State and Local Electeds Join Transit Operators and Advocates in Urging Governor Cuomo to Support Statewide Transit

New York State Assemblymember Shelley Mayer

New York State Assemblymember Shelley Mayer

Yesterday morning in Westchester, a group of more than 30 elected officials, transit users, transit operators and transportation advocates braved the bitter cold for a press conference to call on Governor Cuomo to increase funding in his Executive Budget to support statewide public transit systems, which face a collective need of $33 billion over the next five years.

Transit ridership across New York is at an all-time high, yet Albany’s investment is not rising to the occasion—the proposed 2015-2016 Executive Budget keeps operating assistance flat at 2014-2015 levels for all non-MTA transit systems. The advocates and electeds called for more than $140 million in new operating aid investment for non-MTA transportation systems, and also called for a fully-funded MTA Capital Program.

The Westchester stakeholders have a vested interest in transit investment because of the role transit plays in both the urban and suburban areas of the county. Bee-Line, considered to be the ‘backbone‘ of county employment, is one of the country’s largest suburban transit programs, providing nearly 33 million trips annually, according to Assemblymember Shelley Mayer. Yet despite a 3.5 percent increase in ridership from 2011 to 2013, state operating support has leveled out, leaving riders to shoulder the burden. Tri-State’s Veronica Vanterpool testified that “Every dollar invested by Westchester County into Bee-Line yields $23 in economic activity and supports 1,260 jobs. Few other investments yield this rate of return while also reducing traffic congestion and pollution, spurring transit-oriented development, and creating equitable communities.”

And given the role of Metro-North in supporting housing, employment and economic development across Westchester, lawmakers and advocates are refusing to settle for anything less than a fully-funded MTA Capital Program so that Metro-North riders can be ensured safe, reliable service in the future. Nearly $3 billion of the five-year Program is slated for Metro-North improvements.

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Stamford Becomes the Third Connecticut City to Formally Embrace Complete Streets

Stamford's new Complete Streets ordinance should guide the City toward building more crossing islands like the one on the left, and fewer like the one on the right. | Photos: Joseph Cutrufo/TSTC

Stamford’s new Complete Streets ordinance should guide the City toward installing crossing islands more like the one at Washington Boulevard and North State Street (left), and less like the one on at Washington Boulevard and Tresser Boulevard (right). | Photos: Joseph Cutrufo/TSTC

Earlier this month, Stamford, Connecticut’s Board of Representatives unanimously approved a city-wide Complete Streets ordinance. The ordinance, which was sponsored by Land Use Committee co-chair David Kooris and drafted with support from Tri-State Transportation Campaign, “mandates that the Office of Operations review transportation projects and explore opportunities to make them more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.”

Kooris introduced the bill in September, but support for a Complete Streets law had been growing in Stamford after three pedestrian deaths took place in a four-month period in 2014. The new ordinance rounds out Mayor David Martin’s Street Smart initiative, which took initial steps toward addressing safety issues on Stamford’s streets.

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Good Luck Taking the NICE Bus to These Nassau County Bus Transit Committee Public Hearings

On Wednesday, July 9 at 2PM and 5PM the Nassau County Bus Transit Committee will be holding two public hearings regarding fare changes on the NICE bus system. The Committee is required to hold an open meeting for public comments before it makes any decisions on the final fare changes, and NICE has ensured that the “hearing location is accessible […]

Wednesday Winners (& Losers)

NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan | Photo: NY Daily News

NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan | Photo: NY Daily News

A weekly roundup of good deeds, missteps, heroic feats and epic failures in the tri-state region and beyond.


President Barack Obama – While visiting the Tappan Zee Bridge today to urge congressional action for transportation infrastructure funding, President Obama said that “Rebuilding America shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”

NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan – In response to media inquiries about whether NYPD would be cracking down on distracted pedestrians, Chief Chan said: “Motorists are operating a 4,000 pound vehicle. And we cannot be distracted while we’re operating that vehicle. When a collision occurs between a motorist and a pedestrian, the pedestrian loses 100 percent of the time.”

Suffolk County Transit Riders Octavia Clarkson and Dawn Wing – Octavia and Dawn led a grassroots effort to collect nearly 1,500 signatures calling on Suffolk County’s state elected delegation to find additional funding for the county’s bus system.

