News

MPTA, MTA-Flint and the American Red Cross Team Up for Flint Water Crisis Relief

Help the Flint Water Crisis

Join Michigan Public Transit Association in supporting the American Red Cross

The transit community in Michigan and beyond is mobilizing to help Flint. Let's all get on board. Our goal is for $200,000 to be raised on Red Cross Giving Day April 21st.

Help people affected by the Flint Water Crisis. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Donations can be made online at www.redcross.org/cm/mpta-emp

Public Transportation and Universities Conference

Join APTA for this year's tenth biennial Public Transportation and Universities Conference in Grand Rapids, MI, which runs April 16-19, and is hosted by The Rapid and Grand Valley State University. This conference delves into the unique needs of university communities and the populations they serve. University and community transportation professionals and those working on programs in college surroundings need to attend this meeting.

Register by Thursday, March 10 for a discounted meeting rate! Also, hotel discounts are available in the APTA room block through Friday, March 11. Book your room now.

Educational Sessions, Products and Services Showcase, Technical Tours, and More:

View Program

Saturday:

  • Steering Committee Meeting
  • Welcome to Grand Rapids Reception

Sunday:

  • New Attendee Orientation
  • Opening General Session: Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows
  • Luncheon featuring RideScout on mobility management partnerships with The University of Texas at Austin and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Marketing and Communicating Your Transit Services to Students
  • Planning & Sustainability
  • Student Engagement
  • Keynote Speaker, George Heartwell, former mayor of Grand Rapids
  • University-Transit Partnerships
  • "Swap Meet" during a relaxed evening of networking and peer-to-peer exchange in an informal dinner setting. An opportunity to share your pride in your organization.

Monday:

  • Funding Transit Services on College Campuses - Where's the Money?
  • Technology
  • Safety and Security - Late Night Services
  • Building the Next Generation of Transit's Workforce
  • Funding Campus Transit Services - What Happens When the Money Dries Up?
  • Products & Services Showcase and Bus Display/Networking Luncheon
  • Four Technical and Campus Tours with The Rapid and Grand Valley State University
  • Host Reception: The Rapid and Grand Valley State University
  • Additional Breakfast General Session to be announced
  • Closing General Session: Student Perspectives

Explore the event's preliminary program, book your hotelM room, and take advantage of the early bird registration discount through March 10.

We look forward to seeing you in Grand Rapids at APTA's 2016 Public Transportation & Universities Conference!

MPTA Executive Director Update

The Governor’s Executive recommendation for the 2016-2017 budget was released today in Lansing.

There is some good news for public transportation:

  • Local Bus Operating is recommended to be funded at $180 million. This is the first significant increase in this line item in over 5 years, increasing from just under $167 million in recent years.
  • Bus Capital Match is targeted for an increase as well, budgeted by the Governor at $60 million, with $54 coming from the CTF and $6 million from the General Fund. BCM has been at approximately half this amount in recent years.

These recommendations from the Governor represent an acknowledgement of the lobbying efforts that MPTA put forth beginning in late November when we met with Director Kirk Steudle and continuing through MDOT’s recommendations submitted in mid December. You may recall that I polled MPTA members in late November/early December to get your opinion on where the investments needed to be made. The responses indicated significant needs on both the LBO and BCM sides, and the Governor’s budget targets recognize our input.

Our lobbyist Dusty Fancher and I will be continuing our persistent efforts now at keeping these recommendations in the budget as we go forward with Legislative deliberations beginning next week.

Also, next week begins your efforts, as well. Hopefully you are planning to attend the MPTA Legislative Conference where we will further outline the recommendations and other significant details of the state budget and provide you with background pieces for your own conversations with your legislators. Those talks should begin for you immediately, both at the MPTA Legislative Breakfast on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 and in your own hometowns.

It is not too late to still register to attend the Legislative Conference and Breakfast, by the way. Even if you have not previously registered, we can get you in and please know that we need your active involvement as we carry our message forward! If you would still like to register, please contact Cindy Zolkowski here at MPTA via email: mptacindy@comcast.net and she will help you make your arrangements.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Clark Harder
Executive Director

Update on State and Federal Transportation Funding

File Attachments: House Fiscal Agency Road Funding Summary

Members:

Attached you will find the House Fiscal Agency Analysis of the Senate-passed package that is now before the Governor for his signature. The Governor has said he will sign the bills into law, unless any problems arise during the legal review process of the legislation. The plan, after 2017, will provide an additional $62 million into the CTF which, as you know, distributes the majority of its funding to bus operations and bus capital. Once law, MPTA will be focusing our lobby efforts on MDOT to make sure the money is distributed to greatest advantage of our public transit agencies each year during the Appropriations cycle, just as we do now with existing funding. Although the plan isn’t perfect and certainly doesn’t provide new funding as quickly as we might wish, it is important to acknowledge that public transportation was kept in the plan for our fair share of new funding through the full formula, as we requested. This represents a major victory with many House and Senate Republicans who, previously, were willing to overlook us, and it was only accomplished through YOUR great lobbying efforts with your own legislators and through the work of our lobbyist Dusty Fancher. A note of thanks from you to your legislators is always in order.

I am also including in this email below an update from Scott Bogren at CTAA on the status of federal transportation funding and note that Scott’s message includes a call-to-action for phone calls to your Washington, DC representatives.

We will be continuing to monitor both funding issues and provide you with further pertinent details as necessary.

I wish to personally thank each and every one of you who made phone calls, sent emails and talked in person with your legislators and I wish to thank and recognize Dusty for her persistent, relentless, positive action on our behalf over the past several years.

Now…onward to the next challenges that await,

Clark

ALERT: Dedicated Bus Capital Amendment Set for Vote on House Floor Today
Dear CTAA Members & Transit Advocates,

Thanks to your work and the support of key leaders in the House of Representatives, the Herrera-Beutler/Schrader amendment to the STRR Act to dedicate bus capital funding to the Section 5339 program has passed the Rules Committee and is headed for a vote of the full House of Representatives today.

We urge you to contact your House Member's D.C. office today and encourage them to support the Herrera-Beutler/Schrader amendment. Every member of the House will have the opportunity to vote on this measure crucial to the long-term stability of community and public transportation across the nation.

If you have any questions on the amendment, bus capital investment or contacting your House member, please do not hesitate to contact CTAA's Communications team of Scott Bogren (bogren@ctaa.org, 202.247.1921) or Rich Sampson (sampson@ctaa.org, 202.415.9666). Full details on all federal legislation, regulations and policy can be found at our Fed Central page.
Contact
Scott Bogren, Director of Communications
202.247.1921
bogren@ctaa.org

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