Category Archives: FYI

American Public Transportation Association praises Obama’s High Speed Rail Vision

APTA President William Millar Praises the Obama Administration for Its Vision on High-Speed Rail
“This Is the Beginning of a New Era”    

Statement by American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar

“With the pending announcements of the first federal grants for high-speed rail, I praise the Obama Administration for taking this historic step toward bringing the vision of high-speed passenger rail to fruition in America. It is the beginning of our nation’s journey in implementing high-speed rail and higher-speed rail and creating a world-class, multi-modal transportation system.  This time will be remembered as the beginning of a new era in transportation.

Investing in high-speed rail is essential for our country’s future.  Not only will high-speed rail provide faster and quicker travel, but it will create American jobs now while building a new industry with hundreds of thousands of long-term, sustainable jobs. 

While ensuring that America remains an economic engine with good, “green” American jobs, high-speed rail is also essential so that we can move toward a sustainable, modern transportation system that meets the environmental and energy challenges of this century. 

These grants for high-speed rail mean that we are much closer to a world-class transportation system that demonstrates the vision of a connected America.  They put us on the right track to connecting our transportation network so that people can take high-speed rail and easily transfer to local public transportation services to reach their destination. 

As long-time advocates for high-speed rail, APTA and its membership are enthusiastic about the coming high-speed rail grant announcements.  There is a lot of work ahead and we look forward to the challenge of making high-speed rail a reality.”

 http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2010/Pages/100127_.aspx

Transport Action Canada is the new name for Transport 2000

For immediate release

January 5, 2010

(OTTAWA) — Canada’s national voice for sustainable public transportation has a new name, “Transport Action Canada”, replacing the widely-recognized name “Transport 2000 Canada”, which has been in use for over 30 years.

“Our voice has been heard through our national and regional organizations on all matters affecting public transportation, by all modes, in all parts of the country”, said David Jeanes, president of Transport Action Canada. “We are a volunteer-based nonprofit corporation and registered charity, with our national office in Ottawa, and we will continue to advocate for sustainable public transport for passengers and freight”, he added.

Transport 2000 Canada, founded in 1976, shared its name with organizations with similar objectives in the UK and France, and looked forward a quarter century to the next millennium. Now in the tenth year of that millennium our new name, Transport Action, is already well-known as the name of our bi-monthly newsletter since 1980 and our registered trade-mark since 1998.

Transport Action’s website is www.transport-action.ca and email address info@transport-action.ca. All other contact information is unchanged.

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Further information:
David L. Jeanes, P.Eng.                                             
President, Transport Action Canada                         
613-594-3290 (ofc), 613-725-9484 (res)                 
 
Harry Gow
Founding President
819-827-8552

Backgrounder

Transport 2000 was founded in the UK in 1973 and in France in 1974. Transport 2000 Canada was formed in 1976, bringing together groups in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. The European organizations granted permission to use the name and it was extended to regional groups across Canada. The founders of Transport 2000 in the UK. and France participated in our first major national event, the National Rail Passenger Conference in Regina in October 1976.

Transport 2000 Canada was incorporated as a federal non-profit corporation and registered charity in 1978 to conduct advocacy and research in the field of public transportation. The name Transport 2000 was registered as a trademark in 1981. So the legacy of Transport 2000 goes back over 30 years.

Transport 2000 UK is now known as “The Campaign for Better Transport”, (www.bettertransport.org), and Transport 2000 France is ”La Fédération Nationale des Associations d’Usagers des Transports – FNAUT”, (www.fnaut.asso.fr).

In the year 2000 we decided to retain the name Transport 2000, with its widespread recognition across Canada. However, ten years into the new millennium, our directors and members decided overwhelmingly that it was time for a change. We chose Transport Action as it was the well-established name of our newsletter, since 1980, and our trade-mark, since 1998. As the words mean the same in English and French, we did not register two names.

Our regional associate organizations for Atlantic, Ontario, Prairie and British Columbia are taking the necessary steps to change their names to Transport Action; Transport 2000 Québec will retain its present name, for now. Corporations Canada approved the change by supplementary letters patent, effective 28 October. Approval is expected shortly from Canada Revenue Agency Charities Division, (registration 11926 8571 RR0001). The Ontario Government gave its approval to Transport 2000 Ontario on 29 December.
 
Transport Action Canada
Box 858, Station B
Ottawa, ON  K1P 5P9
 
Tel: 613-594-3290, Fax: 613-594-3271
Email: info@transport-action.ca
Website: www.transport-action.ca

Revitalized European Cities Might Provide Answer to Detroit’s Recovery

The city of Detroit has become synonymous with the economic restructuring taking place in the United States, including deindustrialization, decentralization, and globalization. As a result, Detroit has entered into a half century period of protracted social and economic decline creating what many consider to be a ”dystopian disaster.” Since 1950, no city has seen a larger population decline than Detroit, losing nearly half its population. The city is also now one of the most segregated and poorest metropolitan areas in the nation, with the central city 82 percent African American and unemployment near 28 percent. As this article in The New Republic notes, ”in [any] key measures of economic vitality in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan regions, Detroit finishes dead last.”

Although the situation in Detroit may seem grim, the New Republic notes that many European cities have suffered under the same circumstances and have recently come out ahead after the process of deindustrialization and economic collapse. Cities like Belfast, once an important industrial center in Northern Ireland, suffered not only economic decline but also religious violence. However, over the five years it has seen economic output increase 35 percent as the city has shifted to services, design and technology related jobs.

Turin, Italy, also provides an example of how Detroit might right itself. Once the car capital of Italy, automobiles accounting for 80 percent of the city’s industrial output, Turin fell on hard times as manufactures moved to Eastern Europe for cheaper labor. Turin’s population plummeted 30 percent in 25 years and went into deep debt. In 1993, the city elected a reformist mayor who outlined 84 actions Turin would take to spur development by 2014. The city recognized its tremendous asset of individuals with industrial design backgrounds and invested money in creating business incubators and research labs to take advantage of this potential. The plan worked and Turin has increased economic activity to the highest it had been in the last half century. The new economy was based around design of not just automobiles, but aerospace, cinematography, and textiles.

Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain also provides an excellent example of how a previously industrial city has managed to turn its economy around and build off a base of existing assets. The city and federal government of Spain invested heavily in retooling the infrastructure of Bilbao, a new metro system, airport, tram line, and sewer system all allowed the city to reinvent itself and open access to revitalizing the cities long neglected waterfront district. A Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum added a cultural relevance to the city and helped expand its potential role as a tourist destination.

The article notes that Detroit has, like many of these European cities, ”good bones,” assets that have gone underutilized and have a high potential for redevelopment as tools for a new economy. New Federal investments in high speed rail and transit lines, along with changes in city land use policy toward a smart growth code, might help Detroit turn itself around. As the author notes, ”Detroit’s leaders must manage expectations. It took half a century for the city to get this low. It won’t turn around in a four-year political cycle… To allow Detroit to continue its march toward death would come at significant costs, both human and economic. For Detroit to die, especially in the face of such tested methods for saving cities, would be an American tragedy.”  12/9/2009

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