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NYPTA HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE on million dollar staircase  

Public Transit Advocates Call for Greater Investment Stakeholders Say Proposed State Budget Leaves Many at the Curb

The President of the New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) says it is imperative Governor and State provide additional public transit aid in the 2017-2018 state budget. “The demand for our services continues to grow across the State,” said NYPTA President Bill Carpenter. “A modest two percent increase in proposed funding would provide an ever-growing number of New Yorkers the public transit options they want and need,” Carpenter added.

In a press conference at the Capitol’s Great Western Staircase, transit officials, lawmakers, business leaders and customers talked about the impact public transit has on communities, the state economy and quality of life. Therese Daly of Albany is a daily commuter: “I made the conscious decision not to own a car,” Daly said, “so the bus is my mode of transportation. It is a part of my life and a way of life,” she added.

The Governor and Legislature have made reviving the New York economy a priority, with new business development and jobs emerging across the state. New York’s transit systems are building on this success and providing critical connections to jobs, education, recreation and health care. Demand for more service is increasing in urban, suburban and rural areas, and among senior citizens, millennials, people with disabilities and those working to escape poverty. This means that the State’s efforts will only be successful if adequate resources for public transit are made available for communities throughout the state.
“The Business Council, and our president, Heather Briccetti, have long advocated for increased funding for upstate transit,” said Johnny Evers, PhD, director of government affairs for The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “The NYPTA represents many of the best regional transportation companies in the state and we are happy to stand with them today and ask the governor and the Legislature to increase funding for critically needed projects and improvements throughout the system.”

In addition to the 2% increase for the larger systems, Carpenter said the smaller rural transit systems need an increased investment in aid to offset the loss of revenue from medical transportation. Additional capital funding is also needed for transit systems other than the MTA. “The impact public transit has on the state economy cannot be ignored,” Carpenter said. “We connect people to jobs and services and ask lawmakers to provide the additional funding we need to ensure that communities across the state continue to grow.”

NYPTA TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE AT CAPITOL THIS WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22ND

Customers, business leaders and transit agencies please join us as we call for support of the Senate and Assembly one-house bills. A press conference will take place March 22 at 10:00am on the third floor of the Million Dollar Staircase, NYS Capitol. The press conference will speak to the importance of increasing state investment in transit operations and capital in the upcoming State Budget.


Therese

NYPTA PROGRAM DIRECTOR NOMINATED FOR FORBES 30 UNDER 30

Therese Daly, NYPTA's Program Director, was nominated for Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 Forbes' list includes individuals who are among the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in the country. With the nomination, comes an invite to a week long global  conference in Tel Aviv in April. Congratulations Therese from the entire NYPTA community!  


NYPTA PRESENTS TESTIMONY AT BUDGET HEARING 

NYPTA presented testimony on the need for transit investment last week at the Joint Hearing of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance & Assembly Standing Committee on Ways and Means concerning the SFY 2017-2018 Executive Budget Proposal Relating to Transportation. Senator Cathy Young and Assembly member Herman Farrell JR. and other legislators heard from several witnesses on the impact of the 2017-18 executive state budget on public transit systems.


PUBLIC TRANSIT ADVOCATES BRING PRO-TRANSIT MESSAGE TO ALBANY ON TRANSIT AWARENESS DAY 

Albany, NY –Transit managers, riders, labor and business converged in Albany on Tuesday, January 31 for Transit Awareness Day at The Well of the Legislative Office Building (LOB). The event was marked by a noontime rally emphasizing the public transit industry’s value to New York State’s economy and underscoring the need for the state to make the investment necessary to preserve public transit’s value to the communities it serves.

“Transit Awareness Day is our day to make the connection between the state's goals to revitalize our communities and the important role transit plays in these growth initiatives,” said Bill Carpenter, President of the New York Public Transit Association. “We come each year in order to build on our momentum and communicate just how important a strong public transit system is to the people and economy of New York State.”

Through the rally and meetings with individual lawmakers, NYPTA, its members, transportation coalitions, advocacy groups, and business partners urged the State to continue to make the kind of investments in public transportation that brings wide-ranging benefits.

