Feb. 6, 2014
What's Inside
State of the Union
Highway Bill
Free Netconference
Leadership Academy 2014
Telecommuting Featured
Telework Week March 3-7
ACT VP Attends Biden's Amtrak Unveiling
Mapping Your Commute
Upcoming Events
Chapter News
Join or Renew ACT Membership
Assistant Director of Transportation Services Needed
ACTion Item: Atlanta Blizzard
Got News?
Mar 3-7
Telework Week
Mar 13-14
Florida Commuter Choice Summit and SEACT Symposium

June 10-11
Mobility Summit

Aug 2-6 
ACT Int'l Conference
Follow Us
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
State of the Union Impact on ACT Members

President Obama, in his fifth State of the Union (SOTU) address last week, discussed the need for investment in infrastructure, saying, "In today's global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure." He also referenced the need to create an expedited process to complete transportation projects and said that if Congress is unable to pass a transportation reauthorization, he will initiate executive actions to streamline the process.


The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) applauds the president for his commitment to investing in our nation's transportation infrastructure. ACT is working with its members and other stakeholders to find a sensible and sustainable solution to funding our transportation system. ACT is pleased that House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Penn.) is holding hearings on the upcoming transportation authorization. We look forward to working on reauthorization with the House and Senate committees.


ACT's reauthorization task force has completed its Principles for Reauthorization and is finalizing its recommendations. Stay tuned.
Six-Year Highway Bill Requires $100 Billion

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an updated biannual projection of Highway Trust Fund cash flow. CBO estimated that the Highway Account of the Trust Fund will run out of cash before the expiration of the MAP-21 law on Sept. 30.


The CBO also warned that to enact the six-year surface transportation bill, with existing spending plus inflation, will require an additional $100 billion. A four-year bill with existing spending plus inflation would require $67 billion in new taxes or transfers; a two-year bill such as MAP-21 would require $35 billion in new taxes or transfers; and a one-year extension would cost $19 billion. At the same time, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster stated that a gas tax increase is not politically feasible at this time.


Other ways to bridge the deficit would be to index the gas tax, eliminate the gas tax and replace it with an excise tax on gasoline at the wholesale level, or institute a vehicle miles traveled tax (VMT). Congress could also make cuts to other programs and transfer the savings to infrastructure. Alternatively, Congress could allow the trust fund to become insolvent and reduce transportation spending.
Free Netconference: State Tax Policies that Prevent Employees and Employers from Adopting Telework

The Telework Council of ACT and Best Workplaces for Commuters at the National Center for Transit Research invite you to an informative netconference on state tax penalties for telecommuting, Thursday, Feb. 27, from 2:00-3:15 p.m. EST.


Telework lets employers hire and retain workers who live anywhere, from a few blocks to many time zones away. State tax authorities, however, can make interstate telework arrangements difficult for both employees and employers. Nicole Belson Goluboff, Esq., Telework Council's public policy liaison, will discuss the tax states may impose on nonresident individuals who telecommute to employers in those states. She will explain how the "convenience of the employer" rule can harm workers, businesses, and states, and highlight proposed federal legislation to eliminate the rule. Goluboff will also discuss the policy under which a state may subject an out-of-state company to business activity taxes when the company employs as little as a single telecommuter in that state. She will describe the leading case in this area and discuss how other states might handle similar cases, and summarize the effects these policies can have on the growth of telework.


You can register for this online event here.
ACT Leadership Academy 2014 Kicks Off

The first session of the ACT 2014 Leadership Academy took place Feb. 2-4 at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The Leadership Academy is a professional development and training program for individuals in the field of Transportation Demand Management (TDM). The goals of the program are to identify, develop, and support the next generation of TDM industry and ACT leaders. It is a year-long program that includes workshops, conferences, and class leadership projects that are presented at the ACT International Conference. For more information and to see how you can join the Class of 2015, contact Brian Shaw, CAPP, ACT immediate past president, at shawb@upenn.edu.
Telecommuting Featured in Atlantic Cities
Yonah Freemark's article in Atlantic Cities shows that telecommuting is occurring everywhere in metropolitan areas, from dense cities to their far-flung suburbs. The rise of the internet is producing more at-home work, but not just by people who want to live far from their workplaces. Many telecommuters work just a few miles from their physical offices. To read the full article and find out what's encouraging these changes, click hereACT's Telework and Alternative Work Arrangements Council has highlighted that both public and corporate policy has not kept pace with either technology or the rising interest in telecommuting. You can read ACT's position on the Multistate Worker Act, one important public policy fix to support telework, here.
Telework Week is March 3-7
Mobile Works Exchange's Telework Week 2014, the fourth annual global effort to encourage agencies, organizations, and individuals to pledge to telework, is March 3-7. Last year, more than 136,000 workers pledged to work remotely, saving $12.3 million in commuting costs, gaining back 665,936 hours, and removing 7,892 tons of pollutants from the air while not driving 12.1 million miles. For more information and to determine your effect and savings, click here.
ACT VP Rob Henry Attends Vice President Biden's Amtrak Unveiling
Vice President Joe Biden commuted to Philadelphia today to unveil Amtrak's newest electric locomotive. Also slated to
attend the event was Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Rob Henry, ACT vice president and executive director of the Greater Valley Forge TMA, was on hand as Biden stressed the need for investment in infrastructure in a news conference featuring the U.S.-built Cities Sprinter engine. See live coverage of the event later today after the story airs on the NBC affiliate tonight, and read AMTRAK's news release here.
Mapping: A New View of Commuting
Emily Badger, writing in Atlantic Cities, offers a new approach to how we view commuting. Instead of using metrics that only consider the cost of travel, maybe one should consider a metric--a map--that captures the overall value of time spent commuting. The question becomes "How well do transportation systems connect people to the things they want to reach?" instead of "How effectively do these systems allow people to move around?" The idea is to shift the focus from cost to accessibility. Do the established systems get people where they need to be, and in a timely manner? In some cases, the answer is "not yet." Accessibility maps show the locations people need to be better connected to and the areas where new or more frequent transportation options should be established.
Read the article.
Upcoming Events
Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit, June 10-11

