New York Codes, Rules and Regulations
Chapter VI - Transportation Regulations
Subchapter G - Mass Transportation Operating Assistance
Part 975 - Statewide Mass Transportation Operating Assistance Program
Section 975.4 - Definitions

Current through Register Vol. 44, No. 51, December 21, 2022

For the purposes of this Part, the following additional definitions will apply:

(a) Service payment shall mean the amount of state assistance made available to an eligible public transportation system by the Commissioner of Transportation, within the provisions and limits of state mass transportation operating assistance program legislation and appropriations.

(b) Chief executive officer, of a public transportation system defined by subdivision 1 of section 18-b of the Transportation Law, shall mean the chief executive officer of the public benefit corporation constituting a transportation authority or, in the case of a county, the chairman of the board of supervisors or legislature; except that in those counties having a county administrator, director, executive, manager or president, it shall mean such latter officers; or, in the case of a city, the mayor; except that in those cities having a city manager, it shall mean that officer; or the officially designated representative of any of the above, or, in the case of an intercity bus company, the chief executive or operating officer of said firm or corporation, or a designee of the chief executive or operating officer empowered to enter into joint service agreements on behalf of the company.

(c) Revenues shall mean income either directly or indirectly derived from, or in connection with, the mass transportation services. It will include "operating revenue" such as but not necessarily limited to: farebox revenues and special fare subsidies (including third party per passenger payments); baggage or mail revenues; income from advertising, concessions and leases. It also includes "subsidies" from state, federal and local governments; and other government payments to finance operating deficits.

(d) Expenses shall mean expenses, as may be determined by the Commissioner of Transportation, either directly or indirectly incurred from, or in connection with, the operation of public transportation services, including but not necessarily limited to: transportation expenses (wages, fringe benefits, fuel, oil, etc.); maintenance and garage expenses (repairs, tires, etc.); station expenses (supplies and expenses relating thereto); traffic expenses (tickets, advertising, etc.); insurance and safety expenses; marketing, advertising and other reasonable expenses directly related to the provision of public transportation service and a reasonable portion of general administration expenses including auditing costs. Capital expenses, and depreciation on the portion of plant assets purchased with government funds, are not considered allowable expenses for the purposes of this program. For private operators, further definition of eligible and ineligible expenses are found in the determination of maximum operating assistance process defined in section 975.17.

(e) Peak hours shall mean the hours when additional services are provided to handle higher passenger volumes. This period begins when normal scheduled headways are reduced, and ends when headways are returned to normal. Generally, these hours are 7 a.m. through 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. through 6 p.m., each day, Monday through Friday, or such other similar periods as local conditions may dictate.

(f) Off-peak hours shall mean all time periods other than peak hours. Generally, these will be the hours 9 a.m. through 4 p.m., and the hours 6 p.m. through 7 a.m. each day, monday through Friday, or such other similar periods as local conditions may dictate; it shall also include the entire 24-hour period for each State and/or Federal holiday, as well as Saturdays and Sundays.

(g) Commuter rail system shall mean a system of mass transportation services operating rail passenger cars on rail guideways, and providing service in more than one county (for purposes of section 18-b of the Transportation Law, the city of New York shall be considered as one county), with a substantial portion of the riders using the service to go to and from work between suburbs and their central city.

(h) Subway or rapid transit system shall mean a system of mass transportation services operating rail passenger cars on rail guideways within one county (for purposes of section 18-b of the Transportation Law, the City of New York shall be considered as one county).

(i) Commuter ferry system shall mean a system of mass transportation services operating on a navigable body of water, and providing services within one county (for purposes of section 18-b of the Transportation Law, the City of New York shall be considered as one county), with a substantial portion of the riders using the service to go to and from work.

(j) Elderly shall mean, those persons of age 65 or over.

(k) Transit disabled shall mean individuals who, by reason of illness, age, injury, congenital malfunction or other permanent or temporary incapacity or disability, are unable, without special facilities, planning or design, to use mass transportation facilities effectively.

(l) Urbanized area shall mean an area not less than the urbanized area delineated by the latest determination of the Bureau of the Census (in accordance with such provisions of Title 13, U.S. Code as may be appropriate); and if desired, adjacent areas may be included by responsible State and local officials in accordance with the provisions of Title 23, U.S. Code 1 34 (3) (c).

(m) Appropriate officials shall mean the principal elected officers of municipalities.

(n) Comprehensive and continuing planning process shall mean a planning process which includes the operational procedures and working arrangements by which short-and long-range plans are conceived, developed and continuously evaluated to meet changing conditions in accordance with the provisions of Title 23, U.S. Code 134(3)(c).

(o) Economy, efficiency and effectiveness indicators shall refer to a series of criteria established by the Department to measure the performance of transit operations in terms of their operating and capital cost input, as compared to their service quantity, quality and usage output. Examples of indicators that may be used are:

(1) revenue vehicle hours per employee hour;

(2) revenue vehicle miles per employee hour;

(3) operating cost per vehicle hour;

(4) operating revenue compared to operating cost;

(5) operating revenue plus voluntary local assistance per passenger mile;

(6) revenue passengers per vehicle hour;

(7) revenue passenger miles per vehicle hour;

(8) revenue passenger miles per vehicle mile;

(9) operating cost per revenue passenger mile;

(10) operating loss per revenue passenger mile;

(11) revenue passengers per employee hour;

(12) revenue passenger miles per employee hour; and

(13) percent on time performance.

(p) Reasonable return on equity or operating revenues and expenses shall refer to the guidelines developed by the Department to ensure that State service payments do not result in excessive profits to private transportation operators. These guidelines are established as identified in section 975.17.

(q) Unspecified public transportation system shall refer to any public transportation system that does not receive a specific line item appropriation for operating assistance in the State budget.

