Tuesday Transit News
November 10, 2015

On November 5th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a six year Surface Transportation Bill. The legislation eliminated the 5340 Highway Density States Program, which earmarks funding for seven northeastern states and the District of Columbia, which collectively provide one-halof of the public transportation in the nation. It will cut $820M over six years from northeast public transit budgets.

"The recently passed House Surface Transportation bill eliminates transit funding dedicated to states with high population-density, including New York, a change that will significantly impact transit systems across the State, said Carm Basile, President of NYPTA and CEO of CDTA.  "A 20% or more cut in funding will force us to ask our riders to pay more for less service, and slow economic growth in our communities."

Below are responses from some of NYPTA's Upstate Transit Authorities and agencies.

Centro, which provides public bus service in Central New York, would lose about $12 million in aid during the same period – forcing potentially steep cutbacks for a struggling urban transportation system. "It would be very devastating for us," said Rick Lee, Centro's deputy executive director, noting that such a large loss of aid would force operating budget cuts and delay the replacement of old, high-mileage buses.
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"These high-density states have much more transit, much more use," said Carm Basile, CEO of the Capital District Transportation Authority. "If it were to hold, that money would go back into the pot and be redistributed." CDTA would lose $2 million. "It would have a significant impact," Basile said. "We're working with our congressional delegates to ensure this doesn't happen but we have a long road ahead of us."
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Regional Transit Service (RTS) is calling on Congress to remove that provision from the Surface Transportation Bill. “The elimination of this program would be devastating to our ability to maintain the level of service currently provided by RTS,” said Bill Carpenter, CEO of RTS.  If this provision is included in the final bill it will result in a 24 percent reduction in the amount of federal transit funding we receive, totaling $17 million from this program over the next six years."
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The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority stands to lose about $3.6 million a year in federal funding – and agencies statewide would lose $100 million.  “This is devastating to us,” NFTA’s Executive Director Kimberly A.Minkel said of the cut, which will total more than $20 million over the six-year life of the transportation bill. “With this 25 percent cut, what is there for us to do but be asking riders to pay more for less service?”
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An amendment to cut funding for public transit and would slash 12 percent of the federal portion of TCAT funding, or $207,000 annually, according to a TCAT press release. In 2013, 10.6 percent of the TCAT’s annual budget came from federal funds. TCAT workers plan to protest the bill along with other transit agencies in the state.
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TransitCenter, a foundation dedicated to improving urban mobility, has announced that it has awarded nine major grants totaling $838,700 to a range of organizations contributing original new work to the field. Two of the awards go to New York City-base projects: Open Plans a set of short films documenting interesting projects and programs at various transit agencies around the country; and a New York University effort to improve the information technology, costs and service quality for transit service for the elderly and citizens living with disabilities in New York City.
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The U.S. Department of Transportation joined with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to launch a new online tool that provides profiles of how transportation may be affecting human health in each state and region. “This tool provides transportation and public health officials with a starting point for a dialog on how transportation investments can help protect human health,” said Secretary Anthony Foxx.
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By a passage rate of 71%, voters across the country voted for pro-transit measures as 10 of 14 local and statewide public transit-related ballot initiatives were approved on November 3, with a Salt Lake County ballot measure is currently too close to call."In communities across the country, voters overwhelmingly voted to increase taxes to support public transportation in local and statewide ballot initiatives at a rate of 71 percent," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President/CEO Michael Melaniphy.

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Researchers from the Moriguchi City Health Examination Center in Japan compared the health of those who take public transportation to those who drive, and their findings link three major health benefits to trains and buses. Those who relied on public transportation every day were 44 percent less likely to be overweight, 34 percent less likely to have type 2 diabetes, and 27 percent less likely to have high blood pressure. Researchers believe it's because people taking a bus or train to work may walk farther to and from the station than those biking, walking and, especially, driving.

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Two Webinars Next Week...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Title:  Sourcing Top Talent: Best-Practice “Make-or-Buy” Executive Recruitment Strategies
Join veteran Human Resource practitioner Deb Best, SPHR, Owner and Principal of Deb Best Practices, as she shares key strategies and tips to ensure successful Executive Recruitment outcomes to in turn build a strong senior management team for your organization, whether your organization conducts an in-house search (including but not limited to sourcing or promoting internal bench players for future promotion to senior positions), or you decide to work with an outside executive search firm.

Register here.

Friday, November 20 12 noon - 1:15 pm

Title: What’s Measured Gets Done: Driving Accountability to Achieve Executive Team Peak Performance

Deb Best, SPHR, Owner and Principal of Deb Best Practices, shares key strategies and tips to establish organizational strategic goals and cascading Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to drive both Executive Team and organization-wide accountability and peak performance.

Register here.

A few more images from the New York Public Transit CONNECTIONS Conference & Expo in Rochester October 27-29.


.....NYS DOT Commissioner.........................(L-R) NYPTA President Carm Basile, Regional
.....Matthew Driscoll....................................Administrator, FTA Region II, Marilyn Shazor,
                                                                               RTS CEO Bill Carpenter

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New York Public Transit Association Headquarters

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Albany, NY 12205
United States

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

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