Passenger Rail System” was the topic of a virtual Nov. 18 hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
With Joe Biden preparing to take the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2021, the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), Amtrak, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) are “ready to work” with him, his Administration and Congress—and help the industry, and the country, recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) restrict the eligibility of, or disfavor applications for, COVID-19 research demonstration grants if applicants are located in New York City; Portland, Ore.; or Seattle?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has stated that airborne transmission of the coronavirus is more likely than transmission through surface contact. Adequate ventilation and air filtration of HVAC systems can reduce the likelihood of airborne exposure. Every transit agency wants to do everything it can to keep its ridership safe, healthy, and returning. The multi-trillion-dollar, pandemic-clouded question is, how?
Former San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) CEO Paul Jablonski, who passed away suddenly May 10, has been inducted to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Hall of Fame “for his extraordinary contributions to public transportation, his dedication to advancing the industry and outstanding leadership over a 40-yearlong career.”