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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
NYPTA’s Five Year Capital Program for Upstate and Downstate Transit has been released. The report documents the critical capital investment needs of transit systems across the state. It presents the infrastructure needs and available statewide resources expected over the next 5 years for transit systems other than those services operated by the MTA. Importantly, it urges the Governor and Legislature to take a lead role in identifying new resources to support these infrastructure investments.
NYPTA President Carm Basile was a guest on Time Warner Cable’s statewide Capital Tonight program, and further discussed the critical need for infrastructure investment in non-MTA transit systems. You can watch the interview here. Please note: People without a Time Warner account are not allowed access to the video. However, this policy is expected to change later this week, so if you are blocked, save the link and try again in a few days.
Transit systems across New York need similar consideration in Albany when state leaders look at ways to help the MTA. The transit systems have aging fleets and old stations that could be upgraded with additional state aid. Unlike the MTA, they don't have a dedicated state funding stream for capital improvements. "This is sort of that classic upstate, downstate thing as far as vying for limited funds," said Gregory Kilmer, commissioner of the Broome County transportation department.
Michael Setzer, CEO of the Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE Bus), has been named Metro Magazine’s one of the most influential people in public transportation over the last decade. Setzer was cited for a 2007 innovative program he began in Cincinnati, and his 2011 work to re-make the old Long Island Bus system into NICE Bus to save the transit system and save millions of dollars in the process.Regional Transit Service opened its new $50 million transit center Friday. This $50 million transit center operates a lot like an airport terminal with gates where people go to catch their buses. There's soft music and lighting, customer service staff members and monitors everywhere helping direct people and telling them if buses are on time. Almost all of it is inside, at a terminal with heated floors and heated sidewalks near the front doors. At peak hours, this terminal can get 100 buses per hour.
The MTA Transportation Reinvention Commission recommends the MTA take significant steps to re-engineer its way of doing business and make its system more resilient, while all those who benefit from the MTA’s services must contribute to reliable long-term funding to continue to drive the region’s prosperity. The report says the continued economic success of the New York region depends on a world-class transportation network that reliably, comfortably and seamlessly takes customers where they want to go.
A group of public transit advocates has a very geometrical solution to a seating shortage at many Rocheser-area bus stops: Cubes. Brightly painted wooden ones. Reconnect Rochester constructed several such boxes and placed them at a pair of busy city bus stops with little or no seating. The group said it costs less than $40 to construct each 2-by-2-by-2 cube.“We like the idea and are supportive of Reconnect Rochester and neighborhood associations that would work together to execute it,” said Regional Transit Service spokeswoman Carole Dowling on Monday.
OTHER NEWS OF INTERST
Amtrak reported unaudited record revenue totaling approximately $3.2 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, representing the fifth consecutive year of revenue growth, and the eighth out of the past nine years. “Our efforts to operate a more financially sound railroad for our stakeholders continues to exceed expectations,” said Amtrak President/CEO Joe Boardman. “Amtrak’s customer value proposition improves each year as seen by our continued ridership and revenue growth for the better part of the past decade.”
Many cities have committed to more sustainable transit. Researchers at Arizona State University are playing a role, providing evidence-based information on how to design our cities to promote transit options that are good for the environment, the economy and our bodies. Over the full life cycle, cars take a heavier toll on the environment than public transit options like buses and light rail. Unless you live in a city where drivers always carpool while trains and buses routinely run empty, public transit is the cleaner option.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
Webinar: Let’s Talk Performance: Theory vs. Practice -- Linking Performance Measures to Improved Performance Outcomes
Webinar: Using 5310 Funds to Enhance Service: Best Practices & Success Stories
Save the Date for NYPTA’s 2015 Transit Awareness Day. Join us at the Capital in Albany February 3 to bring lawmakers a unified message on the importance of investing in transit infrastructure.