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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) has reduced to 15 the alternative plans under consideration to better serve a bustling Buffalo-Amherst corridor. NFTA officials seem convinced that new job growth in Amherst and resulting traffic congestion make a strong case for improved public transit. The NFTA thinks it all combines to merit a likely application for federal funds to complete a far more expansive system, like what was originally envisioned back in the 1970s.
MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast recognized nine Bridge and Tunnel officers during MTA’s monthly board meeting on Wednesday for their brave actions that saved more than a dozen people from an apartment building fire near the Queens Midtown Tunnel in July. Chairman Prendergast noted that it took 100 firefighters to put out the blaze, but no residents in that building or its neighbors were injured.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is getting another $203 million in federal funding for its East Side Access project. The MTA is in the process of building tunnels and tracks under Manhattan so that the Long Island Rail Road can connect to Grand Central Terminal. LIRR trains now end at Penn Station. The MTA, however, said it expects some 162,000 commuters would prefer to end their trip at Grand Central. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said project, along with the Second Avenue subway, are the largest mass transit construction projects in the country.
More people are taking the bus, according to the latest figures from the Capital District Transportation Authority. Ridership in August grew 6 percent from the year-earlier level to 1.4 million boardings. For the first five months of the current fiscal year, ridership is up 5 percent, to 6.9 million. The increases are putting CDTA "on pace" to top 17 million boardings for the first time in its history. "We've seen an uptick in younger riders, thanks to universal access," said CDTA spokeswoman Jaime Watson. "A lot of students are finding it a lot easier because they no longer have to have a car on campus."
The Capital District Transportation Company (CDTA) Bus Operator Robert Rzeszuto placed first in the 2014 New York State Bus Roadeo Competition held on Saturday at Crossgates Mall in Albany. Rzeszuto, who has 28 years of driving experience with CDTA, beat out 12 other drivers from transit properties across New York State.. The winner and top finalists in the NYS Roadeo have the opportunity to compete in the International Roadeo held annually in the spring.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo rode the New York City subway from the World Trade Center to Penn Station with Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Tom Prendergast to reassure New Yorkers amid reported terrorist threats against U.S. subways, and delivered remarks at Penn Station upon arrival. “We are aware that there is info about possible threats. There is no credible information about any specific threats to the New York City subway system. The New York City subway system is safe to ride. Watch video of the Governor’s remarks.
Downtown Rochester’s population has nearly doubled since 2000, reaching about 6,000 people last year. There’s renewed interest in urban living, and other regions have tapped it to revive city downtowns and create more walkable suburbs, according to Benjamin Ross, an author and public transit activist. “People are no longer excited about cars,” Ross said this week. “They don’t like the long commutes.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the availability of approximately $100 million in competitive grant funds through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) new Ladders of Opportunity Initiative. Program funds may be used to purchase, replace, or rehabilitate transit buses and vans as well as to modernize or construct bus facilities (such as maintenance depots and intermodal facilities) in urban, suburban, and rural communities.
Boosting long-term investment for the nation’s aging infrastructure will grow jobs, the economy and wages, a new study showed on Tuesday. Budget cuts over the past decade are hampering economic growth and manufacturers are urging Congress use the fresh data to campaign for more spending on everything from roads and bridges to ports, inland waterways and the electrical grid. The study forecasts the creation of 1.3 million jobs over the next 15 years.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Charleston, SC - Travel would be safer and more efficient if the region and state developed a top-notch mass transit system, advocates said Tuesday night. "It's just time for this state to step up. Transportation is the key. Not everyone can go to a dealership and get a dependable car," said Pastor Thomas Dixon of North Charleston. He expressed his opinion at a public presentation of a draft of the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan, which is a planning document developed by the state Department of Transportation.
Pomona, CA - Foothill Transit, the primary public transportation provider for the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in Los Angeles County, California, is launching a heavy-duty, fast charging, fully electric bus line at the Pomona Transit Center. The Foothill Transit Ecoliner is a lightweight, 35-foot transit vehicle. It features a 30-mile (48 km) range without charging; it can re-charge, hands free and in-route, in 10 minutes.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
If you have not been to a New York Public Transit Fall Conference and Expo, make plans to join us next year. See you October 27-29, 2015 in Rochester.
Watch your email for NYPTA’s 2014-2015 final Webinar Training Series.
National Transit Institute Procurement Series I and II
This Series is for transit professionals involved with procurement for federally funded transit agencies, especially those involved with pre-award planning and negotiations; contract administrators; project managers; procurement and contracting personnel wishing to improve their skills; transit suppliers; and FTA regional staff who review third-party contracting. Transit suppliers are encouraged to attend in order to understand the agency procurement function more thoroughly.
Series I – October 6-9 in Syracuse
More information and registration here.