While it is easy to blame the lack of dedicated funding for slowing down projects and causing uncertainty, consultants remain optimistic that they can help public transit agencies fill the gap by utilizing its expertise from other regions around the world. Many are hopeful the younger generation entering the workforce will help grow public transit usage.
President of Alstom Transportation in North America Guillaume Mehlman cites vehicle accessibility, increased speed and catenary-free capabilities developed for projects in the international market as foreseeable trends in the U.S.
Adding CNG vehicles to its diverse fleet, building a fueling facility and refurbishing its maintenance garage are some of the projects the system has on its plate.
Cited as the top challenge experienced by one-fifth of participating operators. Coming in second was land use coordination, at 17%, down by slightly more than 10% from last year, when it was listed as the top challenge.
While 79% of state and local ballot measures to boost transportation passed in 2011, many are fighting an uphill battle. In Atlanta, a major ballot measure looks to fund a wide-ranging transportation plan, including $3.2 billion for public transit.
More operators reported an increase in their business in 2011. FirstGroup America takes the top spot again. Pricing and driver retention remain top concerns.