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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
RTS ushered in a new era of public transit, with the opening of its new $50 million RTS Transit Center. For the first time in 152 years of Rochester transit, buses no longer line up outside on Main Street. Today, customers catch their buses in an enclosed climate-controlled environment featuring state-of-the-art amenities and advanced technology. RTS Chief Executive Officer, Bill Carpenter said, “This is a significant milestone for RTS and for our community. We have created a world-class facility that will make it easy for current and future generations of customers to enjoy the ride.
House Speaker John Boehner appointed Rep.-elect John Katko to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee when the 114th Congress begins in January. Katko, R-Camillus, had made the committee assignment one of his top two requests because its members will be able help funnel federal money to New York for the reconstruction of Interstate 81 in Syracuse. Katko will join Central New York's other House member, U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee -- increasing the region's clout on the committee in the Republican-controlled Congress.
A coalition comprised of local elected officials, laborers, and members of public and private business are urging New York State to upgrade outdated infrastructure across the region. The effort is part of the “Rebuild NY Now” campaign that kicked-off in South Buffalo Wednesday. The campaign aims to highlight the states obligation to repair outdated roads, bridges, and sewer systems that may become safety hazards to people that utilize them. It also points to the crucial need for upgrades as area businesses rely on reliable infrastructure.
The House approved a measure 378-46 that would retroactively provide federal employees and all American workers with a much larger mass transit benefit for 2014. The benefit fell nearly in half in 2014, but the 11th hour agreement on a broader package of tax provisions would restore the subsidy to $250 per month, just more than the 2013 level. The maximum monthly mass transit benefit dropped to $130 on Jan. 1 when a provision of the fiscal cliff deal expired. Lawmakers and employee advocates alike have balked at the gap between the parking benefit, which actually increased by $5 in 2014 to $250 a month, and the mass transit subsidy.
The chairwoman of the House Republican Conference said passing a long-term transportation funding bill will be a “priority” for GOP leaders in the next Congress. “As you think about building a healthy economy, we have a long list of important infrastructure needs in this country, and that is a priority,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)
said during an interview on MSNBC. “There's already been an outline put together between the House and the Senate that I think is a good foundation for that,” she continued.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Toronto -- Support for public transportation has grown significantly over the past decade in North America. Major transit expansions were key issues in the recent Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg elections, and ambitious plans were green-lighted by voters in each of those cities. In some respects, Winnipeg’s plan is the most ambitious. The incoming administration plans to expand the embryonic rapid transit system across the city. It also might be the most feasible of the three plans, in part because the system will use buses rather than rails. Rather than taking its cues from Portland or Phoenix, Winnipeg is looking to replicate the surprising success of bus rapid transit systems in Cleveland and Kansas City.
Philadelphia — A public transit system that still uses metal tokens and paper transfers — yes, in the 21st century — appears finally to be moving into the era of debit cards and pay-by-cellphone technology. "We see this project as taking us in the fare payment industry from last place to first place," said Kevin O'Brien, SEPTA senior program
manager. What exactly does "last place" mean? Let's start with Philadelphia being one of the few cities in North America to still use tokens for buses, subways and trolleys. Chicago stopped selling them in 1999, followed by New York in 2003 and Boston in 2006. (Though Toronto continues to use them.)
Vancouver, WA -- Veronica Marti, who leads C-Tran's Travel Training program, and C-Tran travel ambassador Virginia Edwards are part of an effort by the transit agency to make its service more accessible and less intimidating, particularly for older residents. "It's just more of getting over the fear of using the bus and learning to use that schedule," Marti said. "It can be overwhelming at first." Marti often meets with riders as an introduction, then accompanies them on one or more trips, offering guidance along the way.
NYPTA TRAINING AND EVENTS
Presenters will showcase examples of how using performance measures/management data impacts and improves transportation performance outcomes. Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the Federal Transit Administration.
Today from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (EST).
When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 2:30-3:30pm Eastern
Kristi McLaughlin, Training & Technical Assistance Specialist at Easter Seals Project ACTION, will discuss key issues, best practices, and requirements related to customer sensitivity, ADA transportation regulations, and how to provide reasonable assistance to customers.
This one-hour webinar will be beneficial for rural and tribal transit drivers and managers, for those who are new and as a refresher for more experienced drivers and managers.The following will be covered in the webinar:
Webinar: Using 5310 Funds to Enhance Service: Best Practices & Success Stories
December 18, 2014
Easter Seals Project ACTION presents this webinar to share the best practices and success stories of communities across the country that have increased and improved mobility for people with disabilities under this most recent transportation bill. Presenters will discuss best practices in both obtaining and using 5310 funding to enhance mobility and will also share their experience with enhancing the services they provide with 5310 funding.
TRANSIT AWARENESS DAY 2015
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.
We need a unified voice, we need to be heard and we need you make it happen.
Our industry partners can play a key role, too. Become a Transit Awareness Day sponsor and secure a prominent position on Transit Awareness Day 2015!
Plan now to be in Albany on February 3. Details here.