Tuesday Transit News
November 24, 2015
Governor Cuomo announced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hire 46 more Police Officers to increase counterterrorism capabilities at Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and throughout the Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and Staten Island Railway systems. The 46 new MTA Police Officers will staff counterterrorism surge assignments at Grand Central and Penn Station and other deployments to ensure the traveling public is protected in the MTA network.
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A familiar face is returning to the MTA. MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast announced the appointment of Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim as the eighth permanent president of New York City Transit, which moves more than 8 million daily customers on subways, buses, the Staten Island Railway and paratransit service. For the past year and a half she has served as the Executive Director of NJ TRANSIT, and previously served nearly four years as Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Hakim earlier had a 23-year career at the MTA.
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The Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System (CARTS) has received seven replacement buses through the New York State Department of Transportation's Section 5311 grant assistance program.  This project totaling $566,680 will be funded 80 percent federal, 10 percent state and 10 percent local. CARTS provides over 190,000 trips per year in Chautauqua County which includes city fixed, rural routes and demand response services.
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Congressman Tom Reed was in Lansing to answer questions and hear residents speak on national issues of concern. The highway bill is of special concern for New York and Tompkins County specifically. Under a formula proposed in the current draft Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) would lose more than $200,000 a year or $1.2 million over six years in federal funding.  New York State transit agencies combined would lose almost $95 million a year or a total of $570 million over the next six years. "It looks like we're going to be able to bridge our differences with the Senate, and there are some differences," Reed said.
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Patrick Foye, who led the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey during one of its most turbulent periods, is stepping down as the agency’s executive director early next year, The Wall Street Journal reported. In a memo Thursday to the agency’s staff, Foye said he would withdraw from consideration to become the authority’s new CEO.
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President Obama has signed into law a bill that extends federal transportation funding through Dec. 4. Funding had been set to expire November 20th. White House officials said Obama signed the measure using an autopen, "given the need for this extension and given the fact that the President is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean."  The bill, passed last week by both the House and Senate, buys time for Congress to agree to a long-term deal. Obama has railed against short-term transportation funding patches, but he signed the bill that was sent to him on Friday morning to prevent an interruption in the nation's road and transit funding ahead of the busy holiday travel season.
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According to the 2010 Harvard Wellness in the Workplace Analysis that examined 32 different reviewed studies, employee engagement at work, and the ability to handle the stress associated with that work, is directly tied to an organization’s bottom line. As of 2013 there were 400,000 workers in public transportation in the U.S. For a company of 1,000 people, the cost of unscheduled absences amounts to about $2.5 million per year. That means that the public transit industry is losing over $1 billion a year to unplanned absenteeism costs alone.
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Lawmakers in the House of Representatives recently did something we haven’t seen them do in a long time — they passed a long-term surface transportation bill that both Republicans and Democrats support. Because the Senate passed its own version of a surface transportation bill already, Congress may actually be poised to complete the first long-term, highway-transit bill since 2005. Big deal, right? Don’t go driving down the fast lane just yet.
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Save the Date for NYPTA’s 2016 Transit Awareness Day. Join us at the Capital in Albany February 2 to bring lawmakers a unified message on the importance of investing in transit infrastructure.

The Governor and Legislature need to take the lead on securing resources to fund critical infrastructure investments necessary for safety and meeting increased public demand.

We need a unified voice, we need to be heard and we need you make it happen!
Our industry partners can play a key role, too. Become a Transit Awareness Day sponsor and secure a prominent position on Transit Awareness Day 2016!

Plan to be in Albany on February 2nd. More details to come.

Happy Thanksgiving

In this season of giving thanks, the NYPTA Board of Directors, President Carm Basile and staff sincerely thank our entire membership, sponsors and business partners for their support and contributions in continuing to build public transit as a vital component in New York State's economy and way of life. Millions of New Yorkers depend upon you every day, and thanks to your dedication and professionalism, our industry is able to provide the services they need. Thank you for all you do.

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

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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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