American Public Transportation Association

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American Public
Transportation Association
American Public Transportation Association (logo).svg
Founded1882 (1882) (as the American Street Railway Association)[1]
FocusPublic Transportation in North America
Area served
North America
Key people
Valarie J. McCall (Chair) Richard A. White
(Acting President & CEO)
SubsidiariesAmerican Public Transportation Foundation
Formerly called
American Street Railway Association (1882 - 1905)
American Street and Interurban Railway Association (1905 - 1910)
American Electric Railway Association (1910 - 1932)
American Transit Association (1932 - 1974)
American Public Transit Association (1974 - 2000) due to the merger of American Transit Association and Institute for Rapid Transit in 1974[2]

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA), formerly known as the American Public Transit Association, is a nonprofit organization which serves as an advocate for the advancement of public transportation programs and initiatives in the United States. Since its founding in 1882 (as the American Street Railway Association),[1] APTA has educated the public about the benefits of public transportation through organized bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, high-speed rail, and intercity and passenger rail programs. It lobbies the U.S. Congress and local government bodies in favor of public transportation improvements and new developments. APTA comprises more than 1,500 public and private member organizations, including transit systems and high-speed, intercity, and commuter rail operators; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions, transit associations and state departments of transportation.[3] APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation.[4] APTA has been publishing its Public Transportation Fact Book (formerly known as the Transit Fact Book) since 1943. Its most recent report is its 68th publication.[5] APTA frequently works in partnership with The National Alliance for Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA), The Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE), The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and The Transportation Research Board (TRB); all of which share a common goal of developing practical solutions to problems facing public transportation. APTA’s Policy Development and Research Program serves as the organization’s think tank to develop solution’s public transportation industry’s problems. The Policy Development and Research Program conduct their research through polling, surveys, and develop long-term strategic plans that effectively inform the nation about the benefits of public transportation investment.[6] APTA’s goal in creating a stronger infrastructure for public transportation is to have more transit systems that model smart growth through funding for public transportation systems that create jobs, produce safe, efficient transportation, connects people with employment centers and employers with potential workers.

APTA holds an annual convention and a triennial exposition called APTA Expo; the location of these events varies from year to year. The APTA Expo is the world's largest trade show for the public transportation industry. APTA also oversees the annual International Bus Roadeo and International Rail Rodeo. APTA publishes a biweekly news magazine, called Passenger Transport.

Effective January 1, 2000, the organization's name was changed from American Public Transit Association to American Public Transportation Association.[1][7] On April 29, 2016, Richard A. White took the helm as Acting President and CEO of APTA.

White has over 40 years of experience in the public transportation industry and served as General manager and CEO at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, as well as in various roles with Bay Area Rapid Transit, Houston METRO, and New Jersey Transit. He also served in the Urban Mass Transportation Administration and is a former APTA Chairman.

In 2015, APTA played a key role in the passage of the FAST ACT that provided a steady funding source for agencies to continue to grow and update their systems over the next five years.

On April 8, 2016, the New York MTA, the nation's largest public transit agency, announced it would withdraw from APTA.[8][9]

APTA supports the Trump Administration's commitment to strengthen the nation's infrastructure, however, opposes the Administration's source of funding from cutting down federal funding for existing public transit infrastructure programs.[10] They advocate for increasing federal investing in public transportation from Congress, specifically for intercity passenger rail systems.

In an April 2018 report, APTA conducted a study on the decline in public transportation ridership and published their findings.[11] The study found the nationwide decline in ridership can be due to:

• Erosion of Time Competitiveness

• Reduced Customer Affinity and Loyalty

• Erosion of Cost Competitiveness

• External Factors


APTA has the following committees and subcommittees that work to formulate solutions and policy to make improvements to public transportation

Legislative Committee[edit]

APTA’s Legislative Committee is the main body under APTA that is responsible for developing consensus recommendations about federal legislative activity including transit authorization legislation, annual appropriation legislation, Administration initiatives, and regulatory matters. The committee formulates policy recommendations both in response to federal initiatives and to propose guidance for federal actions. The APTA Legislative Committee, along with its seven subcommittees that specialize in related areas concerning to the industry develop legislative policies before recommending them to APTA Executive Committee and the APTA Board of Directors.

  • Bus & Paratransit Operations
  • Commuter & Intercity Rail
    • Commuter Rail Committee[12]
    • High-Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Committee
  • Government Affairs
    • Planning, Policy and Program Development Steering Committee
    • Environmental Justice/Title VI Subcommittee
  • Management & Finance
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Policy
    • Sustainability Committee[13]
  • Rail Transit
  • Research & Technology
  • Small Operations
  • State Affairs
  • Transit Board Members


National Dump the Pump Day[edit]

APTA is the main agency that promotes National Dump the Pump Day, a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and to take them where they need to go, instead of driving a car.[14] APTA first started National Dump the Pump Day in June 2006 when gas prices reached $3 per gallon and the public demand for public transportation was growing in response to the high gas prices.[15] National Dump the Pump Day was to bring awareness of how a two-person household can save roughly $10,000 a year by downsizing to one car.[16]

Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows Campaign[edit]

The "Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows" campaign was designed to promote the positive effects of public transportation in communities by highlighting its impact on economic development, sustainability and improving a higher quality of life in communities.[17]

See also[edit]

  • B. R. Stokes, the first Executive Director of APTA, who served in that capacity from 1974 to 1980


  1. ^ a b c "APTA Association History" (PDF). 2013 Public Transportation Fact Book. APTA. p. 45. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 28, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) p.46
  4. ^ "2014 APTA Fact Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  5. ^ "2017 APTA Fact Book" (PDF). Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Policy Development and Research Program at APTA". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  7. ^ Millar, William W. (APTA president) (March 7, 2000). "About APTA (excerpt from "APTA Testimony on ....")". American Public Transportation Association. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  8. ^ Pendergast, Thomas F. (April 8, 2016). "Letter to Michael P. Melaniphy".[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ Vantuono, William C. (April 18, 2016). "New York MTA to APTA: We're leaving". Railway Age. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "APTA Supports Bipartisan Approach to Investing in America's Infrastructure; Rejects Administration's Proposed Cuts to Public Transit Infrastructure". Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  11. ^ "Understanding Recent Ridership Changes" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Communter Rail Committee".
  13. ^ "Sustainability Committee".
  14. ^ "Dump the Pump Day promotes public transportation". SF Gate. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  15. ^ "State Energy Data System (SEDS): 1960-2015 (complete)". U.S. Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  16. ^ "11th Annual National Dump the Pump Day Is Today!". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  17. ^ "Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows Campaign".

External links[edit]