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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The Tioga County Legislature voted unanimously to halt the county's public transportation system after ridership numbers, and revenue, decreased drastically following a switch in state Medicaid policy. When the state took over the ride scheduling for Medicaid patients in 2013, it began assigning most patients to taxi services instead of the bus. The Tioga County public transportation system, as a result, saw the number of Medicaid riders drop from about 1,000 per month to zero in January 2014.
Niagara Falls International Airport has two new charging stations for airport traveler use, as part of a statewide network of up to 3,000 EV charging stations slated for public and workplace locations across New York by 2018. The charging stations are among 100 that the New York Power Authority and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority are installing by the end of the year at 37 public and workplace locations around - the state, including three at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Both the Niagara Falls and Buffalo airports are managed by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Metro-North Railroad is being recognized for its energy-saving efforts. The MTA agency was awarded for its comprehensive upgrade and replacement of utility systems with energy-saving components throughout Grand Central Terminal, a century-old national landmark building. The Railroad received an award on September 16 during a ceremony for the first annual "BuildSmart NY Innovators Summit:" in Albany. Among the replacements or upgrades were chillers, cooling towers, fans, compressors, air handlers, and an extensive steam distribution system.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is enhancing New York’s counterterrorism security and law enforcement at mass transit sites in New York City. Cuomo directed the heads of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the New York State Police, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to increase security at mass transit sites such as LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal and stations along the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad.
New York State expects to receive $1.915 billion in storm resiliency funding from the federal government. The funding from the Federal Transit Administration will support Governor Cuomo’s goal of improving the State’s storm resiliency and building back better in the aftermath of major storms. Of the $1.915 billion in funding from the Federal Transit Administration, approximately $1.6 billion supports projects managed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and approximately $212 million supports projects managed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The New York City Department of Transportation is also expected to approximately $200 million.
A first-of-its-kind study about attitudes toward transit use in the U.S. was released today by TransitCenter, a New York City based philanthropy committed to improving transit through innovation. The study – Who’s on Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey – reveals that Americans from regions coast to coast think about and use public transit in remarkably similar ways. Riders of all ages and in all regions place the greatest value on factors like travel time, proximity, cost, and reliability above safety, frequency, and perks like Wi-Fi when choosing whether or not to take public transportation.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the Department of Transportation would provide $600 million for 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia from its TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2014 program. The $25 million TIGER grant for the Vision Zero project will bolster New York City’s multi-agency plan to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by redesigning intersections near schools, creating safer pedestrian access to transit and fill a major gap in the city’s protected bicycle lane network that will connect lower-income communities to industrial zones.
Sixty-eight percent of U.S. residents want more federal spending on public transportation systems, according to a polled released on Monday by a Washington, D.C.-based transit advocacy group. The survey, which was conducted by the Mineta Transportation Institute for American Public Transportation Association (APTA), showed a two point increase in support for increased transit funding than a similar poll that was conducted last year according to the groups.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Boston - MBTA riders will soon have a new way to rate their commutes, thanks to an ongoing web project led by an independent advisory group tasked with providing the transit agency with input from people who use the system each day. Paul Regan, executive director of the MBTA Advisory Board said the board is in the midst of developing a diary-like mobile website that will allow commuters to track and record their experiences on buses and trains, so the group can collect the data and present it to the MBTA, letting them know where they’re doing a good or bad job.
Davis, CA - If the world's cities focused their investments on expanding public transportation, walking and cycling, they could save more than $100 trillion in public and private capital and urban transportation operating costs between now and 2050, according to a report released today by the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). "A most affordable but largely overlooked way to cut global warming pollution is to give people clean options for using public transportation, walking and cycling," said Michael Replogle, ITDP's managing director for policy and a co-author of the report, in a statement.
Philadelphia - Selling naming rights for properties (and routes, like Cleveland’s HealthLine) is one option for generating new income. In Philadelphia, SEPTA just announced its second station renaming — Jefferson Station (formerly Market East), which serves SEPTA’s Regional (commuter) Rail in downtown Philadelphia. The naming rights not only bring revenue for the Authority, they also deliver a large audience for the partner organization. Approximately 26,000 rail customers use Jefferson Station every weekday.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
THANK YOU to the more than 300 transit professionals who made the New York Public Transit Industry SOLUTIONS Fall Conference and Expo a huge success. The innovative ideas, forward-thinking discussions and ever-advancing products and services on display continue to illustrate New York Public Transit’s status as an industry leader. We look forward to seeing you again in Rochester, September 27-29, 2015.