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This newsletter is a resource for organizations working to create a safe, well-maintained and integrated transportation system that gives people options for getting around.
 

Table of Contents

The NH Statewide Transportation Initiative

What's happening around the state

A group of organizations came together in January of 2014 to figure out how we can become a state in which transportation drives a vibrant economy and supports healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy environment.

We developed a road map of outcomes that will get us there over the next twenty years, and an immediate action plan to get us moving. See the Call for Action section below for more details. This work incorporated the things we learned in the Listening Sessions held in 2013 (4.2 MB pdf of report here). 

Put simply, first we must broaden the conversation about transportation to include all modes, then build the public support our representatives need to invest in transportation options by demonstrating the return on this investment.

Our thanks go to the Endowment for Health and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for believing in this process and funding our work.

 

Things to celebrate!

Manchester Gets Its First Bike Lane


On June 17th, the City of Manchester Public Works Department finished painting the first bike lane in Manchester, seen here on Chestnut Street.  This was a direct result of collaboration between the Public Works Department and Bike Manchester, a new bicycle advocacy group that has only been meeting since October but has accomplished much in that time.  Details on further plans for bike lanes can be found in this Union Leader article.  You can follow the progress of Bike Manchester on their Facebook page.
 

Advance Transit Increases Service


Starting July 7th, service on Advance Transit's Green Route doubled its frequency! That means you can catch a bus on this route every 30 minutes. Never taken the Green Route before? It connects West Lebanon, White River Junction, and Hartford Village to Hanover via Route 5 in Wilder.  (Thanks to Smart Commute Upper Valley and Vital Communities for the news and photo.)


COAST Adds New Bus Route


On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, COAST announced the new Route 20 bus that "goes directly from Rochester to Pease Monday through Friday.  This cost is only $1.50 a ride or $52 a month for a monthly pass.  Rochester residents who work at Pease and drive alone spend an estimated $500 a month (per AAA 'Your Driving Costs', 2013). Comparatively, using COAST is only $52 a month!  In addition to saving money and wear and tear on the commuter’s vehicle, riding the bus gives commuters the opportunity to relax, text, meet new people, or simply close their eyes while someone else does the driving."  Read more.

More Riders for Concord Coach Lines

Mark Sanborn reports "Boston Express, Concord Coach, and Dartmouth Coach continue to have a strong 2014 with ridership being up for all three companies compared to this time last year.   In addition, our public-private-partnership with the State of New Hampshire remains active with the approval of both the funding for Boston Express for the next three years and the 5311(f) funding for Concord Coach’s North Country service for this state fiscal."

HEAL NH Awards $120,000 in Grants


HEAL NH awarded $20,000 in grant funds in April to four projects supporting active transportation in New Hampshire communities, and $100,000 in January for bicycle and pedestrian projects across the state.

Click here for more on the April awards, and here for the January awards.
 

Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Alternatives Analysis


Wikipedia has a good summary of the most recent Capitol Corridor project meeting:

"At a public forum on March 5, 2014, the NHRTA presented preliminary results of the Capitol Corridor Rail and Transit Alternatives Analysis. Included in the presentation was the projection of up to 3,100 daily riders on the Capitol Corridor commuter or intercity rail line, which would mean that the line could top 800,000 passengers annually, compared to 560,000 on the popular Amtrak Downeaster. . . .If the rail option is approved, and state and federal funding is obtained, rail service could begin as early as 2020.
"

You can watch a video of the meeting or download the presentation here.

North Country News


Tri-County Community Action Programs, North Country Transit’s volunteer driver program, served over 315 elderly individuals from July 2013 through June 2014, providing 589 long distance non-emergency medical trips to facilities such as Maine Medical, Dartmouth Hitchcock, Catholic Medical Center and St. Johnsbury Cancer Treatment Center. Thanks go out to the Volunteer Drivers and to NHDOT for funding this vital service.
 

