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The Capital District Transportation Authority carried 16.49 million passengers in its most recent fiscal year, breaking a record that has stood since fiscal 1983, when it carried 16.39 million passengers. Several initiatives, including the BusPlus bus rapid transit program and universal access relationships with several area colleges and universities and at least one employer, were credited with boosting ridership. The universal access program permits colleges and businesses to offer unlimited rides to their students, faculty and staff, or employees for a flat fee.
Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) Board chair David Stackrow and CEO Carm Basile engaged in an interesting and informative discussion on the dynamics of the board chair-CEO partnership, and how they have been able to develop an effective relationship. Stackrow has been a member of the CDTA board since 1995, and is serving his third term as the board chair. Basile has been CEO since 2009, and NYPTA President since 2010. You can listen to the podcast here.
The Obama administration sent a four-year, $302 billion transportation plan to Congress hoping to jump-start a national debate on how to repair and replace the nation’s aging infrastructure while accommodating the needs of a growing population. Action is urgently needed because the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to run dry by late August. The administration’s plan includes pumping about $150 billion into transportation programs beyond the money raised from fuel taxes.
DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said that passing a surface transportation bill can certainly happen this summer. "I don't buy that this can't be done, and can't be done quickly," he said in an interview. "At the same time, we've said all along that we're open to other pay-fors, we're open to ideas that Congress has." The urgency, however, cannot be overstated. I’ve talked to governors across the country who are as soon as July going to be letting contracts, and they don’t know what the future holds, so they’re going to not do as much infrastructure work as they could have.
A busy couple of months for public transportation saw gas prices that are 33 cents higher than February, a price hike that is contributing to the great savings public transit riders are achieving. Consider the facts from the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA), April Transit Savings Report: Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $848 this month and $10,174 annually.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the 2014-2015 State Budget designates $20 million to support implementation of recommendations by the New NY Bridge Mass Transit Task Force (MTTF). The recommendations include a range of improvements to support a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system between Rockland and Westchester counties that will increase transit ridership by 10,150 people per day in the region and cut commuter travel times by 20 to 25 percent. Governor Cuomo also announced the state’s application for a $26.7 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) matching grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide additional support for the BRT system and other MTTF recommendations.
New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced the appointment of Patrick A. Nowakowski as the next president of MTA Long Island Rail Road. “In the coming years, the LIRR must successfully complete the Double Track project along the Ronkonkoma Branch, harden its infrastructure against the threat of future storms, and prepare for East Side Access to revolutionize service," MTA Chairman/CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. "Pat’s strong background in railroad operations will serve the LIRR well.
Masabi, a leader in mobile ticketing and payments for transit, today announced that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has selected the company to provide mobile ticketing for both the Metro-North Railroad (MNR) and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).Masabi’s mobile ticketing technology will allow riders to buy train tickets using their smartphones, anytime and anywhere, eliminating the need to ever carry a paper ticket again. Customers will be able to quickly and securely buy and use electronic tickets for both railroads using a mobile ticketing application or website. This technology means that customers no longer have to wait in line at ticket machines, or fumble for cash to pay on board, revolutionizing the process of buying tickets on the two largest commuter railroads in the U.S.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
HOUSTON --- Houston METRO partnered with Google to offer real-time bus information as well as detour alerts. “We are focused on improving the customer experience,” said METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “Not only will our customers know when their bus will arrive, but if there’s a detour in place on their route, that information will pop up and they can factor this in their plans, too.” If for any reason a bus loses connectivity — as the GPS information is transmitted via cellular communications — trips posted will revert to the bus’ scheduled times.
WASHINGTON --- Display screens broadcasting real-time information for a variety of public transportation options are popping up throughout the D.C. area -- from government buildings to apartment lobbies and coffee shops. In other cities, information from these screens is even projected on public sidewalks. The screens are a product of TransitScreen, a transportation software company that got its start in Arlington's Mobility Lab two years ago.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
Mobility Management Technologies for Creating
In this session, conference attendees will learn how Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are utilized to ease the complexities of coordination. Software and hardware components of ITS technologies allow coordinating agencies to respond to both fixed and on-demand trip requests, coordinate trips among different providers, and directly communicate with customers through call centers, web portals, and mobile applications. Regional agency coordination best practices will be presented so attendees can view firsthand how technologies have played a large role in sustaining costs while increasing services. Registration is Free!
2014 NY Public Transit Fall Expo
We invite transit industry manufacturers, vendors and service providers to reserve your space at the 2014 New York Public Transit Fall Expo, September 16-18 at the Saratoga City Center in Saratoga Springs. It’s your chance to market your solutions to more than 150 public transportation leaders from across the State. Expanded hours give you a greater opportunity to make important connections. Call Mike Cocca at 518.434.9060 for your exhibitor prospectus, or email email@example.com.