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TRANSIT SYSTEM NEWS
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has had a second consecutive year of record ridership. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, CDTA’s total boarding count increased by 3% to surpass 17 million (17,000,793) rides for the first time in its 45-year history. “Our success can be traced back several years when we launched a concerted effort to increase ridership and improve our community image,” said CDTA Board Chairman David M. Stackrow.. Roughly 25% of CDTA ridership now comes from Universal Access (UA) agreements negotiated with major employers and colleges for access to the entire route network.
The chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority called on the city on Monday to substantially increase its funding for the agency’s $32 billion capital plan. The chairman, Thomas F. Prendergast, sent a letter to New York City’s first deputy mayor, Anthony Shorris, asking the city to contribute $1 billion for the construction of the Second Avenue subway line and $300 million annually to the capital plan. In recent years, the city has paid the authority about $100 million each year to support the plan.Ridership is on the rise for the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, according to 2014 MTA ridership figures. This makes the two commuter railroads respectively the busiest and second-busiest passenger railroads in the country. Both railroads saw their strongest growth during non-rush hours, on non-Manhattan commutes and for non-work trips, as customers increasingly rely on the railroads for transportation outside of traditional Manhattan commutes.
Governor Cuomo announced the state has secured $47.5 million in federal transit grant funding to enhance the mobility of senior citizens and persons with disabilities. This funding is available to programs run by non-profit groups, local governments and other agencies that meet the unique needs of transit-dependent populations. Up to 45 percent of the available funds may be used to support public transportation projects that either exceed the requirements of the ADA; improve access to fixed-route service; decrease reliance by individuals with disabilities on complementary paratransit; or provide alternatives to public transportation that assist seniors and individuals with disabilities.
With all the cars on the roads and the people on the subways, buses are an option that needs to be considered. The NYC Department of Transportation and MTA have focused on creating Select Bus Routes and developing a Bus Rapid Transit system. Officials say trips are about 20 percent faster. Riders swipe their MetroCards before boarding the bus at machines on the sidewalk by the bus stops. Their receipt is proof that they paid and law enforcement frequently conducts checks.
A Cattaraugus manufacturer has just landed a major contract to supply ceiling and interior panels for the next generation of passenger rail cars. Composite Panel Solutions has been subcontracted to manufacture ceiling and interior panels for the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority under a five-year, $1.8 billion program to build 676 next-generation rail cars. The subcontract was announced by company President Peter Dandrea, who said it would mean work for another 10 to 15 employees over the next 18 months.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says congressional leaders are working on a short-term $10 billion proposal to fund highway repairs through the end of the year — but won't consider a gas tax hike. The current stop-gap highway measure expires at the end of the month. Ryan, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters the talks are at an early stage “to figure out the short-term patch. We have to come up with $10 billion,” Ryan said. “We’re not going to raise gas taxes.” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he would support a short-term extension if it helped reach a long-term deal.
OTHER NEWS OF INTEREST
Washington, DC -- Americans are willing to pay increased taxes at the gas pump if the revenue is invested in specific transportation improvements, according to the results of a new Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) national telephone survey. These results indicate that Americans would likely support proposed federal legislation for funding transportation infrastructure.
Milford, CT -- Connecticut’s newest mass transit system, CTfastrak, is off to a great start. The bus rapid transit system running from New Britain to Hartford is carrying up to 10,000 passengers daily. Mind you, that’s coming off of its debut week, when all rides were free. In fact, it’s the fare collection process on CTfastrak that makes it innovative: It’s on the honor system. The “honor system” relies on “fare inspectors” making random checks. Getting caught without a valid ticket means a $75 fine, though in these early days they’re mostly giving warnings.
New York, NY --Employee turnover is at the heart of some new research that attempts to quantify just how much a good public bus system is worth to a business, and thus to a community. Economics scholars Dagney Faulk and Michael Hicks of Ball State University analyzed employee turnover rates among manufacturers and retailers in counties with and without bus operations between 1998 and 2010. They report, quite simply, that "counties with transit systems have lower turnover rates"—a win for workers, businesses, and the broader economy alike.TRAINING AND EVENTS
Webinar: Transit as a Customer-Oriented Business Webinar
Let's Talk Performance Webinar Series
The Let's Talk Performance Webinar Series is a recurring webinar series that aims to:
Fundamentals of Transportation Data Part 2
June 9, 2015, 2:00-3:30 PM EST
Share examples of how agencies overcome internal IT, leadership, and resource issues that inhibit their ability to create data management and performance data programs