New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views


Tuesday,  April 3, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

TCAT Rolls Out New Fleet of Buses

On any given day, 16,000 people hop on a Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit bus in Tompkins County. Though the commute may be monotonous for most, it's an adventure for 10-year-old Isaiah Smith, Ithaca resident and bus enthusiast.

Smith is so passionate about buses he created a custom TCATopoly board game, modeled after Monopoly, featuring local routes and potholes to pay for instead of taxes. On Tuesday, Smith gifted a copy to TCAT. Afterward, he and his mother, Kristen Brennan, got a tour of the TCAT Transit Center at 737 Willow Ave. in Ithaca.

There have been some upgrades at TCAT in recent months, along with the roll out of a bus tracker that connects to several phone applications and gives riders real-time updates on bus locations. And about two weeks ago, a new fleet of 11 buses hit the road, bringing the number of TCAT buses on the road up to 54. (However, TCAT lost a bus this week to a fire, so the number is down to 53.)


Free Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport
Returns for Spring Break

Free bus service on the LaGuardia Link Q70 is returning for a second time year, the Port Authority announced on Wednesday. Starting tomorrow, the bus will offer free non-stop service between Terminals B, C, and D at LaGuardia Airport and the subway and LIRR transit hubs in Jackson Heights and Woodside.

This time around, the free service is being offered during spring break for New York City Schools. The Port Authority anticipates that 825,000 people will travel through LaGuardia Airport between March 29 and April 7. The airport will also offer one hour of free parking during this same period.

Earlier this year, the Port Authority decided to provide free service during Presidents Day weekend, and it also did so last Thanksgiving weekend. The modernization of LaGuardia Airport has led to much longer commute times, and the Port Authority is hoping to alleviate at least some of that congestion through the free service.


State Government Affairs

Statement from New York Public Transit Association President Bill Carpenter on the State Budget

"We thank the Governor and Legislature for increasing operating aid and capital funding for transit systems across New York State in a difficult budget year, including significant new funding resources to help the MTA.

"As the MTA continues to receive much-needed attention, we ask that all the transit needs across the state continue to be addressed so that no region is left behind. 

"We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature on ways to reimagine funding for public transit to grow jobs and drive economic success everywhere in the state. Our riders and communities deserve nothing less."

Federal Developments

FTA Office of Transit Safety and Oversight Spotlight

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) seeks to improve every facet of transit safety through innovation. To support innovative development of technologies and grow small businesses, FTA participates in the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). Across the US Department of Transportation, all modes, including FTA, set-aside a portion of their research budget for SBIR grants. Phase 1 grants are typically $150,000, and are given to develop a solution through a specific solicitation by FTA. Phase II grants are follow-on awards, up to $750,000, given when a SBIR grantee achieves success in Phase I - including showing how they will effectively develop and market their solution.

FTA is currently funding three SBIR projects: a pedestrian and cyclist detection device for transit buses, an automated passenger counting and re-identification system for transit buses with potential to be used in large public facilities such as subway and train stations, and automated multi-pedestrian warning sensors to alert transit bus drivers about pedestrian volume at intersections.



Around the Country

Free Bus Fare is Not Just Good for the Town,
It's Good for Love, Too

The Chapel Hill Transit system provides over seven million rides annually and is the second largest transit system in North Carolina. Funding from the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro and the University of North Carolina, allows the Chapel Hill Transit system to be free for all riders. 

While the system is able to boast many practical benefits from increased ridership, two former UNC students found a more personal benefit of using Chapel Hill Transit. 

Uber to Expand Pinellas County Transit Partnership

The global rideshare company Uber is expanding its partnership with the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to provide trips to and from bus stops, the company’s General Manager in the Southeast U.S., Kasra Moshkani said Thursday.

His remarks came as part of the Synapse Innovation Summit in Tampa. PSTA’s Direct Connect program covers the first $5 of an Uber or taxi ride with riders paying on average about $1 per trip to connect their transit ride to a final destination.

That program is currently valid in eight zones across the county. Beginning April 2, the agency will offer that service to 24 stations across the county, PSTA confirmed.

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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 |

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