Latest News & Events

Latest News


Mark C. Nestlen Named Executive Director of Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA)

January 11th, 2018

After an extensive search, the OTA Board Members unanimously voted to appoint Mark Nestlen as the new Executive Director, effective February 1, 2018.

Former SWTA President and Transit Executive John Bartosiewicz Joins KL2 Connects, LLC

January 11th, 2018

Transit industry executive search firm KL2 Connects LLC announces the addition of John Bartosiewicz as the firm’s sixth principal.

The Most Popular Forms of Public Transportation

January 3rd, 2018

Politico Pro released this fantastic infographic identifying trends of public transit use across the nation. Details on how more than 7.5 million American workers utilize services in their communities are invaluable in the continuous process to best serve these patrons.

Topeka Metro: League of American Bicyclist Award, Bicycle Friendly Business

December 30th, 2017

Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority (Topeka Metro) with Silver designation as a Bicyle Friendly Business (BFB) award.

Kansas Public Transit Association Members to Get Sex Trafficking Training

December 17th, 2017

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Public Transit Association have formed a new partnership to raise awareness and work to combat human trafficking in Kansas.

“We really appreciate the leadership at the Public Transit Association engaging us on this,” said Schmidt. “We’ve partnered with a number of private sector groups to try to increase the number of eyes and ears that are trained around the state to spot kids and others who are trafficking victims and need assistance.”

Transit at the Holidays: University of Oklahoma, Capital Metro, DART, Rio Metro, ABQ RIDE

December 17th, 2017

See how Transit is celebrating the holidays!

University of Oklahoma Helps the Cleveland County Christmas Store Lift the Community
Capital Metro, Whole Foods, Central Texas Food Bank Team Up to “Stuff the Bus”
DART’s Holiday Stuff a Bus Campaign
Rio Metro’s 5th Annual Santa’s Village
ABQ RIDE’s Annual Luminaria Tour Sold Out

What is your agency doing to celebrate the holidays? Send stories to Elise Manion (emanion@swta.org).

KCATA: Veterans Program Surpasses Half a Million Rides

December 15th, 2017

Veteran Community Project, RideKC, reminds area veterans that free fare is available every day with the RideKC Veterans Pass. The Free Fare for Veterans program began in April of this year, and the program has provided more than 500,000 rides and distributed more than 3,500 passes. KCATA, in partnership with the Kansas City Veterans Administration and the (VCP), honors veterans through this program. The initiative is sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Labor Unions/AFL-CIO.

Nearly 90% of Public Transit Ballot Initiatives Pass in 2017

December 14th, 2017

Nearly 90% of public transportation initiatives were approved by voters from coast to coast across the U.S. this year. In the November 7th election, seven of eight initiatives passed with one result still to be determined. Throughout the country this year, voters in 17 states and communities of all sizes voted for increased investment in public transportation, bringing the success rate to nearly 90% (87.5%), according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Revving Up Rural Public Transit

December 12th, 2017

Most Americans may view public transportation as a mainstay of urban life, but rural communities like Plainview have embraced public transit. Most rural residents continue to rely on personal vehicles to get around, but some people can’t afford a car or truck. Others are elderly or have illnesses that impede driving. Rural Americans skew older; have more health problems; and must travel greater distances for social visits, health care, and daily chores than city-dwellers. And rural residents-especially African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans-are generally poorer than their urban counterparts.

Congress Selects Conferees for Tax Reform Conference Committee

December 11th, 2017

House and Senate Republican and Democrat conferees have been appointed to the conference committee that will be responsible for reconciling differences between the House and Senate-passed tax reform bills.

Out of the 14 member of the House Conferees, three are from the SWTA Region: Chairman Brady (R-TX), Cong Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Cong Raul Guijalva (D-AZ)

Out of the 15 selected for the Senate Conferees, one is from the SWTA Region: Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

APTA sent a letter to the conferees stating priorities on tax reform reinforcing the principles stated in previous letters to the tax-writing committees in both chambers. These include the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund, Private Activity Bonds (PABs), Advance Refundability of Municipal Bonds, the Commuter Tax Benefit, and Alternative Fuels Benefits.

