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American Public Transportation Association

 Media Advisory



Virginia Miller

 APTA To Host High-Speed Rail Forum on December 2

 Getting to the Tipping Point for High-Speed Rail in the U.S. – The Role of Federal Government in High-Speed and Intercity Rail Development

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will hold a High-Speed Rail Forum from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on  December 2, 2015 at its new offices at 1300 I Street, NW, Suite 1200 East, Washington, D.C. APTA members, federal officials, congressional staff, and other passenger rail stakeholders are expected to attend.

Come listen to these North America experts in the public and private sectors talk about a variety of topics including: planning and environmental clearance; funding and finance; leadership and governance. (See agenda below) U.S. Represenative Earl Blumenauer will be the featured luncheon speaker.

There is no cost to attend, but RSVPs are requested by Monday, November 30, at 12 noon.  If you can attend, please send an email to Cynthia Owens at


Wednesday, Dec. 2

8 – 8:30 a.m.





8:30 – 9 a.m.


Welcome and Introductory Remarks

-Michael P. Melaniphy, President & CEO, American Public

Transportation Association, Washington, DC


-Valarie J. McCall, 2015-2016 Chair, APTA; Member, Board of Trustees, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland, OH


APTA High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee Activities and Highlight

-Peter Gertler, Chair, High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, APTA; and Vice President, Global Strategic Consulting, HDR, San Francisco, CA


“Tipping Point” Background and Context: 

-Al Engel, Vice-Chair, High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, APTA; and Principal, Al Engel Consulting, Telford, PA



9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

Session I:  Planning and Environmental Clearance

-Dominic Spaethling
, Chair, High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Programs Subcommittee, APTA; and Vice President/Senior Project Manager, HNTB Corporation, San Francisco, CA



-David Valenstein, Chief, Environment and Systems Planning Division; Federal Railroad Administration, Washington, DC

-Shaun McCabe, Vice President, Engineering, Texas Central Partnership, Dallas, TX

-David Carol, Market Leader, High Speed Rail & Freight Rail; WSP/ Parsons Brinckerhoff; Charlotte, NC

-Peter A. Peyser, Jr, Principal, Peyser Associates, Washington, DC



10:15 – 10:30 a.m..






10:30 – 11:30 a.m.


Session II:  Funding and Finance of Intercity and High-Speed Rail Systems

Greene, Co-chair, Intercity and High-Speed Rail Finance Subcommittee, APTA and Senior Vice-President, Diretor, Finance Market Sector, HDR/Sharon Greene + Associates, Irvine, CA


-Melissa L. Porter
, Office of General Counsel; U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC

-Marc-Andre Roy, Vice President North America; CPCS, Ottawa, ON, Canada

-Jodie Misiak, Director, Project Development; Build America Transportation Investment Center; U.S. Department of Transportation

-Laurene Mahon, Managing Director / Global Head of Infrastructure Finance; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Toronto, ON, Canada



11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Lunch (Provided by APTA)


-The Honorable Earl Blumenauer, U.S. House of Representatives (D-OR), Washington, DC



12 – 1:15 p.m.

Session III:  Leadership and Governance

-Al Engel
, Vice-Chair, High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, APTA; and Principal, Al Engel Consulting, Telford, PA



-Stephen Gardner, Amtrak Executive Vice-President, and Chief – Northeast Corridor Business Development; Philadelphia, PA

-Darrell Johnson
, Chair, APTA Regional Corridors Subcommittee, APTA; and CEO, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange, CA

-Matt Kelly
, Professional Staff Member, Surface Transportation Committee; Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation

-Emily Stock
, Manager of Rail Planning; Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation; Richmond, VA



1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Session IV:  Top Priorities and Next Steps (Closed to Media)

Discussion facilitator
-Eric Peterson



2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Wrap-up (Closed to Media)


#   #   #

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.  More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.


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