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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
Centro is staring at a $5 million hole as it puts together its next budget. According to the public transit authority’s executive director, Frank Kobliski, they’ve run out of one-time funding streams to fill the hole. Centro has put forward a plan to eliminate Sunday and holiday bus service and stop running buses late at night. It’s gotten people’s attention. Riders and community advocates say it will impact people who work odd shifts and the disabled and working poor.
In a visit to Albany, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio added his voice to the chorus demanding more money for the MTA’s five-year program, which pays for things like expanding the system, replacing aging subway cars and keeping tracks and other critical equipment in shape. "The state must do more to fund the MTA's Capital Plan, a situation that is reaching crisis levels," de Blasio said. Transit advocates said the mayor also needs to kick in far more. Since the early 1980s, the city has contributed roughly $100 million a year to the MTA.The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has unveiled the design and branding of its new payment system, called Navigator. CDTA debuted Navigator at its inaugural “State of CDTA,” which took place at The Desmond Hotel. The new fare system will allow customers to efficiently travel across CDTA’s route network that spans four counties and more than 2,300 square miles. CDTA is the first in the nation to simultaneously introduce both a smartcard and mobile ticketing application.
William Ronan, the first chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has been memorialized by a plaque at the MTA’s new board room. Ronan died on Oct. 15, 2014, at the age of 101. Under Ronan’s leadership, the MTA expanded the subway system further into New York’s outer boroughs, created the Metro-North Railroad, and incorporated Long Island Rail Road into its commuter rail network.
Ronan’s tenure as MTA chairman began in March 1968 and ended in April 1974, when he became chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Lewis County residents raised concerns to Jim Durkish, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo’s constituent representative, about transportation and housing for disabled persons. Durkish said he and the Lewis County Economic Development and Planning Department, have discussed having better bus coverage. “The state is trying to cut funding for bus routes. ... We are not like a city where we have all this mass transit,” Mr. Durkish said. “The senator is on board with making sure we have some kind of transportation maintained throughout the county.”
Last month’s average annual savings for public transit riders was $9,238, according to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) February Transit Savings Report. Individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can also save, on average, more than $770 per month. These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the February 23, 2015 average national gas price ($2.30 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate numbers.
John Thune wants a long-term surface transportation bill. Paul Ryan wants comprehensive tax reform. Both powerful Republicans in Congress see the potential for marrying the two, and both realize the window for such an ambitious legislative proposal is short. Basically, we have until August. Ryan, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, recently said that comprehensive tax reform was the "only way" that the Highway Trust Fund could see an influx of cash that would keep it afloat for five or six years. That's a heavy lift for a Congress that has done almost nothing in the last two years.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Boston – Former Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Katherine Lapp is part of a special panel named by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to conduct a detailed examination of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MPTA). The panel will synthesize recent MBTA studies, conduct a performance review, examine the T’s core functions and benchmark results with other transit operations in order to ascertain the status of the system’s governance, finances, and capital planning. Lapp served as the MTA’s CEO from 2002-2006.
Washington, DC – The Federal Transit Administration-funded National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) has launched its Healthcare Access Mobility Design Challenge, seeking eight community teams to design innovative solutions to common transportation challenges related to healthcare. Each multidisciplinary team, competitively selected to participate in the six-month Design Challenge, will receive grant funds of up to $25,000 and technical assistance to take potential solutions from concept to impact.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
Presented by the Transit Training Institute & NYSDOT Public Transportation Safety Board
Tuesday, March 10, 9:30am-3:30pm, Liberty Lines Transit Inc., Yonkers, NY
Thursday, April 16, 9:30am-3:30pm, Greater Glens Falls Transit System, Queensbury, NY
Thursday, April 23, 9:30am-3:30pm, Regional Transit Service, Rochester, NY
The New York Public Transit Association, the Transit Training Institute and NYS PTSB present another in its series of regional training programs. This free program will provide information on Federal ADA regulations for transit operations and hands-on training on the use of securement devices and offered in three convenient locations.
DESCRIPTON: NYSDOT/PTSB, Centro and Easter Seals Project Action Consulting are collaborating to present a one day hands-on workshop on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). It will cover:
The day will be split between lecture and hands on training, and is limited to 20 participants.
Attendees will leave with knowledge of requirements for applying ADA regulations to the operation of their system, a practical use of securement devices for today's mobility equipment, inspection of buses equipped with FMVSS 403 Public Use Lifts and guidance to bring back to the bus property for an appropriate ADA operations policy and to teach drivers proper techniques. Bring your questions.
An attendance certificate will be issued. RTAP reimbursement for expenses associated with this training is available for RTAP eligible systems. Refreshments and lunch will be served.
Tuesday, March 10, 9:30am-3:30pm, Liberty Lines Transit Inc., Yonkers, NY (Space is limited)
Thursday, April 16, 9:30am-3:30pm, Greater Glens Falls Transit System, Queensbury, NY (Space is limited)
Thursday, April 23, 9:30am-3:30pm, Regional Transit Service, Rochester, NY (Space is limited)