New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views

Tuesday,  March 20, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

How Buses Can Drive Economic Development

When the Capital District Transportation Authority rolled out its Universal Access program, it gave employees and students at 20 major colleges and businesses the option to take any bus, any time, on the transit authority's route network.

The program grew to account for a quarter of CDTA's 17 million rides last year, it said, setting a new record for ridership.

It was one of several initiatives that have given the transit authority a growing role in economic development while giving residents more ways to get around.

Recognizing Barbara Thomas in Women's History

In honor of Women's history month, the NFTA is highlighting Barbara Thomas, who is the first woman to hold the role as Metro Station Manager.

Barbara has worked for the NFTA for 35 years. She started as a bus driver and has made significant trailblazing strides since then.  She has held roles including Transportation Supervisor for Frontier Station and Metro Link, as well as Operations Manager of Special Services.  

Barbara currently oversees an estimated 168 employees at Metro's Cold Spring Bus Station and Garage. She has been successful at implementing initiatives to help build rapport among drivers, increase operator commendations and dramatically improve overall customer service.   

"Being a bus driver can be very rewarding, but the job has its challenges. In my role, it's important for me to provide our operators with the necessary resources to help make their job easier and support them so that as a team we can continue to provide the best customer service to our riders as possible," says Barbara. 

Outside of the station, Barbara remains extremely active within the community and over the years has served on several boards including the Erie County Office of the disabled for Erie County. She is an active member in The Linwood Church and is involved with several Christian committees there.  Barbara is also a former Black Achiever Award recipient.  

State Government Affairs

Statement from Governor Cuomo on the
Gateway Tunnel Project

"Reports that President Trump and Speaker Ryan are refusing to include funding for the Gateway Tunnel project in the federal budget are mindboggling. It is unconscionable that the President, who claims to prioritize infrastructure, is trying to stop the single most important infrastructure project in the country.  

"The long-overdue new tunnel is essential to New York's economic future and to the long-term vitality of the entire Northeast Corridor, which represents 20 percent of the national economy. His baseless opposition to this project is hurtling the region toward economic disaster. 

"New York and New Jersey have already stepped up to the plate and committed to fund our share of the project. If the federal government fails to uphold its end of the agreement, the President will have to answer to the commuters, travelers and 51 million people across the Northeast who rely on this critical transit corridor."

"I am sure there are politics at work here but I am also sure there are other venues to play politics that don't jeopardize the future of the Northeast United States."​​​​​​​


Trump Cabinet Members Press Senate Panel on Infrastructure Overhaul

A Senate panel on Wednesday heard five different Trump Cabinet members press hard on the need for an infrastructure overhaul. 

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was joined by four other Cabinet members at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing, as Chao testified for the third time this month on the administration’s infrastructure proposal.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue also made the case for President Trump’s rebuilding blueprint, which allocates $200 billion in federal seed money that the administration argues will lead to a $1.5 trillion overhaul. 


Around the Country

Sacramento Regional Transit District Moves Art

In partnership with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, the Sacramento Regional Transit District unveiled four light rail trains that have been wrapped with art designed by four local artists: Ruby Chacón, Linda Nunes, Kerri Warner and Donine Wellman at the 7th & Richards/Township 9 light rail station in the River District.

“I want to thank the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission for being a great partner in our endeavor to bring creative energy and joy to our community,” said Henry Li, SacRT General Manager/CEO. “We are continually looking for ways to improve our riders’ experience, contribute to the beautification of Sacramento, and operate in a fiscally prudent manner. Art-wrapped trains accomplish each of these objectives.”

NJ Transit Funds in Budget to Help Avoid Fare Increase

New Jersey Transit won’t have to raise fares next year thanks to additional funding in the state budget, Governor Phil Murphy said.

“My expectation is that you’ll treat these public dollars as if they’re your own,” Murphy, 60, said Wednesday at the cash-strapped agency’s regular board meeting in Newark. It was the first time since 2009 a sitting governor has addressed NJ Transit’s board at a public meeting.

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United States

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