Tuesday Transit News
July 28th, 2015
There's little point in celebrating job creation programs if people can't find an affordable way to get to work, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said. That's why state help for Centro and other public transit systems should continue, he said in remarks at Syracuse's city hall. "Transportation will continue to be one of the priorities," Heastie said, speaking of Upstate transit systems. "I don't know why that commitment would go away. I think we'll be just as determined in next year's budget."
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Gov. Cuomo said the state would pay billions of dollars toward closing the vast gap in the MTA’s capital plan, which pays for maintenance and improvements for the system. But he also said that New York City should significantly increase its contribution, to as much as $3 billion, far more than the city has ever paid toward the capital costs of the transportation authority, which serves the city and its suburbs but is controlled by the governor.
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Unanticipated revenues, greater cost savings and more efficient operations will generate up to $2.4 billion worth of new funding for the 2015-19 MTA Capital Program, which allows the MTA to reduce the $14 billion funding gap in its $32 billion Capital Program. “The MTA has cut more than $1.3 billion from our ongoing expenses this year, and our fiscal discipline makes real improvements possible for our more than 8.5 million daily customers, and allows us to invest in the future of the MTA network through our Capital Program,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration wants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to work with New York City to figure out how to fund a $14 billion gap in the transportation agency's capital plan. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris sent a letter dated Tuesday to MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast. "We are ready to sit down today and have a full and frank discussion about comprehensive funding options for this essential engine of the state's economy," the letter said.
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New York State Senators James L. Seward and Tom O’Mara, whose upstate, rural legislative districts are being hurt by state-level changes underway in the management of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, held a “New York Medicaid NEMT Roundtable Discussion” in Cooperstown. The senators heard testimony from local leaders and transportation management officials from Central and Western New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Hudson Valley, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and the North Country on how state reforms are negatively impacting public transportation in the rural communities they serve.
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Sweeping plans are being made to rejuvenate a major stop on the AirTrain from Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, Queens with new hotels, stores and apartments, with hopes of persuading some of those travelers to step off the platform and stay a while. Besides the AirTrain, the intersection is served by the Long Island Rail Road, three subway lines and more than a dozen bus routes. One result is the kind of bustling public transportation hub that has become catnip for developers who believe that people no longer want to be so dependent on their cars.
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A U.S. Senate plan to fund federal highway and rail transportation projects for three years advanced on a procedural vote, overcoming a roadblock to begin debate on the legislation. The legislation is expected to dominate Senate debate into next week but would represent the first multi-year U.S. surface transportation bill in a decade, if it succeeds. Republicans and Democrats are working against a July 31 deadline to keep the national Highway Trust Fund from running out of money.
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A key Senate committee voted Tuesday to approve a two-year extension of 52 federal tax breaks, including deductions for commuting by mass transit, college expenses and sales taxes imposed by states and localities. The 23-3 bipartisan vote in the Finance Committee sends to the Senate floor a package eight tax breaks for individuals, 31 for businesses and 13 for energy production through the end of 2016. The mass transit tax break would give workers who commute by train or bus the same $250 monthly tax break for employer-provided subsidies as those who receive employer assistance for parking costs. The current mass transit deduction is $130 a month.
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Boston, MA -- John Lohan, an MBTA bus driver for nearly 19 years, looked back at the scattered passengers on the 35 bus Thursday afternoon and popped the question: Who wants to stop at the child-run lemonade stand on the side of the street? His treat. He needed the right circumstances to make it happen. He had a small number of passengers, all consenting. The MBTA sees lower usage in the summer than the rest of the year, and with the clock reading about 2:30 p.m., he was off-rush hour as well. The lemonade stand was set up near the end of his route, meaning the passenger number was low, and it was stationed right off a bus stop, making it all the easier to pull over.
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Washington, DC -- A group of 81 public transportation unions and advocacy groups is pushing Congress to increase federal funding for bus companies in a transportation spending bill that is coming up for renewal at the end of the month. The transit groups, who were organized by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), said Congress should reverse a 2012 decision to cut funding for buses in last two-year transportation bill that was approved by lawmakers.
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PTLI and HOF Nominations Needed this Week
This is the final week for submitting nominations for the New York Public Transit Leadership Institute and the NYPTA Hall of Fame.

NYPTA’s PTLI program offers future executives an inside look at transit management at the highest levels. PTLI’s mentor driven program provides one-on-one and small group platforms for real-life, real-time transit management learning and professional growth.

Please consider potential candidates, either yourself or one of your colleagues. Click here for a brochure outlining the PTLI program and eligibility requirements or register online here.
NYPTA established the Transit Hall of Fame in 1999 as a tribute to leaders in the transit industry who have made extraordinary contributions to the Association and our transit community. Please recommend a deserving candidate by using the online Nomination Form and sending it to Association headquarters at:

NYPTA Hall of Fame
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY  12205

Hall of Fame and PTLI nominations close on August 1st.

NYS Public Transit Industry CONNECTION Conference Registration Now Open!
Don’t wait! Register now and reserve you place now at the New York Public Transit CONNECTIONS Conference & Expo, October 27-29 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and Rochester Hyatt.

Visit our CONNECTIONS web page and register now!
Education, training, the Expo, CONNECTIONS and more provide professional growth and equip you with best practices in building a vibrant public transit industry!

Exclusive Sponsorship
Sponsors, check out this new sponsorship opportunity: Economic Impact of New York's Transit Manufacturing Industry Panel Discussion - Industry professionals will address the state of the industry, the opportunities and risks it faces, and how we can improve our competitive edge, across the state.
Learn more about Sponsorship Opportunities

Exhibitors, have you reserved your booth yet?
There is no better direct sales method then to have your customers and future customers see exactly what your company is all about, especially when you have your product right in front of them.

Booth space is limited, so make sure you reserve today to Connect with NYS transit professionals in the Expo.
Learn more about Exhibitor Opportunities

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New York Public Transit Association Headquarters

136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205
United States

ph: 518-434-9060 > 518-426-7092
info@nytransit.org > www.nytransit.org

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New York Public Transit Association, Inc.
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205
United States

518-434-9060 ph • info@nytransit.orgwww.nytransit.org

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