U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $7,813,256 in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding for the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC), Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and partnering agencies. This funding will be used to implement a regional mobility management system in order to increase safety and to optimize regional transportation efficiency in Western New York, particularly at the US-Canadian border crossing. Specifically, this system will allow the NFTA to provide travelers with enhanced real-time information regarding traffic, use real-time and forecasted weather information to implement active traffic management strategies and improve incident management, in order to increase safety and efficiency.
This new system will improve border crossing performance, reducing travel time for residents and visitors and enhancing the safety of commercial vehicle operations. Highlights from the project include:
- Coordination of real-time and forecasted multimodal, multi-agency transportation network information via 511NY and other applications.
- Upgrading the Regional Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS).
- Integration of NYSDOT and New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) Road Weather Information System (RWIS) units currently in place to provide information for motorists at the border.
- Implementation of a robust in-vehicle weather forecast and alert system to warn truckers and motorists of inclement weather and delays.
- Improvements to coordination among first-responders by integrating additional 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, and expanding the regional information exchange network to assure for a timely exchange of information.
“It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to keep our crossings efficient and secure. Congestion, accidents, bad weather, and more all waste countless hours and cost our economy millions of dollars every year. That’s why I have long fought to make sure the US and Canada working together to address border staffing issues and alleviate the avoidable and costly delays at our vital border crossings, while maintaining first-rate security,” said Senator Schumer. “In addition to these efforts, this smart, multi-million dollar federal investment will allow NITTEC, NFTA, and NYSDOT to partner together to use high-tech equipment to reduce travel times, enhance security, better manage emergencies, and increase efficiency in Western New York. This will benefit the businesses, residents and travelers that utilize WNY border crossings every day, and help spur growth throughout the entire regional economy.”
“This federal investment will allow the NFTA to improve security and safety measures and reduce maintenance costs in Western New York,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I was proud to urge the Secretary of Transportation to award these federal funds to help improve the condition of the region’s transportation bus fleet, expand transportation access, and improve mobility options for people throughout the county. I will continue to push for funding that helps to upgrade our transportation services in New York.”
Kimberley A. Minkel, Executive Director of NFTA said, “As the primary provider of public transportation services for Erie and Niagara Counties, the NFTA continually seeks ways to improve regional mobility through the deployment of advanced technologies. We look forward to working with NITTEC, the NYS Department of Transportation, and our other key partners through this collaborative effort to achieve these goals.”
This federal funding is provided through the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Initiative (ATCMTD), under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. ATCMTD was established under the FAST Act, a long-term transportation infrastructure bill passed in December 2015. Schumer and Gillibrand both supported the FAST Act and pushed for its passage in Congress.