New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views
 

Tuesday,  May 15, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

CDPHP Cycle! Officially Kicks Off Season Two 

The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) and CDPHP officially launched season two of CDPHP Cycle!, the Capital Region’s first bike-share program. CDPHP Cycle! features 350 bikes distributed among 80 bike stations in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs. The program offers the community a healthy, affordable, and fun mode of transportation.

“We are excited to be back bigger and bolder this year,” said Georgeanna Nugent, CDTA Board Chairwoman. “CDPHP Cycle! has taken off like wildfire since our inaugural launch last year. We are proud to offer another mobility option that helps the Capital Region explore.” 

“I’m thrilled that we are continuing our partnership with CDTA to bring the Capital Region a new season of CDPHP Cycle!,” said John D. Bennett, MD, President and CEO of CDPHP. “Doubling the program will allow even more residents to access this calorie-burning, heart-pumping alternative to driving.” 

 

Bridgedale Partners with NFTA Transit Police and Donates 3,000 Pairs of Socks

Bridgedale Outdoor Ltd., a global market leader in the manufacture of performance socks in Ontario, Canada, has donated 3,000 pairs of socks to the Niagara Frontier Transit Police Department after hearing about the sock and glove drive that was organized earlier this year by Officer Dave Zarbo.  

“This donation is going to make a tremendous difference in the Western New York Community,” said Officer Zarbo. “We are so thankful to Bridgedale for stepping up to help make a difference for the men, women and children in our area who are struggling to stay warm and dry in our challenging climate.” 

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RTS Begins Phase 3 of the Reimagine RTS Study

Regional Transit Service (RTS) has announced the start of phase three of Reimagine RTS, the study of a redesign of the public transit system in Monroe County. The purpose of phase three of Reimagine RTS is to share with the community the draft of what RTS’s project consultant – Transportation Management & Design, Inc. (TMD) – will recommend at the end of the study in August, and gather feedback from the community.

At a press conference, RTS CEO Bill Carpenter provided a brief recap of phases one and two, and provided an overview of TMD’s draft recommendation for the transit system. Carpenter highlighted the significant outreach plan in place to engage the community and announced a new microsite dedicated to the study.

 

State Government Affairs

Keeping a $27 Billion Infrastructure Budget on Track

After years of roadblocks, the state Senate Transportation Committee has set a funding plan. City & State spoke with the committee's chairman, state Senator Joseph Robach, to hear what potholes might remain on the path to maintain a transportation system in never-ending need of repairs and upgrades.

C&S: In the state budget, was there anything left out or any challenges going forward for funding transportation infrastructure?

JR: I think you have to say this: We have an aging infrastructure in New York just like the entire Northeast. Where I’m pleased is, after almost 10 years without a coordinated transportation capital program and or any kind of parity between mass transit and roads and bridges, we now have that. An infrastructure framework and funding is in place. Now, the challenge becomes proper implementation. I do feel it’s important to interject this: For too long we got caught up in whether we were going to be for roads and bridges or mass transit.

Federal Developments

Report: States Should Replace Bus Fleets with Electric Buses

States should move quickly to replace their old, diesel-fueled bus fleets with electric-powered buses to help wean the country off fossil fuels.

That's the conclusion of a report released Thursday by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group in Boston. The report was authored by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Frontier Group, a liberal-leaning think tank.

The consumer advocacy group's report argues that buses that run on diesel and other fossil fuels harm public health and contribute to climate change by pumping out millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

More than 60 percent of the nation's nearly 70,000 transit buses run on diesel, and another 18 percent on natural gas, while just 0.2 percent are all-electric, the report said.

 

Around the Country

Waco Transit System Using $500,000 Simulator to Train Drivers

We put our lives in their hands every single day. 

The training local bus drivers go through before they can drive you and thousands of others each day is not what you may have in mind.

"They are better at what it is they do. From scanning and looking, being safe, taking care of our customers, getting them from point A to point B safety," said David Hall, Bus Operator at Waco Transit System. 

This means before drivers get to drive on real buses, they must first put their skills to the test using a bus simulator.

"It's a series of computers that try to create this simulated environment so that our drivers have a safe, controlled environment to practice some of their driving skills that we may or may not get to experience out there in the roadway," said Allen Hunter, General Manager at Waco Transit System.

Self-Driving Shuttle Hits the Streets in Gainesville

Gainesville's first self-driving shuttle is already turning heads as it makes its rounds on city streets.

The autonomous shuttle, manufactured by EasyMile, is one of four planned that will come free of charge to the city in the coming months.

City officials said in April they expected one shuttle to arrive from France late last month and be on the road no later than May.

Assistant City Manager Dan Hoffman said the shuttle, operated by Transdev Services, first needs to perform tests and mapping before offering rides to passengers. Currently, an operator is riding inside the shuttle as a precaution, though that will soon change.

"We are targeting to have service available to the public before school starts in the fall," Hoffman said.

In December, the City Commission approved City Manager Anthony Lyons to execute a contract with Transdev for a three-year pilot program worth up to $2.7 million, which will be entirely funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. The University of Florida is assisting the city with research for the duration of the program.

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