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New York State Governor Hochul Announces $8 Million Now Available to Help Develop and Operate On-Demand Transit Options in Upstate New York

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $8 million is now available to develop and operate microtransit and other on-demand transportation options in local communities in Upstate New York. The funding is part of Governor Hochul’s groundbreaking Innovative Mobility Initiative and being made available via a competitive solicitation to eligible transit operators with innovative approaches to expand coverage areas and make safe and affordable transit options more accessible to wider geographic locations. The initiative support’s Governor Hochul’s nation-leading agenda to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by facilitating increased use of public transit.

“By providing safe, reliable and affordable options for transit users to get where they need to go, we are improving quality of life, protecting our environment and strengthening local communities,” Governor Hochul said. “This funding builds on our continuing effort to modernize our transportation systems and give riders more options and better service, which helps our local communities grow and prosper.”

Announced as part of Governor Hochul’s 2023 State of the State Address, the Innovative Mobility Initiative provides funds to non-MTA transit authorities to expand service offerings and support riders who face barriers to accessing traditional transit by funding the creation of new transit alternatives or technological products. The initiative, which is being administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, supports Governor Hochul’s nation-leading agenda to reduce greenhouse gases and the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act by reducing single-occupant vehicular travel.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Under Governor Kathy Hochul’s leadership, New York State is committed to making transportation available and affordable for all users – and that’s exactly what we are doing as we innovate and help deliver public transit services to people – where and how they need them. These investments will help transit operators across New York State better serve their communities by providing new, mobility alternatives, including on-demand services, that are accessible, safe and reliable.”

Representative Joe Morelle said, “Ensuring access to safe, affordable and accessible transportation is essential to a thriving community. Rochester is already leading the way in making this a reality, and this statewide initiative will help further strengthen our public transit infrastructure while bringing us closer to a green energy future. I’m grateful to the Governor for her efforts to increase innovative mobility and her longstanding commitment to supporting Upstate New York.”

Representative Tim Kennedy said, “Today’s $8 million investment in micro and on-demand transit will be game-changing for Upstate New Yorkers who rely on public transportation to go to the grocery store, attend appointments, and visit family and friends. This is an important step toward making transit more accessible in communities of all sizes — increasing access to opportunities and providing riders, especially those with disabilities, more autonomy. Importantly, making transit a more attractive option will get cars off our roads to reduce pollution and make communities in New York greener and healthier.”

Up to $3 million in Innovative Mobility Initiative funding is being made available through this competitive solicitation to eligible transit operators to cover capital and operating expenses associated with the development of new microtransit or other on-demand transit alternatives. Additionally, another $5 million is being made available for capital expenses via NYSDOT’s allotment from the federal Carbon Reduction Program (CRP).

This funding is in addition to over $16 million provided to upstate transit authorities and Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties to microtransit pilot projects in their service areas.

Microtransit service refers to transportation by an accessible multi-passenger vehicle that uses a digital network or software application to offer on-demand service in response to individual demand. It can fill gaps in the State’s public transportation system, bringing service to underserved communities, improving first mile/last mile connections, and/or making transit a more viable option to a broader range of the public. Applications are due no later than September 2024, and must also be submitted to InnovativeMobilityCRP@dot.ny.gov. Additional information can be found on NYSDOT’s Website.

Albany NY July 9 2024

Source: Midtown Tribune news, https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-8-million-now-available-help-develop-and-operate-demand-transit
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