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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
Legislative leaders in both houses in Albany have agreed to put an extra $25 million into the state budget for Upstate transit - a move that would cancel proposed late-night service cuts at Centro. Now the issue goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It's one of many financial concerns the governor and lawmakers will debate as they finalize the state's $150 billion budget. They are supposed to reach an agreement by April 1. Centro's officials say rising healthcare and maintenance costs coupled with near-stagnant state funding has caused the crisis.
Seven new clean diesel buses have joined the BC Transit fleet, providing a much-needed upgrade to the county's aging public transit system as ridership climbs, Broome County officials said. “Compared to the oldest buses in the fleet, the new clean diesel buses are showing an increased fuel economy of about 28 percent, said BC Transit Commissioner Greg Kilmer. "If our entire fleet was operating like these new vehicles, we could save between $200,000 and $250,000 in just fuel alone," he added.
STATE NEWSBoth the New York State Senate and Assembly have released their proposed one-house budgets for the state’s 2015-2016 fiscal year, and both are proposing additional funding for public transit and infrastructure. Governor Cuomo’s state budget proposal saw funding for public transit outside the MTA relatively flat for the sixth consecutive year.
The New York State Thruway Authority has "suspended temporarily" a large construction project in Albany that would put about 2,000 employees, including staff of the authority and state Transportation Department, under one roof. The suspension took effect Feb. 27 and will continue "while the project undergoes further financial and programmatic review," according to an announcement on a Thruway Authority web page describing plans for the "Transportation Resource Center" on the site of the existing authority headquarters at 200 Southern Boulevard.
According to a recent report by “research engine” FindTheBest, the Nassau-Suffolk metro region is the nation’s most expensive place to live—a claim Long Islanders probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear. Considering Long Island already has the makings of an extensive, albeit disjointed, multi-modal transit network in place, this is all the more reason for Nassau and Suffolk Counties to capitalize on that network by investing in interconnectivity of transportation options and prioritizing transit-oriented development (TOD) with affordable housing components. This hefty one-two punch would reduce the monthly costs of both housing and transportation.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is touting the role of public transportation systems in helping U.S. residents access health care facilities. "About 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments every year because they lack a ride to the doctor," Acting FTA chief Therese McMillan wrote in a blog post on the Department of Transportation's website on Wednesday. "Public transportation is key to making health care accessible and potentially lowering those costs," McMillan continued.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
New York, NY -- Is real-time data just a nice way to keep existing riders happy, or is it an investment that will pay off in brand new riders over time? A new study of a real-time bus arrival program in New York City offers an encouraging (if qualified) answer: it does generate new trips, though mostly for high-traffic routes. In a new paper they report a measurable jump in ridership (around 2 percent) that works out to upwards of $6.3 million in new revenue over the three-year study period.
San Francisco, CA -- The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which manages all surface transportation in the city, kicked off its “Free Muni” program for low-to-moderate income seniors and people with disabilities. “This program is about making public transportation affordable to some of our most vulnerable residents - seniors and people with disabilities,” said SFMTA Director, Transportation, Ed Reiskin. “Under Mayor Lee’s bold vision, we believe Free Muni aligns with his ‘affordability agenda’ to improve transportation for all who depend on Muni.”
Cambridge, MA -- Do you think the majority of meetings are a complete waste of your time — not to mention your organization’s time? Do you wonder what can be done about the seemingly endless cycle of meetings that we’re all caught up in? The Harvard Business Review takes a look at some advice on how to have fewer meetings and make the ones you do have more productive.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
Wed, Mar 18, 2015 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT (PTLI requirement)
In addition to advocating for transit funding on the state and federal level, transit managers have the greater responsibility of managing the funds the agency receives. Transit agency budgets must be developed, adopted and then implemented with the input and involvement of a number of key players agency-wide. Philip Parella, Jr., CDTA's Director of Finance will address how to develop and maintain a sound transit agency budget amid a far-reaching spectrum of community needs.
ADA Transit Training
Thursday, April 16, 9:30am-3:30pm, Greater Glens Falls Transit System, Queensbury, NY
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.