|STAY INFORMED & KEEP NEW YORK MOVING!|
TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The nine subway lines that converge on Fulton Street and Broadway have been knit together anew. The Fulton Center re-opened Monday morning and commuters found a kind of Crystal Palace, crowned by a dome that funnels daylight two stories below ground. Politicians and transit officials who spoke at the opening reminded the crowd of the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when dust and debris entombed the surrounding streets. As daylight streamed through the oculus’s “Sky-Reflector Net,” the speakers all came to the same point, most succinctly summarized by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York. “This station,” he said, “is a metaphor for a revitalized downtown.”
MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said he’d personally take the blame if the Metropolitan Transit Authority is forced to shrink its proposed $32 billion construction and maintenance program. The first task is convincing Gov. Cuomo, state legislators and other “stakeholders” who are critical to fully fund all the projects in the program, Prendergast said. It’s the only way to ensure the system is safe, provide upgrades riders expect — like next-train countdown clocks — and expand to accommodate New York City’s growing population, Prendergast said.
Could trains running from New York to Washington or Boston reach 220 mph? Or should railroads focus on modest improvements to existing rail service? The Federal Railroad Administration will hold a series of nine meetings starting Wednesday in Manhattan to explore those questions as part of a project called NEC Future. The FRA study incorporates needs of other railroads along the corridor, including freight and Metro-North.
Changes in state and federal leadership, along with voter-approved ballot measures, in Tuesday’s elections are almost certain to affect highway funding and transit service all around the country. Congress will be under pressure to produce a new, long-term surface transportation bill, a goal that has eluded federal lawmakers since 2009. The current temporary measure extended funding to states until May 2015. Several gubernatorial candidates -- including incumbents -- indicated they would make transportation funding one of their top priorities in next year’s legislative session.
Seventeen ballot measures impacting transportation were successful on Tuesday, according to results digested by the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE). Successful initiatives include a measure in Alameda County, Calif., where 70% of voters approved an increase in the current transportation sales tax from half a cent to a full penny on the dollar for 30 years. Also in the Bay Area, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved Measure A, which provides $500 million for transit.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Baltimore, MD -- Maryland voters made it more difficult for governors and lawmakers to raid funds designated for road and bridge repairs by approving a constitutional amendment to put those funds in a "lockbox." The lockbox amendment bans diversions from the state's $4.6 billion Transportation Trust Fund without the governor declaring a fiscal emergency and approval from a three-fifths' supermajority of both General Assembly chambers. The trust fund pays for items that include highways and mass transit.
Atlanta, GA -- Supporters of a referendum that would expand MARTA to Clayton County were jubilant Tuesday after returns throughout the night showed the measure passing by a wide margin. Pro-transit advocates proclaimed a historic victory at the Friends of Clayton Transit election watch party in Riverdale, where a crowd of more than 100 volunteers, organizers, politicians and MARTA officials gathered. Clayton is now poised to become the first new county to add MARTA since the agency began operating in DeKalb and Fulton in 1971. “People recognized the opportunity to increase travel options was something they wanted to say yes to,” said Colleen Kiernan, director of the Sierra Club’s Georgia Chapter.
Harrisburg, PA – As PennDOT shifts its operations from construction to winter maintenance, the department today urged motorists to join in preparing for the season and announced a new video to educate the public on PennDOT operations and safe winter driving. The “Winter Operations" video is available at www.youtube.com/pennsylvaniaDOT and highlights the department's 5,400 operators and 2,250 trucks prepared to maintain more than 40,000 miles of state-maintained roadway or 96,000 snow-lane miles, enough miles to circle the globe nearly four times. A snow-lane is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes, which means a one-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
TOMORROW, November 12, 12-12:50 pm
(Note: Webinar will extend to 1:15 pm for Public Transit Training Institute (PTLI) participants)
With its 5,700 bus fleet, MTA New York City Transit Buses is the largest bus fleet in the North America. Winters in the NYC metropolitan area can vary, with an average seasonal snowfall of 25", to last year's record of over 50 inches. Donald Foy, Assistant Chief Transportation Officer of the Bus Command Center will use winter preparation as a specific example to provide an overview of disaster preparedness systems you adapt to your fleet in any type of crisis.
CU Fall Conference and 20th Trans-Expo
Saturday to Wednesday, November 15-19, 2014
Get more information and register here.