(r) Intercity bus company shall mean a bus company authorized to transport the general public in interstate commerce by the Interstate Commerce Commission and/or in intrastate commerce by the New York State Department of Transportation on a regular and continuing basis in two or more counties within New York State in a service that is intended primarily to satisfy longer distance travel demand between cities, villages and unincorporated urban places having a population of two thousand five hundred or more. Such company may also provide other services, including commuter and locally oriented services.

(s) Exclusive airport service shall mean service provided to and from one or more airports, with travel between intermediate points prohibited by statute, regulation, order or company policy or if accommodation of passengers to such intermediate points is clearly incidental to the airport service.

(t) Commuter bus service shall mean bus service provided by a bus system, as defined in section 975.2(e), which primarily takes riders to and from work.

(u) Deadhead mileage is ineligible for operating assistance under this program. It shall include such transit vehicle mileage as: mileage between the garage and the beginning of the route where passengers may board; mileage from the end of one route to the beginning of another route and mileage from the end of a route to a garage or other service or storage facility.

In order to categorize transit vehicle mileage as eligible revenue service, except for the return trips of commuter runs, which are specifically considered to be eligible miles in section 975.2(c), a viable market for the service must be demonstrated. For example, transit vehicle mileage between a bus garage and the beginning of a route cannot be classified as eligible revenue vehicle miles simply because the route is redefined as beginning at the garage. Two conditions have to be satisfied for transit vehicle mileage to be considered eligible revenue vehicle miles.

First, the increased route mileage, with added stops, must be incorporated formally into published schedules. Secondly, there must be more than incidental use of this additional service by revenue passengers. To prove more than incidental use for such additional service, it will be necessary to demonstrate that the service at least minimally satisfies several of the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness indicators identified in Part 975.4 (o). The following descriptions provide basic guidance as to what constitutes deadhead mileage by type of service:

(1) Deadheading--Scheduled Fixed Route Services

For scheduled fixed route transit services, vehicle travel between the garage and the beginning of the route where passengers may board is deadheading. Other deadheading includes vehicle travel from the end of one route to the beginning of another route, travel from the end of a route to a garage or other service or storage facility.

(2) Deadheading--Non-Scheduled Services

While the concept of deadheading is not as well defined for non-scheduled, non-fixed route services, in general, the following guidelines should be followed:

(i) Vehicles traveling from a dispatching point to the point where the first passenger will be picked up are considered to be deadheading and not in revenue service; i.e., these miles should not be reported as vehicle revenue miles.

(ii) Similarly, travel without passengers back to a dispatching location should not be reported as vehicle revenue miles.

(iii) All vehicle travel with or without passengers, when the vehicle is available to carry passengers between starting and ending places such as described in (i) and (ii) above should be considered as revenue miles.

(iv) If vehicle storage/maintenance locations are different from the locations from which the vehicles are dispatched, travel between any of these locations should be considered deadheading.

(v) School tripper service shall mean mass transportation service provided by a public transportation system which is added to regularly scheduled mass transportation service routes to meet the additional demand of students traveling to and from school. The school tripper service may be eligible for STOA service payments if it satisfactorily meets each of the following service characteristics:
(1) Such service must be open to the general public, shown on the system's guides or schedules available to the general public and be advertised and marketed on a regular basis as being available to all people on an equal basis. Such marketing information should include a phone number for riders to contact the system.

(2) Such service must be on the established public route structure; i.e., the tripper's route must also be operated at other times of the day. However, school trippers are not required to travel the entire established route. Minor route deviation from the regular route structure for a portion of a route is permitted.

(3) Such service must be provided using vehicles that meet the requirements identified in section 975.2(e). The vehicles must be clearly marked as open to the general public by using one of the following sign patterns:
(i) Display of a destination sign reflecting the regular route designation, or

(ii) Display of such additional, prominent "open to the general public" signs as may be considered adequate to reasonably convey such a message to the riding public when the vehicle's normal destination sign reflects a school instead of the regular end point for that route.

(w) The Commissioner's Annual Report refers to the report required to be completed annually by private operators who have been granted regulatory authority. The filing provisions of section 975.6 shall apply to the filing of this report.

(x) Specialized transportation service shall mean transportation service specifically designed to serve the needs of persons, who, by reason of transit disability, are unable to use existing mass transportation services designed for the use of the general public in a given service area.

(y) Specialized Transportation Service Plan shall mean a plan and or report for the provision of specialized transportation services to persons who are transit disabled. Such plan shall be developed through a public participation process and, in urbanized areas, in consultation with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The filing provisions of section 975.19(d)(1) shall apply to the filing of this report.

(z) Coordinated Transportation Service shall mean a passenger transportation service formed by the pooling or sharing, by contract, of several pre-existing human or social service agencies' funds, facilities, vehicles, equipment and/or other resources used for passenger transportation, for the purpose of improving the mobility of persons through increased service levels, with the coordinated service under the direction and control of a single operator of passenger transportation having the authority for the service's operating hours, routes, schedules, dispatching, and other operating features, and the resulting transportation service serving more passengers for the same or reduced amount of government expenditure than the previously uncoordinated, piecemeal and duplicative services.

(aa) Operator of mass transportation service shall mean the municipal government or public transportation authority which assumes full responsibility and liability for the operation of the service, or a common carrier under contract to said government or authority, for the purpose of assuming said responsibility.

(bb) Principal operator shall mean the public transportation operator which provides the majority of mass transportation service in a given service area. Where there is more than one operator in a service area, the Department will determine which one is the principal operator.

(cc) Urban area shall mean an area, as defined by the Census Bureau, that is comprised of all persons living in urbanized areas, see provisions of section 975.4(1), and in places of 2,500 population or more outside urbanized areas.

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