ACT and its partners, Mobility Lab and Transit Center, will host the Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington, D.C., June 10-11, 2014. More information and registration will be available soon; in the meantime, contact Gina Manley at gmanley2010@yahoo.com for sponsorship opportunities.


2014 ACT International Conference, Aug. 2-6

Mark your calendar for the 2014 ACT International Conference, Aug. 2-6, 2014, at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. Informations on registration, as well as a call for speakers, will be issued soon.
ACT Chapter News
  • The Southern Calif. Chapter is holding its Annual Membership Meeting on Feb. 10. For additional information and a list of speakers, please visit their website.
  • Join the Valley of the Sun Chapter Board of Directors for its quarterly member luncheon on Feb. 27, featuring a presentation and tour by Farhad Moghimi, executive director of the Pima Association of Governments (PAG). RSVP to Bryan Hauwiller at bhauwiller@pagregion.com by Monday, Feb. 24 to attend.
  • The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida invites you to attend the 2014 Florida Commuter Choice Summit and SEACT Symposium, March 13-14, 2014. The event is sponsored by the Florida Department of Transportation and SEACT (Southeast Chapter). For more information and to register click here.

  • Want your chapter's news and alerts published in
    future issues of Connections? Send information to wallmeyer@actweb.org.
    Join ACT or Renew Your Membership
    If you are not already a member of ACT and want to join or if you need to renew your membership to take advantage of all the opportunities ahead, click here. Contact TJ Cantwell, ACT's membership director, at cantwell@actweb.org or call 540.845.3146 for more information.
    Assistant Director of Transportation Services Needed

    Arizona State University Parking and Transit Services is seeking an assistant director to lead its commuter services and customer service divisions. As part of the senior management team, this position will oversee the shuttle, bicycle, and alternative transportation programs, and the customer service unit, which processes permit, transit pass sales and citation appeals. For more information and to apply before Feb. 12, visit cfo.asu.edu/hrclick on jobs, then on external applications, and then search openings, and enter 1179BR in the requisition ID section.
    ACTion Item
    Atlanta Ice Storm: Lessons to be Learned
    Commentary by Henry Wallmeyer, executive director, ACT
    For those who live in the north, two inches of snow are nothing more than a minor inconvenience. When two inches of snow and a glaze of ice fell on Atlanta last week, the city's transportation system flash-froze to a halt.


    Atlanta, like most cities in the south, is not familiar with the term "snow day." When the snow began to fall and accumulate, local government, businesses, and schools all shut down at the same time. What would have been a minor headache in other cities swirled into a southern transportation nightmare: dangerous road conditions local drivers are not accustomed to; one of the most congested transportation networks in the nation; and thousands of commuters hitting the road simultaneously. Add hundreds of resulting accidents, waning patience, and a layer of ice, and the result is nothing short of a catastrophe. Children were stranded at school overnight, motorists abandoned their cars to walk to shelter, and the public relations nightmare has not ended.


    In the days following the event, news media and some politicians played the blame game, asking, "Shouldn't the schools have been closed before the storm?" "Why weren't the closings staggered?" and, "Why don't the transportation departments have the equipment to deal with such events?" All of these are fair questions.

    On my list of action items for the year ahead is to facilitate ways for ACT members to be able to provide local leaders with tools, resources, and best practices needed to deal with these types of transportation emergencies.

    As always, I welcome your ideas and insights. Please write to me at wallmeyer@actweb.org.
    Got News?

    Help us spread the word about the people, places, and things that are happening in the TDM world. Do you have any news or events that you would like included in a future issue of ACT Connections? Send them to Henry Wallmeyer, executive director, at wallmeyer@actweb.org.
    Association for Commuter Transportation I 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 350, Alexandria, VA 22314