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Upstate “Parity” with MTA Funding Must Recognize Needs Across New York State

The New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA), which represents over 100 transit systems across the state, today called for an annual investment of $100 million to meet transit infrastructure needs of upstate and suburban downstate transit systems. 

The need for upstate infrastructure funding to balance the announced aid package for the MTA has been in the news over the past few weeks. NYPTA testified today that any state plan to fund transportation must also include adequate support for upstate and downstate suburban transit systems.

“The Governor has committed to providing $8.3 billion to fund the MTA capital program,” said Carm Basile, President of NYPTA.  “We applaud that action and encourage the administration to commit to providing appropriate funding to the rest of the state’s transit systems.”

New York transit systems need approximately $1 billion in infrastructure investments over the next five years with more than 80% slated for state of good repair improvements to core infrastructure.  At current funding levels, the resources currently available to transit systems from all levels of government will meet less than half of this need.

“There is an urgent need to invest $500 million over the next five years to improve transit infrastructure upstate and in the downstate suburbs to support the growth of our communities,” said Bill Carpenter, Vice-President of NYPTA, who testified today before the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation. “These systems together would rank as the 7th largest transit system in the nation, ahead of major cities like Boston and Philadelphia and the demand for our services continues to grow.”

Transit ridership is growing across the state and customers and the business community are demanding more and better service. Transit services across New York State are an important component of the regional transportation network and critical to the economic growth of communities. More and more, people are using transit services to get to work, stimulating the economy and improving the quality of life in communities across the state. The mobility choices provided by transit systems connect people to jobs, businesses, education, recreation and health care. 

NYPTA recommends a state investment of $100 million per year in upstate and suburban downstate transit infrastructure, which will allow these systems to modernize aging infrastructure and continue to meet the growing demands from customers.

Shown above, NYPTA Policy Director Bob Zerillo and NYPTA Vice President Bill Carpenter participate in the legislative hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation.

TRANSIT SYSTEM SERVICES CHANGES
DUE TO COVID-19

These are unprecedented times for our industry. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo's office are issuing daily updates on requirements and recommendations regarding social distance, actions to stop the spread of the virus, and more. 

Each transit agency is taking necessary precautions for employees and for the communities they serve. As we navigate uncharted territory, we ask our members to update us to any changes in their transit services. The following transit systems have made changes:

  •  
  • MTA: The MTA is continuing to run as much service as they can with crews that are healthy and available to work, but service on many lines is limited. Essential Service is provided to help get health care workers, first-responders and other essential personnel where they need to go. More information can be found at new.mta.info/precautions-against-coronavirus

  • CDTA:
     CDTA is working on a modified weekday schedule and has increased frequency and hours of operation on critical routes that service hospitals, medical facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses. More information can be found at www.cdta.org.

  • GGFT:
    GGFT is running on a limited schedule as of April 20. GGFT is offering essential demand responsive transportation to doctors, grocery stores and other essential purposes. More information can be found at www.gftransit.org.

  • Westchester County and Liberty Lines Transit:
     Westchester County has moved to a Saturday schedule and is no longer collecting any fares. Riders are asked to use the rear door to ensure the safety and health of the operator. For passengers who require use of the ramp, they will continue to follow normal practices. More information can be found at www.transportation.westchestergov.com

  • TCAT
    :
    TCAT has suspended the collection of fares until May 23 and reduced their services to 35% due to lower ridership. In addition, they have adjusted multiple routes. More information can be found at www.tcatbus.com or its FAQ page.  

  • RTS:
     RTS has waived bus fare. More information can be found at www.myRTS.com.

  • Broome County:
     
    Broome County has waived bus fare and limited total riders per bus. More information can be found at www.gobroomecounty.com/transit.

  • NFTA:
     NFTA has temporarily waived bus fares and has asked riders to uses the rear doors when boarding and exiting the bus. More information can be found at www.metro.nfta.com.

  • Greene County Transit:
     
    Due to lack of ridership, Greene County Transit has moved to a Dial-A-Ride service. Riders are asked to call in and schedule an appointment, but will only pick up and drop off on their pre-existing routes. More information can be found at www.greenecountytransit.com/


Here are a few additional resources:

U.S. Department of Health
Center for Disease Control 
American Public Transit Association
Governor's Press Room
NYS Department of Health
Local Departments of Health

 

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