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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, after his push, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved the Capital District Transportation Authority's (CDTA) application to join the “Small Starts” program, which opens them up to receive federal funds to expand Albany's bus system. Specifically, as a result of being accepted into the program, CDTA could now eligible to receive approximately $50 million in funding. Now, the CDTA will work with FTA to review the project plan for its new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line and determine how much funding it can receive.
If all goes as planned, the 350,000 people who ride public buses in Ontario County won't notice much different when they catch a ride on Aug. 1.But plenty will have changed behind the scenes. On that day, the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, or RGRTA, plans to take over Ontario County's bus system. The authority's board approved a 22-year agreement on Thursday to make the switch, which will make this the eighth county where RGRTA operates. Under the agreement, the transit authority would assume Ontario County's 40-bus fleet and other equipment. The bus service would continue to operate out of a county-owned transportation facility, and the authority would split the bills to operate it.
The NBA introduced the logo for NBA All-Star 2015 in New York City. Inspired by the design of the iconic public transportation signs that adorn many corners of America’s largest city, the logo includes colors reminiscent of the subway and bus lines that connect each of the five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. The logo design pays tribute to the two host teams, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks. The teams’ abbreviations, “BKN” and “NYK,” appear above circles bearing the teams’ respective colors and the year “2015.”FEDERAL NEWS
The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee each acted on measures that would avert Highway Trust Fund insolvency in the coming weeks. The House Committee on Ways and Means on passed by voice the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (or H.R. 5021), which would supply the HTF with about $10.8 billion and extend federal highway, transit, and highway safety program authority through May 31, 2015. The Senate Finance measure also would provide $10.8 billion in new revenue to the HTF, composed of a slightly different mix of revenue sources. However, this proposal does yet not include a program authority extension beyond the current expiration date of September 30, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Urban Mass Transportation Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 to achieve, in his words, “better systems for getting our people to work and home again—and getting them there with speed and safety and economy and comfort.” The Act, signed into law on July 9, 1964, created the foundation for the federal, state and local partnerships that have improved and expanded the nation’s public transportation systems—establishing a program of federal financial assistance that creates ladders of opportunity for millions of Americans daily in metropolitan and rural areas.
OTHER NEWS OF INTERST
NEWARK -- New Jersey Transit has approved a budget that includes no fare hikes for the fifth consecutive year. The agency's board of directors unanimously approved the spending plan during Wednesday's monthly meeting in Newark. The $2 billion operating budget contains no fare hikes. Fares last rose by up to 25 percent on NJ Transit rail and bus lines in 2010.. NJ Transit's board also approved a $1.2 billion capital program that includes $180 million for infrastructure improvements.
BOSTON -- There’s some new help for MBTA commuter rail travelers catching some zzz’s to and from work — or just looking for real-time train information. The official MBTA Commuter Rail app from Keolis Commuter Services, which began operating the trains on July 1, features an alarm that can be set to activate from five to 60 minutes before a train’s real-time arrival at a station. “We viewed this as part of our customer service outreach,” Keolis spokesman Mac Daniel said of the app. “We really wanted it to be user-friendly and help. Over time, we want the passengers to influence where it goes from here.”
OREGON -- In case you're new here, the recurring problem in federal transportation funding is the increasingly puny power of the gas tax that populates the Highway Trust Fund. Enter Oregon's evolving pay-per-mile road funding program. The beauty of Oregon's system is its flexibility. First is the way people pay. As Oregon learned over time, some people are scared to have government track all the mileage they drive. Fair enough. So the state offers five levels of mileage-based payment options, from a simple odometer reading to precise GPS monitoring via smartphones.
MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO -- Trapeze Group today announced the creation of a new business unit called TripSpark Technologies that is solely dedicated to providing hardware and software solutions to mid-sized public transport agencies, as well as all private operators. The focus for TripSpark Technologies is to partner with mid-sized agencies as well as private operators to align solutions with their unique business needs.
KANSAS CITY -- Voters in Kansas City will be evaluating two questions that have the potential to change the way Kansas City moves on Aug. 5. In Kansas City, all voters will be looking at Amendment 7 that would for the first time change the Missouri Constitution to support both the building of important roads and bridges and public transportation systems.It would authorize a ¾ cent statewide sales tax increase that would generate hundreds of millions of investment in the area.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
Our Newest Initiative – NYS Public Transit Leadership Institute
Will your agency be ready? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports one third of civilian employees working for State and Federal governments will retire in seven to ten years with 34% currently over the age of 50. It is extremely important that our authorities, agencies and transit systems be able to minimize the leadership voids caused by retirements and other departures. The Public Transit Leadership Institute (PTLI) will prepare future executives to lead when their time arrives and establish a path for senior managers who aspire to become transit industry leaders. PTLI provides knowledge, training and mentoring to our leaders of tomorrow. The deadline has been extended, so click here for more information on this exciting new program.
The deadline has been extended Register online here.
2014 NY Public Transit Fall Expo