SWTA Visits Delegation in Washington, DC

December 11th, 2017

SWTA made its fourth visit to Washington, DC, to share good news stories with members of Congress about the excellent transit work being done in the SWTA Nation! I try to target different areas of the region, keeping a balance between Senate and House as well as sections of the region. The choice of who I visit is typically because there is targeted messaging or because a SWTA member has requested a visit or shared a story with us.

How the SWTA Nation celebrated Remember Rosa Parks Day

December 8th, 2017

See how the SWTA Nation remembers Rosa Parks

Wichita Transit is #RecognizingRosaParks
Topeka Metro offered free ride day December 1st
Cimarron Transit/Free CityRides offered Friday in honor of Rosa Parks

Make December 1st Rosa Parks Free Ride Day

November 2nd, 2017

Make December 1st National Free Ride Day! Join Topeka Metro for their “We All Ride Together” campaign.

Topeka Metro Looking to “Electrify” Topeka

November 2nd, 2017

Proterra, electric bus manufacturer, brought the future of transportation to Topeka Metro, on Tuesday, October 24th. The bus ran on Route #21 at 6:45 a.m. & 7:45 a.m. Following this, the bus was staged at Quincy Street Station from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Veterans’ Ride Connect

November 2nd, 2017

BIG CABIN, Okla. , October 23, 2017 (Veterans’ Ride Connect) — What began as a mission to provide safe and reliable transportation to enhance the quality of life of the more than 118,000 veterans living in northeast Oklahoma has now become a ground-breaking agency that is realizing that goal on a daily basis.

Capital Metro: Public Transit Agencies Take a Lesson From Uber

October 4th, 2017

With on-demand transportation services growing, cities need to adapt. Some are doing just that.

Public Transportation Superheros

September 5th, 2017

​Read stories from across the SWTA Nation detailing how transit agencies outside of the affected area are mobilizing to fill needs.

Denton County Transportation Authority to Launch New Transit Tracker System on Monday, September 18

September 5th, 2017

Lewisville, TX (September 5, 2017) – On Monday, September 18, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) will launch Transit Tracker – its new vehicle tracking system that will provide passengers with access to real-time information for the DCTA A-train, fixed-route bus and shuttle services. Passengers will be able to track agency vehicles via phone, online, text and free mobile application. DCTA’s Transit Tracker will replace the agency’s current Where’s My Ride tracking tool.

Capital Metro to Increase Service at Mega Shelter

September 1st, 2017

Starting this weekend, Capital Metro will add increased service to and from the mega shelter for Hurricane Harvey evacuees. The agency installed a temporary bus stop at the MetCenter in Southeast Austin, and will increase frequency of Route 228 to serve the shelter location.

Jane Williams Appointed Deputy FTA Administrator

August 30th, 2017

K. Jane Williams has been appointed Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Williams will help lead the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that funds public transportation systems across the country and oversees their safety.

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Latest Legislation


SWTA Visits Delegation in Washington, DC

December 11th, 2017

SWTA made its fourth visit to Washington, DC, to share good news stories with members of Congress about the excellent transit work being done in the SWTA Nation! I try to target different areas of the region, keeping a balance between Senate and House as well as sections of the region. The choice of who I visit is typically because there is targeted messaging or because a SWTA member has requested a visit or shared a story with us.

Congress Passes Continuing Resolution

September 26th, 2016

By a vote of 72-26, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution (CR; H.R. 5325) that funds federal government programs through December 9 at Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 levels. The House of Representatives passed the bill by a vote of 342-85. The President is expected to sign the bill before the new FY 2017 began on October 1.

SWTA’s Docket Submission to FTA’s NPRM Transit Agency Safety Plans

April 6th, 2016

SWTA’s Docket Submission Included

Take the Mystery Out of Submitting Comments to the FTA Docket

April 4th, 2016

A brief tutorial that will take the mystery out of submitting comments and give you a voice in the Federal government.

President Signs FAST Act Into Law

December 5th, 2015

President Obama signed into law the FAST Act(Fixing America’s Surface Transportation), H.R. 22. There was no ceremony and no fanfare - just a simple statement from the White House that the President had signed the bill (which followed a presidential statement from earlier yesterday morning saying that the bill was “not perfect, but it is a commonsense compromise, and an important first step in the right direction”). The text of the enrolled bill as signed into law is here.

