Glossary

Every field has its own language and terms, and transportation is no exception. Following is a list of acronyms and jargon you will commonly find in discussions and materials pertaining to transportation and related issues.

ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
Federal civil rights legislation passed in 1990 to help provide more fully accessible transportation services for the elderly and disabled.

BPM Best Practices Model
NYMTCís travel forecasting model. 

CAA Clean Air Act
Federal legislation that requires each state with areas that have not met federal air quality standards to prepare a State Implementation Plan, or SIP.

CMAQ Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality Improvement Program
Federal funds for projects to help reduce congestion and improve air quality, both in regions not yet attaining federal air quality standards and those engaged in efforts to preserve their attainment status.

Conformity
A process in which transportation plans and spending programs are reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with federal clean air requirements; transportation projects collectively must not worsen air quality.

EJ Environmental Justice
The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, incomes, and educational levels with respect to the development and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment implies that no population should be forced to shoulder a disproportionate share of exposure to the negative effects of pollution due to lack of political or economic strength.

EPA Environmental Protection Agency
Federal department responsible for researching and setting national standards for environmental quality. The EPA works with other federal, state, local and regional agencies to issue permits, monitor compliance and enforce environmental laws.

FHWA Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation agency responsible for administering the federal highway aid program to individual states, and helping to plan, develop and coordinate construction of federally funded highway projects. FHWA also governs the safety of hazardous cargo on the nationís highways. A non-voting member of NYMTC.

FTA Federal Transit Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation agency that provides financial and planning assistance to help plan, build, and operate rail, bus and paratransit systems. The agency also assists in the development of local and regional traffic reduction programs. Advisory member of NYMTC.

HOV Lane High-Occupancy-Vehicle Lane
The technical term for a carpool lane, commuter lane or diamond lane.

Intermodal
The term "mode" is used to refer to and distinguish from each other the various forms of transportation, such as automobile, transit, ship, bicycle and walking. Intermodal refers specifically to the connections between modes.

ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act  
Pronounced "Ice Tea," this landmark federal legislation signed into law in 1991 initiated broad changes in the way transportation decisions are made. ISTEA emphasized diversity and balance of modes, as well as the preservation of existing systems before construction of new facilities. Although ISTEA expired in 1997, much of its program structure was carried forward in successor federal legislation (see TEA 21).

ITS Intelligent Transportation Systems
Technical innovations that apply communications and information processing to improve the efficiency and safety of surface transportation systems.

LIB MTA Long Island Bus
MTA subsidiary that operates bus service in Nassau, Western Suffolk and Eastern Queens Counties.

LIRR MTA Long Island Rail Road
MTA affiliate that provides commuter rail service to and from Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn.

MHS TCC Mid-Hudson South Transportation Coordinating Committee
NYMTC committee for the region that includes Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties.
MIS Major Investment Study Analysis of major corridor or sub-areas required by ISTEA and TEA-21 legislation.

MNR MTA Metro-North Railroad
MTA affiliate operating a commuter railroad that services the Bronx, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties in New York State and Fairfield and New Haven Counties in Connecticut.

MPO Metropolitan Planning Organization
A federally required planning body responsible for the transportation planning and project selection in its region; the governor designates an MPO in every urbanized area with a population of over 50,000. 

MTA Metropolitan Transportation Authority
The major mass transit operator in the region. A voting NYMTC member and voting member of each TCC.

Multimodal
Refers to the availability of multiple transportation options, especially within a system or corridor.

MTA B+T MTA Bridges and Tunnels
MTA affiliate which operates many toll bridges and tunnels in New York City.

NEPA National Environmental Policy Act

NJTPA North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
The MPO for the 13-county northern New Jersey region.

NYCDEP New York City Department of Environmental Protection
City agency responsible for protecting and preserving the environment of New York City and its upstate watersheds. Operates the Cityís wastewater treatment facilities, water mains and sewers, manages asbestos and hazardous materials mitigation and collects water and sewer fees. Advisory member of NYMTC.

NYCDOT New York City Department of Transportation
Agency responsible for maintenance and operation of certain highways and oversight of ferry operations in New York City. Voting member of NYMTC.

NYCT New York City Transit
MTA affiliate providing rapid rail and surface (bus) service within New York City.

NYC TCC New York City Transportation Coordinating Committee 
NYMTC committee for the region that includes the five boroughs of New York City.

NYMTC New York Metropolitan Transportation Council
MPO designated by the governor for the New York metropolitan region.

NYSDEC New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 
Responsible for administration and enforcement of the Environmental Conservation Law, directed toward protecting and enhancing the environment. Advisory member of NYMTC.

NYSDOT New York State Department of Transportation  
Voting NYMTC member and voting member of each TCC.

NYSTA New York State Thruway Authority 
Operator of the New York State Thruway, Tappan Zee Bridge, I-84 and I-87. Voting member of MHS TCC.

PANY&NJ Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Bi-state port and transportation facility operator. Advisory member of NYMTC and each TCC.

PATH Port Authority Trans-Hudson Rail subsidiary of PANY&NJ
A primary transportation link between Manhattan and New Jersey.

PFAC Program, Finance and Administration Committee 
NYMTC committee immediately below the Council level.

Region 8
NYSDOT regional office responsible for state transportation matters in the lower Hudson Valley.

Region 10 
NYSDOT regional office responsible for state transportation matters on Long Island.

Region 11
NYSDOT regional office responsible for state transportation matters in New York City.

RTP Regional Transportation Plan
Blueprint to guide the regionís transportation development for a 25-year period and updated every three years, it is based on projections of growth and travel demand coupled with financial projections. Required by state and federal law.

SIR MTA Staten Island Railway
MTA affiliate operated by NYCT that operates a rapid transit line serving the southern coastal portion of Staten Island.


SEQRA New York State Environmental Quality Review Act
NYS legislation requiring the review of the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects.

SOV Single-occupant vehicle
A vehicle with one occupant, the driver, who is sometimes referred to as a "drive alone."

Stakeholder
Representative from community planning, environmental, transportation, educational and economic groups.

TDM Transportation Demand Management
Low-cost ways to reduce demand by automobiles on the transportation system, such as programs to promote telecommuting, flextime and ridesharing.

TEA 21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
Passed by Congress in May 1998, this federal transportation legislation retains and expands many of the programs created in 1991 under ISTEA. Reauthorizes federal surface transportation programs for six years (1998-2003), and significantly increases overall funding for transportation.

TIP Transportation Improvement Program
This is the primary spending plan for federal funding expected to flow to the region from all sources for transportation projects of all types. It covers at least a three-year period.

U.S. DOT United States Department of Transportation
The federal cabinet-level agency with responsibility for highways, mass transit, aviation and ports; headed by the secretary of transportation. The DOT includes the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration, among others. There are also state DOTs.

VMT Vehicle Miles Traveled
The more cars there are on the road at the same time in the same area, the worse congestion will be. This term helps pin down the numbers. Reducing the growth of VMT can help ease traffic congestion and improve air quality.