|STAY INFORMED & KEEP NEW YORK MOVING!|
One of the elements critical to the success of the New York Public Transit Association is a strong Board of Directors working collaboratively to advance the interests of its diverse membership, from the large urban transit systems, to the smaller rural systems, to the industry partners whose products and services support public transit across New York. Our transit authorities also work with active boards of directors. Many of our transit system leaders serve on community boards, too. The Graduate School of Business at Stanford University produced a series of short videos on non-profit governance. They run three to six minutes each, and are great, useful reminders and tools about what it takes to create and manage a strong board.
TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The Buffalo Common Council approved an agreement with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority allowing traffic to return to the 600 block of Main Street. A state safety panel is expected to review the project in the next few days, paving the way for the NFTA to then vote on the agreement at its next meeting, on January 22. “When they approve, we’ll be good to go,” NFTA spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said of the safety panel. As city officials said, the closing – part of a pedestrian mall concept – was meant to be a good thing, but, many now agree, turned out to be a grand experiment that failed.
Senator Charles E. Schumer announced he is seeking $600,000 in federal funding for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to identify private investment and economic development opportunities along proposed expansion from Buffalo into Amherst. In a statement that seemed to anticipate approval of some type of corridor extension, Schumer said a Federal Transit Administration pilot program will explore how best to take advantage.
Lest there be any doubt, the M.T.A.’s former leaders think the M.T.A.’s current leaders’ request for $32 billion in capital funding is perfectly reasonable. Several of those former leaders gathered beneath the New Haven Line departures board in Grand Central Terminal’s main hall and politely demanded that Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the state Legislature back the M.T.A.’s efforts to keep the region’s sprawling mass transit system in good working order.
We need you in Albany two weeks from today, Tuesday February 3, for Transit Awareness Day 2015. It is critical that we bring a strong, unified message to lawmakers, making the connection between investment in public transit and a strong state economy. Join your colleagues at the Capital to let legislators know...and see…the value of public transit. More information and registration details below.
The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce has launched a petition drive calling on the city and state to ensure funding for a North Shore Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. In a 2012 alternative analysis study, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) found that a BRT line would be the best option for the North Shore at an estimated cost of $371 million. Since the findings were released, the bus route has garnered support from community members and local politicians like State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) and Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore), but no funding options.
Clarkstown is studying the idea of relocating the Nanuet train station closer to the hamlet's business district and new shopping mall, helping to transform Nanuet into a quaint transit village. Nanuet isn't the only suburban community in our region looking to capitalize on its transit advantage. White Plains officials are outlining the scope of a study on redevelopment of the TransCenter's railroad station, bus terminal and parking areas. The city expects to become a transportation hub with the eventual development of an east-west bus rapid transit route from the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
Gas prices across the nation have fallen to their lowest point in years, but New Yorkers still pay the most in the contiguous United States. New Yorkers pay 63.40 cents per gallon in taxes, the most of any state, AAA estimated. The national average is 49.28 cents, according to the American Petroleum Institute, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. Critics said that the bigger problem in New York is that the revenue from the gas taxes doesn't even go to what they are supposed to.
The White House unveiled a tax proposal and administrative actions that are aimed at promoting private investment in roads, bridges, water systems and broadband networks. The plans are an attempt to find ways to finance the vast backlog of American infrastructure projects without using any new federal money. One proposal that could draw bipartisan backing would create so-called qualified public infrastructure bonds that could be issued to finance airports; roads; mass transit, water and sewer systems; and other projects.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
WASHINGTON, DC - The past two years have seen a growing number of states seeking to compensate for the lack of congressional action on transportation with funding initiatives of their own. Indeed, for a growing number of states that have secured a stable source of funds for their transportation programs, a long-term federal transportation authorization is no longer an imperative. More than 30 states have passed transportation-related fiscal initiatives in the past three years.
SEATTLE, WA - Public transit in Seattle has gone to the dogs. Commuters in Belltown report seeing a Black Labrador riding the bus alone in recent weeks. The 2-year old has been spotted roaming the aisles, hopping onto seats next to strangers, and even doing her part to clean the bus -- by licking her surroundings. Turns out the dog, Eclipse, doesn't always ride the bus alone. She visits the dog park a few times a week, sometimes with her owner. Eclipse's solo rush hour ride happened one day when her owner took too long to finish a cigarette.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
Counting down to TRANSIT AWARENESS DAY 2015…
Transit Awareness Day is TWO weeks from today!
We need you to join us February 3 at the Capital in Albany to help make legislators see the critical connection between investment in public transportation and economic development and job growth.
February 12, 2015 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST
A key component to the long-term success of public transportation authorities is the strong leadership of a rock-solid board-CEO strategic governing team. And experience has taught that CEOs who are truly “board-savvy” must take the lead in building such partnerships. “The Board-Savvy CEO” will provide participants with detailed, practical and thoroughly tested guidance in becoming truly board-savvy CEOs. The key characteristics of board-savvy CEOs will be described, and the primary partnership-building roles of the board-savvy CEO will be explored.
Presenter: Doug Eadie, the President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Company, a Tampa Bay-based firm that works with public and nonprofit organizations in the areas of board and CEO leadership and strategic change.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EST. Register here.