New York State County Highway Superintendents Association News & Views

Tuesday,  July 3, 2018

NYS Transit Industry News

Legislators Deliver Transit Aid

State Senator Tom O'Mara (R-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-Corning) announced last Tuesday that localities across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions they represent will receive approximately $8 million in combined state and federal funding for rural public transportation projects.

In a joint statement, O'Mara and Palmesano said, "Upstate rural populations rely on these local transit systems as absolute lifelines to get to work and back, secure educational opportunities, access health services, go to the grocery store, and access other needs and services. Investments to modernize, upgrade and strengthen rural public transportation systems are investments in economic growth, and community development and stability."


Ulster County Executive Updates Progress Of Hudson Valley Rail Trail Expansion In Towns Of Lloyd, New Paltz

Ulster County Executive Mike Hein last week provided an update to area residents and businesses about a three-phase expansion of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in the Towns of Lloyd and New Paltz. The expansion project is a part of the County Executive’s efforts to build a County-wide, interconnected trail network that will eventually link from the Walkway Over the Hudson to the Ashokan Trail in the Catskills.

The trail expansion is taking place in three separate sections. The eastern-most section is a project of the Town of Lloyd that stretches 0.7 miles from Tony Williams Park to State Route 299 at New Paltz Road. The next section, which is a County-led project, continues from New Paltz Road 1.25 miles to South Street. The final section connects westward from South Street to the Village of New Paltz and is led by the New York State DOT.

State Government Affairs

LaGuardia AirTrain Moves Forward After Cuomo Signs Bill

The train to the plane at LaGuardia Airport moved closer to reality last week when Governor Cuomo signed state legislation authorizing his AirTrain project.

The AirTrain, among Cuomo's top infrastructure priorities, would connect the Mets-Willets Point stations on the Long Island Rail Road and No. 7 subway line to LaGuardia Airport.

"It was essential to get this plan going," Cuomo said at 7 World Trade Center at a bill-signing ceremony. "The Legislature delivered."

Federal Developments

$2.8 Million Granted Locally for Rural Public Transportation

Three rural counties in the Mohawk Valley – Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie – are set to receive a combined $2.8 million in state and federal funding to support rural public transportation projects.

The funding is part of an overall package of $57.7 million in Federal Transit Administration money being distributed by the New York Department of Transportation to 136 rural public transportation projects throughout the state.

Some objectives of the funding are support for public transportation operations and upgrades, such as passenger shelters and technology enhancements.

A breakdown of the total funding shows $34.3 million will go for vehicle upgrades and $23.4 million to support service operations.

Around the Country

Regulatory Reset Needed on Uber, Self-Driving Cars

Massachusetts state and municipal decision makers must push a reset button and develop a template for a more comprehensive and robust regulatory framework that will guide the operation of Transportation Network Company and autonomous vehicle business models. It’s a necessary first step in the process of harnessing the power of innovative business models to serve the needs of sustainable mobility. The TNC train may have left the station, but it can be called back. With respect to autonomous vehicles, let’s get ahead of the curve. We have a generational responsibility to get this right.


Oregon Workers to Start Paying Transit Tax

All Oregon workers will see their take-home pay shrink — slightly — next month.

That’s because a new statewide payroll tax to fund mass transit services kicks in on July 1. Employers will be responsible for automatically deducting the 0.1 percent tax from their workers’ pay. Someone making $60,000 a year will pay $60 a year for the new tax — or $2.31 per biweekly paycheck.

The new tax will pump $110 million a year into the operating budgets of public transportation agencies across Oregon, including Lane Transit District in Lane County.




Organizational Change Presented by Julie Tolar, Director of Service Planning, RTS

 The public transit system in Monroe County was designed decades ago   when downtown Rochester was the center of our community from every   perspective – economically, residentially and culturally. Since then, the   demographics of the area have changed, the locations of employment   centers have changed, and the number of available mobility options has   changed. With the emergence of new transportation options such as bike   sharing, car sharing, ride sharing and vanpools, it is no longer the case   that public transit and the personal automobile are the community’s only options to reach their destinations. This has created a new reality for public transit. This presentation will discuss the Reimagine RTS planning process currently underway that is exploring changes to the RTS fixed-route transit system to better meet the changing needs of the Rochester region.

Be sure to check out the full conference schedule and register early!


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