New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views

Tuesday,  May 1, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

Nugent Elected as CDTA Board Chairwoman 

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has elected Georgeanna M. Nugent of Saratoga Springs to serve as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors. Nugent has been an active member of the Board helping to steer and shape the innovative change that has taken place at CDTA over the last several years. 

“Thank you to my predecessor Dave Stackrow for his leadership over the past two decades. Dave’s commitment to CDTA is unmatched and we are a better organization because of him,” said CDTA Board Chairwoman Georgeanna M. Nugent. “Our Board of Directors is a visionary team that is continuously looking for proactive ways to increase ridership and revenue and to build on CDTA’s solid foundation. This includes advancing our regional bike-share program, CDPHP Cycle!, further integrating our smart card and mobile ticketing system, Navigator, and continuing to develop new and innovative ways to make our service customer-focused and easy to use.”


Nova Bus Awarded Contract with RTS

Nova Bus, Volvo Group's North American bus division, is proud to announce it has been awarded a five-year contract to supply replacement public transit buses for use in Monroe County, NY by Regional Transit Service (RTS). The contract calls for an initial base order of up to 15 diesel-fueled, 40-foot buses with up to a total of 85 over the life of the contract. The new vehicles will be fully assembled in Nova Bus' Plattsburgh plant, with first deliveries expected in 2019.

"We are delighted to welcome RTS among our new customers. Our presence in New York State is constantly growing, mainly due to the quality of our buses, as well as to the level of support our service department provides. We are also very proud to offer transit users in Monroe County, buses that are entirely assembled in New York State," said Martin Larose, Vice President and General Manager of Nova Bus.

"After a comprehensive evaluation process, Nova Bus rose to the top and we are happy to enter into this contract with them," said RTS CEO Bill Carpenter. "We look forward to working with Nova Bus over the next few years to replace buses in our fleet that have reached the end of their useful life and make it easier for our customers to enjoy the ride."


NFTA Metro's Railcars Continue to be Rebuilt

The last of 27 of the NFTA Metro's rail cars has shipped out from Buffalo to Hitachi Rail USA in Dansville for a complete overhaul.

The comprehensive process is part ofthe NFTA Metro's Railcar RebuildProgram which began in 2006. This rehabilitation program provides the necessary actions to rebuild, refurbish and replace nearly 90 percent of the equipment and components that make up our railcar fleet.

"Each car has been completely gutted to a shell and the entire unit refurbished which includes new
framing, flooring and various mechanical and safety improvements. This overhaul process will
help maintain our Metro railcar vehicles in a state of good repair, improve reliability, ensure operations and maximize the useful life of the cars. We are about two-thirds through the process with the last refurbished railcar expected to be in service in late summer of next year." said Kevin Rogers, NFTA Metro's Manager of Rail Operations.

Currently there are 19 of the refurbished cars in service on the Metro rail system and the remaining
eight are in various stages of rebuild, which is anticipated to be complete in July 2019. 

Byford Promises to ‘Arrest the Decline’ in Bus Ridership

New York City Transit President Andy Byford promised today to turn around the nation's largest bus system, which has been losing riders even as the city's population and economy have continued to grow.

Byford intends "absolutely to arrest the decline of recent years in bus ridership and to get people back riding our bus network," he said during an Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee meeting, at which he released the bones of a bus turnaround plan he promised to fill out at next month's meeting.

The plan includes experimenting with a double-decker bus on Staten Island, like those that ply the streets in London, where Byford first earned his transit stripes. Byford also promises to completely redesign the bus network to optimize its efficiency; implement more exclusive bus lanes and transit-signal priority; work with the city and state to better enforce those bus lanes; allow for all-door boarding once the MTA's new fare payment system is implemented; and create a bus command center to streamline bus management.

These will be "time-bound tangible actions," Byford said. "We're not talking about, 'we're going to study this,' or, 'we're going to pilot that.'"

State Government Affairs

Governor Cuomo Announces the Launch of Multi-Agency Amtrak Rail Safety Exercises

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of "Operation NY S.E.C.U.R.E." (Securing the Empire Corridor by Unifying Regional Efforts), the first multi-agency effort on Amtrak's Empire Line to promote better cooperation between law enforcement agencies and improve the state's capabilities to respond to actual emergencies on rail lines. Participating agencies in today's exercises include the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Amtrak Police, and several local law enforcement agencies.

"Keeping New Yorkers safe is our top priority," Governor Cuomo said. "This operation gives all levels of public safety partners the opportunity to coordinate and prepare for terrorist threats and emergency situations on our rail lines and I look forward to continuing the successful partnership with Amtrak and all of our law enforcement partners."

Federal Developments

Schumer: Feds Want to Take Bomb-Sniffing Dogs
Out of Transit Hubs

The feds are threatening to nix bomb-sniffing dogs that patrol Big Apple airports and train stations as a cost-cutting measure — potentially risking the lives of millions of New Yorkers, Senator Chuck Schumer warned Sunday.

At a press conference in front of Penn Station, Schumer slammed the Trump administration for proposing to eliminate the $12.6-million Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) program from the Transportation Safety Administration’s 2019 budget.

The budget proposal includes $1.6 billion for a wall along the US border with Mexico.

“Canine teams are not a luxury. In New York City, canine dog teams can mean life or death,” he said, demanding the TSA “immediately reverse course.”



Around the Country

Billions from Gas Tax and Vehicle Fees Will go to Transit Projects, California Officials Announce

State officials announced Thursday that $2.4 billion from increases in the gas tax and vehicle fees will be spent on dozens of transit projects, including work to prepare Southern California for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

The announcement came just before Republican activists plan to file signatures for a ballot initiative to repeal the increases.

An additional $1.9 billion for the projects will come from funds collected by the state's landmark climate change program, which requires polluters to buy carbon emission credits, the officials said.

Logan to Study if a Train or Monorail 
Should Replace Shuttles at the Airport

Seeking to reduce road traffic, officials at Logan International Airport will spend $15 million to design and study the feasibility of a transit line that would ferry travelers to and from terminals, the MBTA’s Blue Line, economy parking lots, and the car rental center.

The Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs the airport, is planning to hire a consultant to advise it on building an “Automated People Mover” similar to the trains or monorails in use at many other busy airports around the world. 

The idea grew out of a proposal in 2015 by Massport to build a moving sidewalk between the Airport Station on the Blue Line and Terminal E, where the numbers of international flights and passengers have surged. Massport’s chief executive, Thomas Glynn, said it now sees a transit line stopping at each of Logan’s four terminals as a more comprehensive solution.


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Conference Registration Is Open!

Online registration is now open for Exhibitors and Sponsors as well as for Full Conference and RTAP Attendees. Join your public transit colleagues from around the state, and business partners from all over the nation, to learn and exchange ideas about how transit and community leaders successfully partner to implement and reform transit, new street design, technology to enhance the rider experience, and overall community investment.

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