NH Department of Transportation May Purchase Bicyclist User Data


"The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) is considering buying a year’s worth of user data from Strava Metro for roughly US$10,000, which would provide the agency with the riding habits and popular routes of nearly 10,000 cyclists in the state that use the free, downloadable Strava app to track their rides."

Read more.
 

SVR Expands into Mont Vernon and Wilton


As of April, residents of Wilton can hop on the Blue Bus to get where they need to go.  Service in Mont Vernon began in November 2013. Now serving the towns of Amherst, Brookline, Hollis, Milford, Mont Vernon and Wilton, Souhegan Valley Rides has grown steadily since the first ride was provided nearly six years ago. As of the end of February, 13,671 rides have been provided to area residents. In February a Milford passenger took that community’s 10,000th ride.

 

NH Department of Transportation Creates Transit Map


The Bureau of Rail and Transit recently posted this great transit map, with clickable links to local and regional transit providers, including intercity bus service and passenger rail stations.

With this map, transit users can quickly determine which services are available at their origin and destination.
 

Consider posting this on your own website!

Statewide Transit Study


On June 24th, Governor & Council gave the green light to NH Department of Transportation to use toll credits to match federal funds available for a statewide transit assessment study.  This study, conducted by a third-party consultant, will identify statewide transit gaps and needs, evaluate the overall transit system and services, and identify opportunities for improvement.  It will provide an important baseline from which we can measure progress along our road map to a balanced transportation system with options for getting around. 
 

CommuteSMART Seacoast Launch


April saw the official launch of commuteSMARTseacoast with its website full of resources for Seacoast commuters.  As of July, there are 23 employer members. Services include ride matching service, promotional events, emergency ride home program and much more. Follow their progress on their blog.

MRTMA Receives Grant for Bike Racks


The Monadnock Region Transportation Management Association has been awarded $5,000 by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for its “Rack It Up” initiative. The grant will purchase an inventory of bicycle racks and place them in visible and convenient locations where there is a deficit of bicycle parking in Keene. 

Read more.
 

Got news?  Send it to RLHarris@TransportNH.org for next month.

 

Window of Opportunity

Transportation Alternatives Program

Call for New Projects:  Letter due on August 6th

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation announces the opening of a competitive selection round for the federally funded Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) projects created by MAP-21. Overall funding for TAP is approximately $5.5M in this first round.

To better manage TAP projects and to focus funding to provide choices for non-motorized use that is safe, reliable and convenient, the following guidelines have been created by the Department and will be used during this competitive selection round:

Funding Limitations:

  • Minimum project limit is $200,000 (total dollars) – ($160,000 federal)
  • Maximum project limit is $800,000 (total dollars) – ($640,000 federal)
  • Project will require at least a 20% match provided by the applicant

Eligible Activities

  • Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-motorized forms of transportation.
  • Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other non-motorized transportation users.
  • Eligible Safe Routes to School program infrastructure activities under §1404 of SAFETEA–LU (20% match required)

The Application process is broken into three distinct and mandatory steps. 

  • Submission of a letter of interest for TAP funding
  • Attendance at a pre-application informational meeting hosted by the Department
  • Submission of the TAP application

A letter of interest must be received by the Department by 4:00pm on Wednesday August 6, 2014.

Failure to meet this deadline will result in the potential project having to wait until the next funding cycle to apply.  For more information, visit http://www.nh.gov/dot/org/projectdevelopment/planning/tap/index.htm.


Member Profile

Bike Manchester


Bike Manchester wants more people riding bicycles in Manchester more often. They celebrate bicycling in the city and promote it by advocating for better bicycle infrastructure and safe bicycle riding.  This exuberant group just got started in October of 2013, and in short order developed a public outreach campaign, stress-mapped all of the city streets, and got their first bike lane.  Follow their progress on Twitter, on Facebook, and on the news page of their website.


Upcoming events

Hit the Beach with MTA!

Hampton Beach: July 19th & August 16th

Manchester Transit Authority will be providing transportation to Hampton Beach on July 19th and August 16th, 2014. Buses will depart Veterans Park at 8:00am and 10:30am. Buses will depart Hampton Beach Pavilion at 2:00pm and 4:30pm. Purchase a $5 Beach Pass at Veterans Park on July 19 and August 16, starting at 7:00am.

