New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views


Tuesday,  March 6, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

NFTA Board of Commissioners Approves Consultants for Environmental Review, Preliminary Design for Metro Rail

Empire State Development today announced the NFTA Board of Commissioners awarded the environmental review and associated engineering design service contract to the Buffalo office of WSP Inc., one of the world’s largest engineering firms, for Phase I in the Amherst Metro Rail Extension. This is a major milestone in a visionary project under the Buffalo Billon program. 

“This is an important step in the second phase of the Buffalo Billion that will ultimately connect communities as well as Buffalo Billion investments, and provide significant economic progress through rail expansion,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership we’re now making critical investments in projects like the light rail which will improve the overall reliability and connectivity of transportation services, as well as the upcoming DL&W station that will further enhance the region’s quality of life.”


Multi-Year Study Seeks to Improve Access to Hudson River

The future of a critical Capital Region transportation link is the topic of a presentation and open house from 4- 7:30 p.m., March 13 at the Albany Public Library, 161 Washington Ave.

The multi-year study of the Interstate 787 corridor seeks ways to improve access to the Hudson River, encourage waterfront revitalization and development, and support various transit modes.

Presentations of findings are scheduled at 4:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m.


State Government Affairs

Riders Alliance Launches "Subway Civics" Course in Stations This Week 

Transit advocates on Sunday launched a “subway civics” campaign to pressure Governor Andrew Cuomo into finding more money for the MTA’s beleaguered subway system.

The nonprofit Riders Alliance is sending roughly 50 volunteers through subway stations in the outer boroughs in a weeklong educational effort geared toward increasing accountability at the state-run MTA.

The lesson plan: Cuomo controls the subways and the budget process in Albany.

“What people don’t realize is how to hold elected officials accountable to fix our subways and buses. And that’s why we’re here today,” said Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager at Riders Alliance at a news conference at the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center hub. “When riders are empowered to act, then we are going to see change. Because that’s how democracy works.”



Trump Advisor Defends White House Infrastructure Proposal

White House infrastructure policy adviser D.J. Gribbin is fiercely defending the Trump administration's infrastructure proposal, as it continues to draw criticism from Democrats.

President Trump’s proposal, released last month, would inject $200 billion of federal seed money to create $1.5 trillion in total spending on infrastructure over 10 years. Half of the federal funds would go toward an incentive program to match financing from state and local governments investing in rebuilding projects. 

The idea is that the private sector, in addition to funding from states and local municipalities, will foot much of the bill as the administration seeks to finance projects where local governments have a stake.


Around the Country

Apple Maps Transit Directions Now Available in Columbia, Charleston and Greenville Areas of South Carolina

By selecting the Transit tab in Apple Maps on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, users can now access bus routes from The COMET in Columbia, CARTA in Charleston, and Greenlink Transit in Greenville. These local bus routes complement existing support for Amtrak train service in South Carolina added to Apple Maps in late 2016. 

When the Apple Maps transit feature launched in 2015, it was limited to Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and around 300 cities in China. Since then, Apple has expanded the feature to dozens of additional cities around the world. 

Twin Transit Riders Get Free Electric Ride

Centralia commuters got a free ride Monday when Twin Transit brought in an electric bus for a day-long demonstration. 

General Manager Derrick Wojcik-Damers said last week that he hopes the free rides will show the public and the state that Twin Transit is a good candidate for an electric bus fleet and help it compete for grant dollars.

While driver Gary Kidd navigated Route 32 yesterday afternoon, Geno Wilber rode along to see how this bus handled turns on his usual route. Wilber, who has worked at Twin Transit for the last 10 years, said he supports bringing electric buses to the fleet.


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