New Brunswick , New Jersey – Just one week after three children were hit by a car, city officials announced a “road diet” for Livingston Avenue, slimming the road from four lanes to two in an effort to calm traffic and prevent future crashes.
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Nearly 1,500 Petitions Calling for Better Funding and Service Delivered to Suffolk County State Elected Officials

suffolk-bus-may2014Suffolk County Transit riders, students and advocates held a press conference at the Patchogue Long Island Rail Road station this morning to call on Suffolk County’s state elected delegation to find additional funding for the county’s bus system. The group released nearly 1,500 petitions from Suffolk County residents and transit riders highlighting the broad-based support for expanding  Suffolk County Transit service. Immediately following the press conference, the participants boarded the S40 bus bound for State Senator Phil Boyle’s office in Bay Shore – their first stop on a ride to deliver the petitions to each representative in the state delegation over the next week.

The event followed a New York State budget session where Suffolk County state elected officials resolved to allocate only a fraction of the $10 million in transit operating assistance requested by  riders, advocates, businesses and workers, as well as Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. $500,000 in increased support was included in the final budget, which is not even sufficient to cover inflation increases from 2013. The lack of a substantial boost perpetuates the regional funding imbalance that Suffolk County Transit experiences every year. In 2013, Suffolk County contributed to over 50 percent of Suffolk County Transit’s operating budget, while New York State only contributed 35 percent to the system. In comparison, neighboring Nassau County contributes only 2 percent to the Nassau Inter-County Express operating budget while the state contributes more than 50 percent. » Continue reading…

Save the Date: “How to pay for: Parking & Transportation Improvements”



On Friday, May 16, the Long Island Section of the American Planning Association New York Metro Chapter is hosting the annual Arthur Kunz Memorial Scholarship Breakfast. This year’s event will kick off the Section’s 2014 program series with a panel discussion on “How to pay for: Parking & Transportation Improvements”. The event will be moderated by Jean Celender, mayor of Great Neck Plaza, with guest speakers: Gerard Giosa of Level G. Associates, a parking consultation firm; Scott Howell,  Senior Planning Analyst for Parking with the LIRR; and Larry McAuliffe of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council.

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Mobilizing the Region’s 10 Most Popular Stories in 2013

Keep an eye out for our upcoming recap of the good, the bad and the ugly in tri-state transportation news from 2013. Until then, here are the most popular stories on Mobilizing the Region in the last year:

New Jersey Transit Ridership Trends Illustrate the Need for More Transit Funding  Ridership is steadily increasing, but the Garden State’s lack of support to shore up the Transportation Trust Fund makes it difficult for NJ Transit to plan for years of growth ahead.

Leaving the City, But Not For Your Parents’ Suburbs  The importance of job access and a walkable town center can’t be overstated when it comes to attracting young families from New York City.

Speed Bumps and Stop Signs Are Not the Answer to Speeding in New York City  Not all traffic calming treatments have the same impact on making streets safer.

How Walkable is Your State DOT Headquarters?  How walkable are the locations of state department of transportation headquarters, and what does this tell us about their transportation priorities?

Connecticut Approves Borrowing to Widen Three Miles of I-84  Committing to another expensive road widening means less funding available for fixing the state’s roads and bridges and safe walking and cycling infrastructure.

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Don’t Confuse Real News for First of April Ruse

The MTA is erecting a wall that will keep seawater away from tracks that bring A trains to the Rockaways. | Photo: Jim O’Grady/Transportation Nation

We thought about crafting a fake April Fools’ Day story, but it turns out that A) we’re not that clever, B) others have already posted some really funny April […]

NY Building Congress Announces Voluntary Payment of Payroll Mobility Tax

All things considered, it’s been a good couple of weeks for the MTA. They’ve been called “magical.” Newspapers are lining up to support more funding for the agency. The Governor is going to Washington to plead for more cash. And now, the once-reviled Authority has another ally going to bat for it: the NY Buiding Congress […]

POSTPONED: BK Gateway Vision Launch this Saturday!


The BK Gateway area faces numerous land use and transportation challenges.

Due to the ongoing relief efforts and resulting impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the BK Gateway Vision launch has been postponed until further notice.

Tri-State Transportation Campaign—in collaboration with the Office of New York City Council Member Letitia James, […]