What is the New York State Department Of Transport?

June 26, 2018

The New York State Department of Transport (NYS DOT) has been dedicating many years to servicing New York State with affordable, punctual, and safe transportation for its citizens. Transportation systems are an important part of economic growth, and NYS DOT understands that. Their mission is to provide their customers with reliable transportation and bolster the economy tough infrastructure, while trying to mitigate environmental impact.

How did NYS DOT begin?

The New York State Department of Transport has a rich history, and is the oldest line function in the New York State government! NYS DOT hasn’t always had that name, however, and has gone through several iterations over 150 years. After the Revolutionary War in 1777, the Office of Surveyor-General was reorganized from the colonial era and had started surveying lands that had to be vested during the Revolutionary War. The Surveyor-General was succeeded by the Office of State Engineering in 1846, and then became The Department of Public Works in 1878. The Department of Public Works oversaw the canals that were being built all around New York – including the D&H Canal.

In 1907, the Public Service Commission took responsibility for economic and safety  regulations of privately operated transportation. This included inspecting railroads and buses for safety regulations, they also approved the installation of protections for the elimination of at-grate rail-highway crossings.

In 1909, the New York State Department of Highways was established. 14 years later, the Department of Public Works unified with it and oversaw highways, canals, and public buildings.

In 1967 the New York State Department of Transportation was formed. Not only did they oversee all responsibilities of the Department of Public Works (albeit public buildings) but they also had to deal with the state’s complex transportation system, as well as an ever-increasing need to coordinate the development of transportation.

What does NYS DOT do today?

Currently, New York State’s transportation system includes:

  • Both state and local highways that see over 130 billion vehicle miles annually, this total system has more than 113,000 highways miles and over 17,400 bridges
  • A rail network that’s over 3,500 miles which transports 68 million tons of equipment, manufactured goods, raw materials, products, and people travel each year
  • 485 public and private hangars and airports through which over 80 million people travel through each year
  • 130 public transit operators that serve over 80 million passengers daily
  • 12 major public and private ports

All of these networks of transportation are overseen by NYS DOT to make sure they’re running safely and efficiently. NYS DOT helps coordinate and develop the comprehensive transport policy for the state, and assists in the development of these means of transportation as well. They also administer a public safety program for railroads and motor carriers engaged in intrastate commerce. Besides that, they also help provide oversight in the safe operation of bus lines, commuter railroads and subway systems – which are subsidized through the Public Transportation Safety Board. If you’d like to learn more about NYS DOT and what they do visit their webpage at https://www.dot.ny.gov/index.