September 1, 2017
Labor Day Weekend Update on Hurricane Harvey
Dear APTA members,
Our public transit systems continue to cope with the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. As reported yesterday
, several have resumed limited service and others are making plans to operate limited service next week. Most are providing medically necessary transportation.
In the aftermath of this tragic event, and as we commemorate Labor Day this weekend, it is fitting to pay tribute to the heroic and courageous efforts of our Texas colleagues over the last week.
Before the storm hit, agencies acted to move their fleets to safe ground, when possible. METRO of Harris County’s action to move its buses to US 59’s HOV lane is just one example. Systems also worked to shore up their facilities as best as possible.
Even as these employees were dealing with significant personal losses of their homes and belongings, they worked to evacuate residents – particularly focusing on the elderly and persons with disabilities who required specialized transportation to medical care, or alternate facility locations, such as nursing homes. Metro reports evacuating more than 8,000 people during the storm.
The systems report that many of their employees have suffered catastrophic losses. In Port Arthur, most of the drivers are living in shelters. Yet, they are still coming to work to help others.
Agency leaders have expressed gratitude to all who reached out and offered support. Your generosity and concern has buoyed them as they confront many challenges, both at home and at work.
A few reminders:
Regarding offering help to the systems, the impacted agencies are following the FEMA process in assessing their needs and in seeking assistance. This will take time. Polly Hanson, APTA’s director of Security, Risk and Emergency Management, is in contact with the affected transit properties. She can be reached at email@example.com
If you would like to help members of the transit family, APTA is partnering with the Texas Transit Association and the South West Transit Association to provide gift cards to transit employees who have lost their homes and belongings.
Please send the gift cards to Meredith Greene, executive director of TTA at:
TEXAS Harvey Relief
Texas Transit Association
Attn. Meredith Greene
106 E. 6th Street, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78701
Thank you again for your support of all those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Richard A. White
APTA Acting President & CEO