US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $30.2 million in funding for Amtrak to repair damage to the Northeast Corridor caused by Superstorm Sandy. The funding comes from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 and reimburses Amtrak for over $20 million in expenses associated with pumping water from tunnels, removing debris and other ongoing repairs. The balance will fund repairs to the East Tunnel. Read more about the grant here.
Lewis County is now providing its Lowville Loop service every weekday. The service was previously available only two days per week, but ridership on the loop, which is a cooperative effort of Birnie Bus Service, Rome and the Oneida-Lewis chapter of NYSARC, has seen a steady increase in ridership. Read the story from the Watertown Daily Times.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority is almost ready to restore subway service to the Rockaways for the first time since Superstorm Sandy hit the area. The 3.6 miles of track from Howard Beach to Far Rockaway should be ready by June. Read about it in the NY Daily News.
Governor Cuomo announced a massive new I LOVE NY marketing campaign last week that partners the Port Authority and MTA in a campaign to promote upstate tourism destinations. MTA and Port Authority will devote $2 million worth of public transit advertising space to the campaign, including vehicle advertising and terminal kiosks. Read more in Mass Transit.
Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) saw a 9.7% increase in ridership last year and speculates that their local college population is a significant contributor to the rise. Read more about it here.
Capital District Transportation Authority ridership is at its highest level in three decades. Read about it on All Over Albany.
OF INTEREST ELSEWHERE
You may have never thought of a train station as "eye candy," but this incredible collection of "Palaces of Transport" from the US High Speed Rail Association may make you think again. View the "Palaces" here.
National RTAP has scheduled a three-webinar series designed to for you to learn how to move your schedule and route data into a GTFS for uploading onto Google Transit. The workshops will be held on June 13, 20 and 27. Registration is not yet open, but mark your calendar and watch their website for a chance to sign up.
SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
On NYPTA's LinkedIn Company Page: Follow our link to Transportation Issues Daily to read about "The Growing Impact of Social Media on Public Transportation," and make sure to follow us while you're there!
On NYPTA's Facebook Company Page: We've got a new "Friday Fun" feature. This week's Friday Fun included information and a link to Dinner and Bikes - the 2013 Northeast Tour. Check out more Friday Fun and learn about Dinner and Bikes on a visit to our Facebook page!