ALBANY, NY (11/24/2014)(readMedia)-- The New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) released a report today documenting the critical capital investment needs of transit systems across the state. The report titled "Five Year Capital Program for Upstate and Downstate Transit" presents the infrastructure needs and available statewide resources expected over the next 5 years for transit systems other than those services operated by the MTA.
The report highlights the need for $1 billion in capital projects from 2015 to 2019, but estimates available resources will leave a $577 million funding gap. The key needs are for capital projects to reach and maintain a state of good repair and preserve existing transit service. Regular capital investment is necessary to replace over-age buses, repair aging maintenance and passenger facilities, and introduce modern technology for customers. Additional investments are needed to expand transit service to meet growing ridership. Click here for a list of example infrastructure projects.
"Transit systems from Long Island to Buffalo have critical infrastructure that needs repair or replacement to continue to provide safe, reliable service and support a growing economy," said Carm Basile, President of NYPTA and CEO of CDTA. "A statewide capital program that increases investment in transit will ensure more reliable service and create jobs."
"Increased, sustained funding is not only critical to the future of the transit systems, it is also very important to the New York-based businesses that provide transit products and services," said Buddy Coleman, Executive Vice President, Clever Devices on Long Island. "If we have stability in future investment levels, we can more accurately forecast our future employment needs and ensure that we have the right resources to deliver the new technologies our customers need."
Unlike the MTA, the rest of the state's transit systems lack a state-supported multi-year capital program that provides predicable funding for infrastructure renewal. The report complements the MTA's capital plan and for the first time allows discussion of a statewide transit capital funding program.
"While all eyes have been focused on the MTA's funding gap, little attention has been given to other transit systems struggling to maintain and expand service in suburban, rural, and upstate communities," says Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "This report shows that existing revenues will only cover 43% of the capital needs for suburban and upstate transit systems over the next five years. The demise of these systems is a result of the inherent inequity of state funding formulas and must be addressed with an increase in dedicated streams," Vanterpool added.
The lack of capital investment in transit has resulted in declining infrastructure conditions. Many systems operate buses beyond their useful life, which breakdown more frequently in service and are more costly to maintain. Increased capital investment will replace of older buses, reduce maintenance and operating costs, provide more reliable service, increase capacity to meet rising demand, and add customer focused technology.
"New capital funding for upstate and suburban transit systems is a wise investment," said Peter Fleischer, Executive Director, Empire State Future. "Such spending, potentially available now as the State has a one-time multi-billion dollar surplus, will ensure that New Yorkers without cars can remain full participants in their local economies. Buses serve working citizens, students, the elderly and others who shop, recreate, see doctors and hold down jobs because they can get there by bus. In doing so, they free up congested road space and reduce emissions -- benefiting everyone. Ridership is up as many New Yorkers increasingly choose not to drive or cannot afford to do so."
"In planning the future of transit in NY State, we must make it a top priority to provide better transit service for under-served communities. This includes increasing funding for public transportation that can connect low-income communities to affordable housing and good jobs. The investments detailed in NYPTA's report help to make transportation equity a pillar of our agenda, and help those most in need of safe, affordable, and reliable forms of public transportation," said Cecil Corbin-Mark of the New York State Transportation Equity Alliance.
More than 100 transit systems provide daily service covering nearly every county in New York State. These transit systems in Upstate New York and in Downstate Suburban Counties carry over 550,000 riders each day and provide mobility that's support economic growth in communities throughout New York.
Bill Carpenter, NYPTA Vice President, 585-654-0607, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Zerrillo, NYPTA Policy Director, 518-434-9060, email@example.com
The New York Public Transit Association, Inc. (NYPTA) is a not-for-profit association of public transportation service providers, private sector manufacturers and consultants, and state government agencies. The Association was formed in 1983 by representatives of the transit industry committed to the advancement of public transportation in New York State. NYPTA members consist of upstate and downstate systems in rural, suburban, city, and large metropolitan localities, and account for 28 percent of all transit rides in the country. www.nytransit.org, firstname.lastname@example.org.