“One of the best ways to sustain the state’s economic development efforts is to build a more robust public transit system,” said Carpenter. “With more businesses relocating or expanding in communities across the state, our transit systems need a sustainable increase in funding to keep up with demand and provide the connections needed to ensure success.”

Rally participants included Senator Joseph Robach, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, NYSDOT's CFO Ron Epstein, NYS Business Council's Government Affairs Director, Johnny Evers, Tri-State Campaign's Veronica Vanterpool, Prevost/Nova's President Raymond LeDuc, Chris Boylan Director, Governmental & Strategic Partnerships, Jeff Richardson, President of Local 1342, Corey Bixby, President of Local 1321, and Kat Fisscher with the Sierra Club.

About NYPTA

The New York Public Transit Association, Inc. (NYPTA) is a not-for-profit association of public transportation service providers, private sector manufacturers and consultants, and state government agencies. The Association was formed in 1983 by representatives of the transit industry committed to the advancement of public transportation in New York State. NYPTA remains devoted to public transportation development and representing the mass transportation needs of the riding public. NYPTA members consist of upstate and downstate systems in rural, suburban, city, and large metropolitan localities, and account for 28 percent of all transit rides in the country.


bcarpenter2016 150x200CARPENTER ELECTED  AS NYPTA PRESIDENT

Bill Carpenter, President and CEO of the Regional Transit Service (RTS) serving Greater Rochester and Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Wyoming Counties, has been elected President of the New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA). The vote was taken during NYPTA’s Transit, Technology & Smarter Communities & Expo held this week in Albany.

Carpenter will begin a two year term next month. He had been serving as the Association’s Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair. “I am truly honored and excited for the opportunity to continue the work of my predecessors,” Carpenter said. “NYPTA is an outstanding organization and a vital cog in New York’s economy and the daily lives of millions of its people. It’s a tremendous base from which to continue our growth and service,” he added.

Outgoing President Carm Basile said “Bill has been a valuable resource in helping us extend our reach and increase the services we provide our customers. His election is deserved and well earned.”

Basile is completing his sixth year as NYPTA President. “Carm has gone ‘above and beyond’ in leading this organization,” said Carpenter. “The respect for NYPTA in the industry and in the eyes of government leaders and the riding public is a direct result of his leadership, vision and passion for this organization. Carm and I have worked well together during his time at the helm of NYPTA. I have learned a lot from him and that has prepared me for this next step,” he added.

Joining Carpenter as Executive Officers are:

  • Tom George, Vice President (Director of Public Transportation, NFTA)
  • Leslie Leone, Treasurer (Assistant General Manager, Centro of Oneida)
  • Greg Kilmer, Secretary, (Commissioner, Broome County)
  • Carm Basile, Past President (Chief Executive Officer, CDTA)

Four members of the NYPTA Board of Directors were re-elected to new two year terms:

  • Buddy Coleman (Executive Vice President, Clever Devices)
  • Tim Ellis (Director of Legislative Affairs, MTA)
  • Michael Shine (Grants Specialist, Rockland County DPT)
  • Scott Sobczyk ( Transportation Director, GGFT)

They join the following Board members whose terms expire in 2017:

  • Naomi Klein, Director of Planning, Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation
  • Richard Lee, Chief Administrative Officer, Central NY Regional Transportation Authority
  • Ray Melleady, Managing Director-North America, USSC Group
  • Cynthia Ruiz, Transit Administrator, Dutchess County Mass Transit
  • Michael Setzer, Chief Executive Officer, NICE Bus

They NYPTA Board of Directors also includes designated members:

  • Dwight Mengel, Chief Transportation Planner, Tompkins County
  • Jerry Sheehan, Regional Sales Manager, Gillig, LLC

NYPTA also noted, with special thanks, Board members Jim Dubbs (NTA, NYCT) and Robert DiBella (Ulster County) who are retiring this fall, and fondly remembered Joe Turcotte (TCAT) who passed away earlier this year.


