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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) called on Congress to renew funding for the federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which is set to expire on May 31, 2015. CDTA joined transportation and community leaders from across the country for “Stand Up for Transportation Day.” Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Stand Up for Transportation Day united more than 300 participating organizations across the country to urge federal officials to support the passage of a long-term, sustainable and reliable federal transportation funding bill.
Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority joined Genesee Transportation Council and local leaders to participate in the American Public Transportation Association’s nationwide Stand Up 4 Transportation Day on Thursday. The initiative was designed to call attention to infrastructure investments to support local and nationwide transport systems. “The federal government is the primary funder of capital transportation projects. We have not had a comprehensive transportation bill since 2005. As a result, America’s transportation infrastructure is falling behind, preventing us from repairing, strengthening and building new transportation infrastructure,” RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter said.
STATE NEWSA bill from Assembly Member Jim Brennan, who chairs the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, would create a transportation finance authority to collect new taxes and help fund the MTA as well as roads, bridges, and transit statewide. It’s the first major transportation funding proposal to come out of Albany this year. “Time is growing short,” Brennan said. The legislative session ends in mid-June, and state transportation agencies need assurances about funding before they can begin projects.
After hitching a car ride from Gracie Mansion to his favorite Park Slope gym, Mayor Bill de Blasio took an R train to City Hall on Thursday morning to press for more transportation funding. With Sen. Chuck Schumer and other officials in tow, following a morning coffee, the two pols chatted up subway passengers, posed for photos, and handed out leaflets pressing Congress to increase transportation funding. "Can
you help us out on this? We need your voice heard," he told commuters.
Governor Cuomo has made two appointments to the State Department of Transportation. Former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll is nominated to serve as DOT Commissioner. His nomination will require Senate confirmation. Ron Thaniel has been appointed Deputy Secretary for Transportation. Thaniel is a former transportation consultant. The Governor also appointed
longtime transit executive and former NYPTA President Karen Rae to an advisory position for Empire State Development.
A longstanding federal policy has kept American transportation agencies from using their construction and procurement programs as spark plugs for local economies. Last month, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the Department of Transportation (DOT) would take advantage of a recent Justice Department ruling on the so-called “common grant rule” and change its own rules to permit local projects receiving federal assistance to use local preferences in hiring employees. At the same time, the department is launching a one-year “hire local” pilot program to encourage transportation agencies to set up programs that give preference in hiring to local residents, low-income workers and veterans.
Rail and bus systems across the country could lose nearly half their funding under two proposals in Congress to end federal grants for transit projects. The legislation, sponsored by Republican Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, also could affect more than 750 companies in 39 states that produce rail and bus transit components, including manufacturers in those two states. Transit advocates are pushing lawmakers to continue federal funding for these projects as part of a long-term transportation bill Congress needs to pass this year.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Washington, DC -- “Yesterday was a huge success as more than 350 organizations from across the country in small, medium, and large communities participated in the Stand Up for Transportation Day, a grassroots local advocacy day,” said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “There were more than 150 community events with many elected officials, business, community, and transportation leaders, and public transit riders. Also, #standup4publictransportation was the third highest trending topic in the United States yesterday.” Stand Up For Transportation Day was the initiative of APTA Chair Phillip Washington, the CEO of Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD).
Charlottesville, VA -- Organizations like Voice for Public Transit work to channel the public’s sense of urgency that public transit is a national priority and that Congress must pass a long-term and comprehensive transportation bill in 2015. The core of the message is the value public transit brings to its communities. Here are the top ten benefits of public transportation.
TRAINING AND EVENTS
The New York Public Transit Association, the Transit Training Institute and NYS PTSB present free workshops that will provide information on Federal ADA regulations for transit operations and hands-on training on the use of securement devices and be will be offered in two convenient locations. The training program is open to one person from an agency. Seating is limited to 20 people at each location.
October 27-29, Rochester, NY
Do you have a new initiative, program or best practice you would like to share or demonstrate with your colleagues? We invite you to submit a presentation to "tell your story" to other public transit professionals. Deadline for proposals is April 30th. Click here for a Call for Presentation form.Transit as a Customer-Oriented Business Webinar
Thursday, May 14, 12-1 pm
Presented by Jonathan Scherzer, CDTA’s Director of Marketing. Customers are the lifeblood of most any business, but when you are in the business of moving people to jobs, services and recreation, the customer truly comes first. Jonathan will focus on reaching customers early and often with a positive and consistent message. Topics will include tools your agency can deploy to address customer needs: creating a culture of customer service and giving them what they want; ‘are we REALLY engaged with our customers’, internal customer service communications tactics and some lessons learned along the way. (This is a PTLI