Read more MTA news.

Medicaid Transportation in NH

August 7th

An in-depth presentation on transportation is planned for the August 7th afternoon meeting of the Governor’s Commission To Review and Advise on the Implementation of New Hampshire’s Medicaid Care Management (MCM) Program.  Location to be announced here, where you can also read past agendas, meeting minutes and presentation files. 

Healthy Eating Active Living Conference

October 16th

HEAL NH is hosting a conference in October.  Agenda items include:
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of four active HEAL coalitions creating transformative change in rural communities and urban neighborhoods
  • Brief look back at the HEAL journey to where we are today
  • Official launch of the HPHP initiative and network
  • Learn about the four broad work areas and comprise the HPHP Plan and how individuals, organizations and others can participate, contribute and support the plan through their own interests and work 
Read more.


Member exchange

This is where network members can exchange information, ask for help, get advice, and help each other out with specific actions that lead to the ultimate goal of a safe, well-maintained and integrated transportation system that gives people options for getting around.

What constitutes a network member?  If you are doing things which contribute to that goal, you're a member of the network.

What is Transport NH?  We are the backbone organization that supports the network and helps align activities toward the common goal.  We also advocate independently for policies that advance this goal.

Send queries, answers, requests for and offers of help to Rebecca Harris, Director of Transport NH.

Need a tweet?


Transport NH has a growing list of followers on Twitter, including several media outlets and policy makers.  If you would like us to tweet your news, send us an email.  We can also send you a quickie guide to getting started with Twitter, and point you to answers for your Twitter questions.

Click here to follow us on Twitter.


Policy updates

Last Minute Rescue of Highway Trust Fund


From an article in The Hill: "The House on Tuesday [7/15] passed an extension of funding for the Highway Trust Fund through May 2015. Passed 367-55, the measure prevents the Highway Trust Fund from going bankrupt in August." The Senate is expected to address the bill next week. The fund was set to run dry for highways in August and for transit some time in the fall.  Newspapers were critical of the funding mechanism.
 

NH Gas Tax Increase Effective July 1st


On May 20th, Governor Hassan signed SB 367, a bill that raised New Hampshire's tax on gasoline and diesel by 4 cents per gallon, the first increase since 1991.  Find out where the money is going here, and check out the NH DOT webpage that provides location-specific information on transportation infrastructure investments funded through this bill.



Call for action

Transportation Action Plan


Four near-term actions resulted from our road map for change:
  • Initiate a statewide transit study to get a clear picture of where we are now.  See news above.
  • Develop metrics for bicycle, pedestrian and transit modes that can be used in the NH DOT
    Balanced Score Card.
  • Build public and political support for restoration of state match for federal transit operating funds.
  • Hold an information session for legislators in January 2015 on the topic of safe travel in all modes.
There are action teams for each of these, and we welcome you to join one or more.  Contact Rebecca Harris to offer your assistance.

Call Your Senators


Tell them that the highway trust fund must not be allowed to go bankrupt.

Jeanne Shaheen, 520 Hart SOB, 202-224-2841    

Deputy Chief of Staff: Justin Burkhardt, justin_burkhardt@shaheen.senate.gov                 
Interim District Director: Sarah Holmes, sarah_holmes@shaheen.senate.gov
Legislative Director: Brian McKeon, brian_mckeon@shaheen.senate.gov
Local offices listed here.
                                            
Kelly Ayotte, 188 Russell SOB, (202) 224-3324, (603) 622-7979
Chief of Staff: John Easton, john_easton@ayotte.senate.gov, (202) 224-3324
State Director: David Wihby, david_wihby@ayotte.senate.gov, (603) 622-7979
Legislative Director: Adam Hechavarria, adam_hechavarria@ayotte.senate.gov, (202) 224-3324
Local offices listed here.
Comments?  Questions?  Send us an email.
Copyright © 2014 Transport NH, All rights reserved.


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