NEW YORK LAWMAKERS COMPLETED  2016 LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON JUNE 18TH

by: Bob Zerrillo, Bob Reid and Padraic Bambrick

New York lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 legislative session at around 5 M. Saturday morning, enacting a major ethics reforms including: reeling in political actions committees through independent expenditure reforms, enacting pension forfeiture reforms for public officers, disclosure requirements for political consultants, lobby disclosure reforms, and issue advocacy reforms.

Read More regarding these reforms.

In addition, major issues New York City’s mayoral control law (one year), housing funding (half a billion), lead testing in schools and additional capital for SUNY and CUNY were settled.

Critical to a number of NYPTA members was the defeat of legislation advanced by Upstate unions which would have required Upstate transit authorities to submit all unresolvable contract negotiations to binding arbitration (A5303 Abbate/S.4746 Funke).

A number of other important transit issues were addressed including among the over 200 bills the legislature introduced related to transit:

  • Upstate IDA's will no longer be able to provide exemptions to local developers for mortgage recording taxes intended to fund the 4 upstate regional transportation authorities(S7442 DeFrancisco/A.9490 Magnarelli)
  • A Temporary Advisory Board on Upstate Transit Funding is created to develop recommendations for sustainable and growing state funding for transit systems funded from the upstate Public Transportation Systems Operating Assistance Account(A8202A Brindisi/ S8045 O’Mara)
  • CDTA is given the authority to regulate local taxi service in the Capital District, pending opt-in by the individual municipalities (A9878A McDonald/S7359A Breslin).
  • Finally, legislation to extend Uber service statewide was not passed.

The bills referenced above are subject to approval of the Governor. We will provide updates on these bills pending future action. This caps off a legislative session of impressive growth for transit systems as earlier in the year the Legislature and Governor passed a budget which includes:

  • Total STOA appropriation of $5.159 b., a $184 m. increase from 2015-16.
  • STOA funding to MTA increases by $157 m., a 3.5% increase.
  • STOA funding to other downstate transit systems increases by $17.4 m., 6.1% increase.
  • STOA funding to upstate transit systems increases by $10.0 m., a 5.3% increase.
  • provides a total of $84.5 m. for non-MTA transit capital projects as follows:
  • $20 m. in capital funding for upstate transit systems, an increase of $5 m. from 2015-16.
  • $18.5 m. capital appropriation for state 10% match to federal aid.
  • $18.5 m. appropriation for 100% state share program for Non-MTA transit systems.
  • $27.5 m. appropriation under New York Works for transit capital projects for transit systems other than the MTA.
  • $2.934 b. appropriation for the MTA 2015-19 capital program and a state commitment to fund a total of $8.3 b.
  • A 5-year capital program for transit systems other than the MTA. We are awaiting details of the transit portion of the NYSDOT 5-year capital program MOU.

If you have any questions on the end of session actions, please contact Bob Zerrillo, Bob Reid or Padraic Bambrick.


RING RETIRES FROM MTA

Hilary Ring, an active and valuable member of the New York Public Transit Association for many years, has retired after a long and distinguished career with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

At the time of his retirement, Hilary was deputy senior director of the MTA’s Business Service Center, providing back-office processing and transactions for the authority’s 70,000 employees, 25,000 retirees and 15,000 vendors.

Hilary began his career with the MTA in 1989, serving as a legislative representative, director of state relations and deputy executive director. After several years in the consulting business, he returned to the MTA in 2007, serving as director of government affairs and senior director of capital programs before moving to the BSC.

Among many other accomplishments at North America’s largest public authority, Hilary transformed the BSC into a center of service excellence that generates $30 million in annual savings, served as the MTA’s lead for repair and mitigation work after Hurricane Sandy, and oversaw funding for some of the nation’s largest public works projects.

Before joining the MTA, Hilary spent nine years with the New York State Senate Finance Committee, working his way up from fiscal analyst to senior and finally principal fiscal analyst.

He has served NYPTA as a member of the Board of Directors, Legislative Committee, Program Committee and Succession Planning Task Force, and chair of the Public Transit Leadership Institute.

Hilary is a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in public administration. He is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

He is married and the father of two daughters, and is an avid outdoorsman. He hopes to spend his retirement pursuing his passion for camping.

The Association thanks Hilary for his years of service to the public transit industry, and we wish him all the best in this next phase of life.