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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
By and large, Western New York made out reasonably well in the grueling, nearly-on-time state budget process. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) will have to continue patching the decades-old equipment, which is definitely a disappointment. But transportation officials say the $6.5 million in new state aid means that instead of cutting bus or rail service, new Metro buses can be financed by reserves, a much better alternative to borrowing at substantial interest rates.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority got railroaded in the state's newly adopted budget, advocates charged. Facing a $15 billion gap in its capital budget, the MTA received a paltry $250 million from the state's $6 billion windfall from recent legal settlements. The transit agency also stands to receive $750 million from the state's capital budget, which is borrowed money. Cuomo budget division spokesman Morris Peters defended the allocation but added "work on the MTA capital plan will continue with all stakeholders."The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) will receive an additional $1,798,000 in State Operating Assistance (STOA) as part of the 2015-16 New York State Budget. The addition brings CDTA’s STOA funding package to $33.93 million. An additional $2,697,022 will be provided to support Capital needs in FY2016, bringing the total new funding to $4,495,022. “We applaud the efforts of the Legislature and the Governor for recognizing the important role transit not only here in the Capital Region but across upstate New York communities,” said CDTA Chairman, David M. Stackrow.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Transportation Committee Chair David Gantt and Corporations Authorities and Commissions Committee Chair James Brennan announced that the 2015-16 SFY Budget provides a $25 million increase in state aid to upstate transit systems, $50 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPs) and $250 million in additional funds for the Department of Transportation (DOT) road and bridge capital projects. Heastie, Gantt and Brenan noted that the Assembly pushed for a greater state commitment in transit aid to help the many financially struggling upstate transit systems that are in need of additional state support.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is sponsoring Stand UP for Transportation Day this Thursday, April 9 (#SU4T). Transit systems across the nation are encouraged to stage as many media/press events as possible in cities, suburbs and rural areas across the country. The goal is to reinforce the urgency of a long-term federal transportation funding bill. The current MAP-21 funding bill expires May 31st.
Five hundred million dollars will be made available for transportation projects across the country under a seventh round of the highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced. TIGER 2015 discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
NEW YORK, NY -- Full-time workers in New York City have longer workweeks than those in 29 other major U.S. cities when commuting times are taken into account, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of workplace trends released by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. This suggests a need for workplace policies that help to balance work and family life, in addition to better investment in our mass transit system. “To compete in the 21st century we need to expand our transit networks,” Stringer said.
HARTFORD — The CTFastrak system is a week old, and so far, transit administrators are pleased with how the system has begun its run. “Things have been going great,” said Michael Sanders of CTFastrak. “Operationally, things are running a lot more smoothly. The crowds are terrific. On a beautiful day like today, we’ve had tremendous loads.” The system revolves around a 9.3-mile stretch of bus-only road, which runs between New Britain and Hartford.TRAINING AND EVENTS
Regional Training Program: ADA Transit Training Workshops
Call for Presentations at the NY Public Transit Connections Conference & Expo
Transit as a Customer-Oriented Business Webinar