Capital Bus Investment Sorely Underfunded, Pick-Up Your Phone

November 2nd, 2015

The Surface Transportation Reauthorization Reform (STRR) Act is the House answer to a long-term transportation funding bill. This week the House Rules Committee will consider amendments to the bill. This is your opportunity to provide information that will help the House make the right decision about Capital Bus Investment.

SWTA Sends Letter on Behalf of Membership to Key Congressional Committee Staff Leaders

June 22nd, 2015

This letter is being sent on behalf of the 182 public transportation providers, businesses and members of the South West Transit Association, from the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

APTA Alert: House Passes FY 2016 Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill

June 15th, 2015

Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives finished floor debate and passed, by a vote of 216- 210, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill. The House voted on the first series of amendments to the bill last week, and completed amendments before voting for final passage late Tuesday night (June 9, 2015).

APTA Alert: Senate Passes Short-Term Authorization Extension

May 27th, 2015

Early Saturday morning the Senate passed H.R. 2353, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015 by voice vote. This legislation extends the MAP-21 authorization from May 31 through July 31. The bill has now passed both chambers of Congress and is expected to be signed by the President this week.

Mayor of Oklahoma Stands Up for Transit in OpEd to NY Times

May 14th, 2015

EVERY day, millions of Americans rely on a remarkable network of roads, bridges, subways, trains and buses to connect us to work, school and opportunity. But our transportation system, once the envy of the world, is in jeopardy.

In New York City, subways and buses are overcrowded and often unreliable, and roadways and bridges are in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. From the next phase of the Second Avenue subway to plans to connect the Metro-North Railroad to Pennsylvania Station, to the proposed new subway line under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, there isn’t a short- or long-term expansion project that isn’t dependent on federal funding.

Letter to Transit Industry about Surface Transportation Lapse

May 12th, 2015

Federal Transit Administration sent this bulletin at 05/12/2015 12:42 PM EDT

House Committee on Appropriations Releases the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bill

April 29th, 2015

On Tuesday morning, 4/28, the House Committee on Appropriations released the draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. This bill is scheduled to be brought before the THUD Subcommittee Wednesday morning for a markup. The measure appropriates discretionary spending totaling $55.3 billion, which is $1.5 billion above FY 2015 level, but $9.7 billion below the President’s budget request. With reduced offsets, however, the bill represents an actual increase of only $25 million above the current level.

Legislative Alert: U.S. DOT Secretary Foxx Releases Revised GROW AMERICA Act

April 6th, 2015

By: APTA

On Monday, March 30th, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx unveiled a revised version of the GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s proposal for a multi-year surface transportation bill. As newly proposed, the GROW AMERICA Act would authorize a strong funding level of $478 billion over six years (as opposed to $302 billion over four years authorized in the previous version). As in the previous version, the Administration recommends that highway, transit, and passenger rail programs be funded through a restructured Transportation Trust Fund. Funding for that Trust Fund would be a combination of current Highway Trust Fund revenue supplemented by a 14 percent transition tax on the approximate $2 trillion of foreign earnings that U.S. companies have accumulated overseas (“repatriation”).

FY 2015 Apportionments and Allocations Now Available

March 24th, 2015

FTA has now published its Fiscal Year 2015 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information, providing funding for FTA’s programs as authorized by MAP-21, pursuant to the FY 2015 Appropriations Act. For FTA’s formula assistance programs, the amounts apportioned are approximately 8/12th or $5.722 billion in contract authority at this time. The notice and apportionment tables are available at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/12853.html

Appropriations Hearing on Administration Budget

March 23rd, 2015

​Legislative Alert from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Second Surface Transportation Hearing Held by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

March 23rd, 2015

Legislative Alert for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Obama Signs $1.1 Trillion Government Spending BillSummaryofBills

December 18th, 2014

The 114th Congress has been working to wrap up this year with a series of end-of-year bills. Some of those directly affect public transportation. A quick summary of two of those bills is provided.

Budget compromise keeps highways and transit steady, cuts TIGER

December 18th, 2014

The $1.01 trillion spending agreement reached by House and Senate negotiators on Tuesday (December 9, 2014) night freezes highway spending at $40 billion while avoiding the big cuts to transit projects in the House proposal.

Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure

December 18th, 2014

The following is a script of “Falling Apart” which aired on Nov. 23, 2014. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. James Jacoby, Michael Karzis and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.

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