|STAY INFORMED & KEEP NEW YORK MOVING!|
Lend Your Voice
The preliminary 2015-2016 New York State budget falls short of addressing the operational and capital needs of New York transit systems outside of the MTA (more on the budget below). It is imperative that we have a large turnout on Transit Awareness Day, next Tuesday, February 3 at the Capital in Albany, to communicate the direct link between vibrant public transit and a healthy state economy. It is your opportunity to tell your representative the value of your transit system to your community. Be at Transit Awareness Day. Albany needs to hear YOU. More details below.
TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The MTA Board of Directors has approved a 4% increase in fares and tolls over the next two years, fulfilling a promise to keep the increases as low as possible. “The MTA has been able to limit these fare and toll increases to the equivalent of 2% a year thanks to our continued aggressive cost-cutting, while still adding service and improving service quality for our growing number of customers,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. The MTA has cut $1.1 billion from its annual spending, with more cuts planned every year to bring annual savings to $1.6 billion by 2018.
In an interview with Newsday, Nassau Inter County Express (NICE Bus) CEO Michael Setzer said the agency’s governing body will consider a 25 cent fare hike this week. The Nassau Bus Transit Committee will hold two public hearings on Thursday as it considers the fare hike, which has not yet been finalized by NICE. More than 100,000 riders would be impacted by the potential increase, and would face potential service cuts as well. Setzer says that even with a fare increase, NICE would still have a $3 million budget gap that would require more government aid. NICE is receiving no additional funding in the proposed 2015-206 state budget.
Weeks of intense lobbying by a coalition of road and bridge contractors, unions, state and local government leaders didn't produce the desired results in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2015-16 budget. In the view of Michael Elmendorf, president and CEO of Associated General Contractors of New York, a trade group representing contractors, the governor didn't deliver. "We'll be taking the case to the Legislature and I think you'll likely be seeing legislators making significant adjustments here," Elmendorf said.
Mired in serious deficits for the first time in its 60-year history, the Thruway Authority stands to receive a $1.3 billion infusion of cash in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s new budget as a result of a one-time windfall that Wednesday he called “basically a gift from above.” The governor called the move a “Thruway stabilization program” that will help pay for a new Tappan Zee Bridge over the lower Hudson River while staving off any immediate need for a toll increase. While the governor’s budget action looms as good news for the Thruway Authority and travelers along its 570-mile system, budget critics wonder if it is enough.
Vice President Biden pushed lawmakers to reach a deal on boosting U.S. infrastructure funding this year. "There's nothing partisan about infrastructure," he said during a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington. Lawmakers are expressing new hope for an infrastructure funding deal as gas prices across the U.S. have dropped sharply. The White House has opposed the idea of increasing the gas tax, although infrastructure advocates believe the administration privately supports the proposal.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Tampa, FL -- To lure a major company headquarters to Tampa Bay requires a strong community brand; a great talent pool, infrastructure and schools; and a vigorous transit system, local real estate professionals heard this week. Tampa has the talent pool and the great schools, but it needs to work on the infrastructure and must start to build a robust public transit system, said John Sykes, founder of Sykes Enterprises. A young, well-educated talent pool will insist on public transit that will take them from their doorstep to the office, the doctor and the ball game, Sykes said.
Washington, DC -- Big data, automation and the "internet of things" will profoundly influence the construction and management of transportation infrastructure—and industry insiders are still trying to figure out exactly how that will happen. This mind-set was reflected at the most popular sessions at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, the theme of which was "Corridors to the Future: Transportation and Technology." Held on Jan. 11-15 in Washington, D.C., the meeting primarily focused on connected and autonomous vehicles, with TRB attendees eager to learn their looming effect on states' infrastructure planning, operation and maintenance.TRAINING AND EVENTS
Counting down to TRANSIT AWARENESS DAY 2015…
Transit Awareness Day is ONE week from today!
It is extremely important we have a show of strength and a united voice, and we need you make it happen.
Join your colleagues from across the state and let your local legislators know, face to face, just how important public transit is to the economy of your community.
Our industry partners play a key role, too. Become a Transit Awareness Day sponsor and secure a prominent position on Transit Awareness Day 2015!
Be in Albany next Tuesday, February 3. More details and Registration here.
Webinar: BECOMING A BOARD-SAVVY CEO
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.