New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views

Tuesday,  June 12, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

TCAT Examines Potential of Improving Service to Lansing 

TCAT is considering options to redesign service to both Lansing Town and Village residents and will hold two public sessions to gather suggestions from current and potential riders traveling in that part of its service area.

The meetings are as scheduled:

  • 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, in Room G-22 in Cornell’s Plant Science Building, 236 Tower Road, Ithaca.
  • 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Lansing Town Hall (board room), 29 Auburn Road, Lansing.

TCAT Service Development Manager Matt Yarrow will make introductory presentations at both meetings before opening them up for public discussion. Yarrow said he wants to hear riders’ observations about the current schedule and whether Lansing residents would use and benefit from more service.


University Staff May Save Money on Transit Passes

The higher gas prices go, the more people look to public transportation.

University of Buffalo faculty and staff may be eligible to take part in the WageWorks commuter program that allows state employees to pay for public transportation using pre-tax dollars.

The program allows employees to save money by purchasing their transit passes — including NFTA passes serving all Metro bus and Metro Rail lines in Erie and Niagara counties — through pre-tax payroll deductions. For many, the savings may be as much as a 40 percent discount off the fare.


National Dump The Pump Day - June 21, 2018

On June 21, 2018, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and public transportation systems across the country will celebrate the 13th Annual National Dump the Pump Day.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2018 National Dump the Pump Day is a day that encourages people to ride public transportation and to take them where they need to go, instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a convenient travel option that also helps people save money. According to the May APTA Transit Savings Report​​​, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $10,134 annually by downsizing to one car.

However, public transportation doesn’t just help people save money, it also helps communities grow and prosper.  For example, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is returned in economic returns.  Mayors know that communities with public transportation are more competitive. So, riding public transportation helps people and their communities!

State Government Affairs

Road Will Be Raised and New Drainage Installed to
Prevent Flooding

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that construction is underway on a $130 million design-build project to reconstruct a section of State Route 878 (Nassau Expressway) between Rockaway Turnpike and Burnside Avenue in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County. More than 400,000 people rely on Nassau Expressway as an emergency evacuation route, which was utilized during Hurricane Sandy. Infrastructure and safety improvements are needed to raise the road, which is approximately two-and-a-half feet below the 100-year floodplain, and improve an aging drainage system and soil underneath. The project will be completed in December 2019.

Federal Developments

USDOT to Fund Veterans Parkway Project in Sioux Falls

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced that at the request of South Dakota Senator John Thune, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed to award $21 million in federal funding to construct the Veterans Parkway project in Sioux Falls through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program.

"Secretary Chao understand that safe and reliable infrastructure is vital to the lives and well being of all South Dakotans," said Thune.  "I want to thank the secretary and the DOT for taking action so this important project, which will not only ease congestion on Interstate-229, but also improve safety, economic competitiveness, and provide significant new freight access for current and future industrial use, can be completed.  This project will help deliver a reliable and effective transportation route to connect a growing commercial and retail area in and around Sioux Falls and benefit the surrounding region."


Around the Country

Uber-like Experiment Brings Public Transit to Arlington

Right now, one of the most interesting public transit experiments in the world is happening in a place that is famously transit-averse.

For years, Arlington, TX, was known as the largest city in the country without mass transit, but for the last six months, they've been trying something new. Their transit system is built not with traditional city buses or subways but with technology that is similar to Uber. 

"We are on the forefront of testing a new transportation solution, and so far, it's working," said Alicia Winkelblech, Assistant Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Arlington. "The city is using the rideshare service as our sole means of public transportation."

The city partnered with a company called Via that operates ridesharing in other major cities. There is a fleet of ten Mercedes vans that are used exclusively for the service. For a flat $3 fare, they will pick up passengers and drop them off anywhere within an area of central Arlington. Rides are shared with up to six passengers at a time.


New Utah Valley Express Previews Future Wasatch Front Transit: $1 Million Buses Designed to Act Like Trains in Exclusive Highway Lanes

The sleek $1 million electric hybrid Utah Valley Express bus is designed to look and act more like a rail car. Its station platforms are even elevated like a train’s, so passengers will not walk up bus stairs.

It has its own exclusive highway lanes — akin to a train using unshared tracks — for half of its 10.5-mile route through Provo and Orem, and will have priority control at traffic signals to speed it along.

It is 60 feet long instead of 40 like most buses, with an accordionlike structure in its middle that allows it to bend around curves. Passengers buy tickets before they board. Bike racks are onboard, not outside. It has much more standing room.



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