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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
Transit leaders and advocates continued rallying around the state calling on the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo to support critically-needed transit systems across New York State. Friday in Rochester, Lewis Stess, Co-Founder, President & CEO Greentopia said “Public transit is no longer a necessity, it is a requirement. Without easy accessibility and alternative means of transportation we will lose the fight for economic and social well-being."
Plans to fix Metro Rail’s creaky escalators will be shelved, purchasing new buses will prove more expensive, and some service will be reduced under a budget the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) is scheduled to adopt this week. The agency will most likely adopt Thursday a $217 million budget reflecting the zero increases proposed. Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan says new Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie appears open to upstate needs.
An app that notifies riders about train arrival times with voice alerts as they approach the stations they most frequent and an app that allows riders to simply point their smartphone towards a bus stop to see departure times are the Grand Prize winners in this year’s App Quest 3.0. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, AT&T, Transit Wireless, and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), App Quest 3.0 is a global competition to solicit development of new mobile solutions designed to help improve commutes for millions of subway, bus and rail riders across the five boroughs.
Four construction firms competing for a lucrative contract to build a new headquarters for 2,000 state transportation employees in Albany have been told the project has been suspended for about six months. The new Transportation Resource Center is supposed to replace the aging headquarters of the Thruway Authority on Southern Boulevard near Exit 23 and the privately-leased offices on Wolf Road in Colonie where the Transportation Department has 1,400 employees.
A transit advocacy group is collecting "subway horror stories" from commuters — part of a campaign pushing for state funding for the MTA to repair the city's aging subway system. The group plans to send them to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state lawmakers, urging them to fund the MTA's proposed $32-billion capital plan, which would pay for repairs and improvement projects for the next five years. "Our transit system is better in every way than it was in the 1980s, but if we don’t invest the funds to maintain it, we’ll see the bad old days come back", John Raskin, executive director for Riders Alliance, said in a statement.
Huntington Area Rapid Transit (HART) is adding 15 new, clean-diesel vehicles into service, authorities said. The additions provide easier access for passengers and fuel savings, officials said. The additions include seven 20-passenger Spirit of Mobility buses manufactured by ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, an Indiana-based company. They also feature eight paratransit buses from Shepard Brothers in Canandaigua.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx thinks temporary transportation spending patches are “misguided” attempts by Congress to solve the nation’s infrastructure funding problems. “The highway trust fund has been roughly running $15 billion short on an annual basis. And in recent years, Congress has tried to patch it together, using a variety of legislative duct tape and chewing gum to just keep it afloat,” Foxx said during a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. Federal transportation funding is currently scheduled to expire on May 31.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
New York, NY -- The gentrification of many urban neighborhoods and the desire among younger people to reduce their commuting time to work are going hand-in-hand with a renewed commitment in the U.S. to rebuilding our infrastructure, including mass transit. It is a trend that initially favored densely populated urban cores in such cities as New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago. However, many other cities have discovered that it’s possible to recreate the efficiencies and attractiveness of an urban core environment in different markets and suburban locations. That is happening with a firm eye on mass transit.
Medina, Saudi Arabia -- Pilgrims travelling to Islam’s second holiest city could soon be arriving at the Prophet’s Mosque on driverless trains. A proposed metro system in Medina, Saudi Arabia, is likely to include driverless trains, the chief executive of the city’s public transport program said yesterday. The metro is likely to be operational within eight years and will be mostly over ground. Proposals for the multibillion riyal mass transit system include three metro lines, two bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, four express bus routes and seven feeder bus routes.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
Presented by the Transit Training Institute & NYS DOT Public Transportation Safety Board
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.
REGISTER HEREThursday, 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