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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The MTA’s next capital program envisions that construction on Phase 2 of the Second Ave. subway would start in roughly five years, transit officials said Thursday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to propose allocating $1.5 billion in its 2015-2019 capital program for environmental study, design and then tunneling of the long-awaited north-south subway route, officials said. Phase 1 of the project, which stretches from E. 96th St to E. 63rd St., is expected to be completed in 2016. Phase 2 will extend the line to E. 125th St., MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said at a state assembly hearing on the authority’s capital program.
The New York StateThruway Authority's board voted unanimously to accept a $256 million state loan that will help pay for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The money will come from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which is typically used to finance sewage systems and drinking water projects. But state officials said aspects of the $3.9 billion bridge replacement project was an appropriate — and legal —use of the money.
President Obama signed a $10.8 billion measure that will fund highway and bridge repairs for the next ten months. The short-term measure, approved by lawmakers last month, is paid for using a budgeting maneuver called pension smoothing, which allows corporations to reduce their contributions to employee retirement plans. By allowing companies to do so, the government can boost tax revenues since companies are no longer eligible for tax deductions.
Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Georgia lawmakers Tuesday he believes the U.S. needs to raise the gas tax by at least 10 cents to fix America’s crumbling roads and bridges. “I know this is a hard one,” he told the Joint Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding meeting in Atlanta in an effort to address transportation funding. But Congress needs to be courageous and make the move, even if it means easing in the tax at the gas pump over three years.
The federal government is calling off plans to cut payments to states and communities for construction projects in the wake of a transportation funding patch passed by Congress last week. The Department of Transportation previously said it would have to begin reducing the frequency of payments from its Highway Trust Fund if Congress had not acted to prevent a bankruptcy. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Thursday that the cutbacks will no longer be necessary, even though he wished Congress had approved a longer transportation funding bill.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
PHILADELPHIA — More Americans used buses, trains and subways in 2013 than in any year since 1956 as service improved, local economies grew and travelers increasingly sought alternatives to the automobile for trips within metropolitan areas, the American Public Transportation Association said in a report released on Monday. The trade group said in its annual report that 10.65 billion passenger trips were taken on transit systems during the year, surpassing the post-1950s peak of 10.59 billion in 2008, when gas prices rose to $4 to $5 a gallon.
LONDON -- Transport for London (TfL) confirmed trials of detection software to enhance bus driver awareness of pedestrians and cyclists will start later this month as part of a continued drive to improve road safety in the capital. The technology directly alerts bus drivers when pedestrians and cyclists are moving close to their vehicles, helping to reduce collisions.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
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The New York Public Transit SOLUTIONS Conference & Expo is the State's largest annual gathering of public transportation managers and professionals and the premier source for professional development. Multiple education tracks providing outstanding learning opportunities, networking time to share ideas with your colleagues on industry’s hottest topics and a marketplace to see the latest products and services make this the state’s public transportation premier event.
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Dr. Paul Marciano is a leading authority on employee engagement and retention. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University where he specialized in behavior modification and motivation. His internationally acclaimed book “Carrots and Sticks Don’t Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT” (McGraw-Hill, 2010) provides dozens of real world case studies and turnkey strategies to increase employee discretionary effort and reduce turnover.
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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.