Anthony Foxx was sworn in as the nation’s 17th Secretary of Transportation by Judge Nathaniel Jones in a private ceremony at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters on July 2. In a written message to USDOT employees following his swearing in Foxx said, “Safety will remain our top priority at DOT. At the same time, I will work to improve the efficiency and performance of our current transportation system while building the infrastructure we need for future generations. In doing so, I look forward to bringing my ‘on the ground’ experiences as a mayor, while embracing the tremendous knowledge, skill and ingenuity of the DOT workforce and our many stakeholders.” Read the USDOT press release here.
The national Transportation Security Administration recognized 16 transit agencies for having reached “gold standard” with their 2012 security programs. The recognition focuses on categories including security plans, training, drills, outreach and background checks. Among the 16 is Metropolitan Transportation Authority Staten Island Railroad. Read about it in progressiverailroading.com.
The FRA and FHA have both signed off on plans for construction of a new Niagara Falls Intermodal Transportation Center and the call for bids is expected to go out soon. The construction will be funded in large part with $16.5 million federal transportation grants and $6 million in state DOT funding. The two-year construction project is expected to begin in the fall. Read about it in Mass Transit.
Westchester County stands to lose $19 million in federal transit aid if it fails to bid out a contract for bus services. The county government is currently talking to its current vendor about extending the existing contract, but may need to reach further in order to take advantage of the federal aid. Watch this video report on LoHud.com.
Tappan Zee Mass Transit Task Force got a new proposal for improving bus service in Rockland and Westchester counties last week. This one came straight from the State of New York and relies primarily on low-cost traffic management techniques. Read about it at RecordOnline.com.
Last month, Governor Cuomo launched a grant program for projects the Executive Chamber called “Support Cleaner, Greener Communities Sustainability Plans” throughout New York State. The plans are a major statewide initiative to invest in smart growth planning and sustainability, and several include transit-related initiatives. The Western NY plan includes a recommendation to “increase and improve alternatives to driving alone through the development and enhancement of existing interagency partnerships.” The Capital Region plan calls for improving transit infrastructure through technology. The Long Island plan looks to reducing vehicle miles by improving transportation options.
Ulster County is accepting sealed proposals for Diesel Transit Buses (BID #RFB-UC13-49) that will be opened publicly at the Ulster County Purchasing Department, 310 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston, NY on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 2 pm. Specifications and conditions may be obtained at the above address or at www.co.ulster.ny.us/purchasing.
Dutchess County is currently accepting proposals on a Demand Response Dispatch System for Dutchess County Public Transit. Interested parties should visit their website at Http://www.duchessny.gov, go to the left column and click on the link for “Bidding and RFPs.” Those without internet access can call BidNet at 800.835.4603 and press #1 for Vender Support.
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is getting ready to celebrate its 30th anniversary by spiffing up its Metro Rail stations. Their plans include removing cleanup of rust and decay and replacing some escalators. Read more on the planned renovations at MassTransitMag.com.
Sponsors and exhibitors are lining up for the 2013 NY Public Transit Partners in Progress Fall Conference and Expo on September 11 and 12 in Saratoga Springs. We're pleased to continue to feature professional development resources from one of our speakers, nationally known executive leadership consultant Doug Eadie. This week, enjoy this article by Doug excerpted from Nonprofit World magazine: "How Can Your Board Participate in Strategic Planning?
Watch your email for more exciting conference news beginning later this month!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Efforts to curb US greenhouse gas emissions may be getting a leg up from a trend showing fewer Americans buying cars and getting drivers licenses. The Sunday New York Times Review is considering what that might mean for the future.
Residents of The Jefferson, an independent living condo complex, in one of Arlington, Virginia’s urban neighborhoods, are a perfect example of the benefits of living in a transit-oriented development. Their neighborhood offers convenient walkable access to subway stations and buses allowing great potential for independent aging. Watch a short video about the development and the topic on the AARP website.
Three recent college graduates from South Carolina have launched what they hope with be the Expedia of intercity bus travel. They call it Bustripping. The site allows users to easily compare prices and schedules for different companies. Read more at CrainsNewYork.com.