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Schuyler County looks to expand bus service

SCHUYLER COUNTY—Schuyler County is looking to expand the public transit system to Elmira and Corning and replace the county’s buses.
Schuyler is re-applying for two federal grants: up to $110,200 for 2013 and $113,500 for 2014. Additional funds will be provided from the state and the county’s department of social services. The additional regular stops to Elmira and Corning will be added to the already available routes through Schuyler County Transit. The service has previously worked to offer some transportation options to Tompkins County.
County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said they will know in a few months if the county will get the funding. He added the county wants to offer trips to Elmira and Corning by July 1. O’Hearn said the expansion is not contingent on the federal grants, but on how much of these funds will cover it. O’Hearn explained that no local tax dollars have been used to cover the cost of the transit since it started in 2010.
Schuyler County Transit currently has three main buses and two back-up buses purchased from the Arc of Schuyler County. O’Hearn explained all five buses are at the age to be replaced.
O’Hearn added that through January to September of 2012, people took 12,170 rides on Schuyler County Transit. He said the highest number of rides in a month was 1,757 and lowest month was 1,088. O’Hearn explained the number of people using the system in 2012 was double that of 2011. The top three stops in Schuyler County are: the Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Watkins Glen, Wal-Mart, and the Odessa stop.
“It gives us assurance this is a viable system,” said O’Hearn.




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