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Albany, NY (February 2, 2016) – Transit mangers, riders, labor and business leaders drove home the message that transit is critical to New York’s economy and quality of life during Transit Awareness Day on Tuesday, February 2. The event, which culminated with a pro transit Summit, emphasized the significant value of public transit and the importance of increased transit investment.

“The transit industry keeps New York moving,” said Carm Basile, President of the New York Public Transit Association. “Every day, New Yorkers make over 9 million trips on public transit to get to work, to businesses and shopping, and to schools and health care. We are absolutely vital to New York’s economy,” said Basile.

Demand for transit is growing. Transit ridership is increasing across the state and the public is demanding more and better service. “We need the state to invest in our industry so that we can continue to meet the needs in our communities across the state,” said Basile.

NYPTA advocated at the Capitol for a sustainable funding plan for upstate and suburban downstate transit and a multi-year state commitment to transit capital needs and operating aid growth. New York’s transit systems urged the Legislature to support an annual capital investment of $100 million per year with additional operating assistance for Upstate and Suburban Downstate transit systems above and beyond the Executive Budget. To provide this capital funding, in proportion to state capital aid to the MTA, requires a 5-year investment of $545 million.

A contingent of NYPTA members met with their legislators in the morning and advocated for funding and support. In the afternoon, participants attended a Public Transportation Summit. The Summit included a question and answer format of distinguished panelists including transit leaders, elected officials and community group representatives, who were able to share their views and expertise.

The Summit reflected a broad range of speakers including:

Carm Basile, NYPTA President, CEO CDTA (Master of Ceremonies)
Bill Carpenter, NYPTA Vice President, CEO RTS
The Honorable Joseph Robach, Chairman NYS Senate Committee on Transportation
Tim Ellis, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Ron Epstein, NYS Department of Transportation
Veronica Vanterpool, Tri State Transportation Campaign
Garry Douglas, North Country Chamber of Commerce
The Honorable Kathy Sheehan, Mayor City of Albany
Chris Boylan, Director Government and Strategic Partnerships, General Contractors Association of NY
Kevin Corbett, Empire State Transportation Alliance
Corey Bixby, ATU Local 1321

Bill Carpenter, CEO of the Regional Transit Service in Rochester, served as a panelist at the Summit and conveyed his enthusiasm for the event. “The Summit conveyed the vital and far reaching areas transit permeates in New York’s economy. There are 75,000 transit workers as well as thousands of private sector jobs in manufacturing and suppliers across the state. The message is clear: transit means jobs.”

NYPTA hopes their efforts to bring these issues to the forefront through continuing education and the Summit will be recognized with increased funding and support. "Public transit is a ready and willing partner to work with the Governor and State Legislature to spur the state’s economy," said Basile.

NYPTA joined with the New York State Transportation Equity Alliance (NYSTEA), a coalition of environmental and rider advocacy groups, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), the Transit Workers Union (TWU), and business partners to support the State’s investment in public transportation.

For more information contact: Carm Basile (518) 437-6840 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bob Zerrillo (518) 491-7212, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.nytransit.org

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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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