Transit is not just for cities

As reported on the Streetsblog website, a recent study has shown that nearly 40% of the U.S. population dependent on transit live in rural areas. That includes senior citizens, those with disabilities, and lower income families.

But as we know from our county, getting transportation services to many areas of Cortland County is not an easy task. We are lucky that we have a Dial-a-Ride service that is available to anyone in the county. That is not the case in many counties. Dial-a-Ride, scheduled in advance, will pick you up anywhere in the county and take you where you need to go – within the county limits.

The maximum charge is $6 one-way, which is much cheaper than a taxi, but is still too expensive for many people.

Another challenge is transporting people beyond the county borders. Many need to go to Syracuse for medical appointments, and unless they are on Medicaid, the transit company cannot transport them into Onondaga County. And for those who need a wheelchair, their options are even more limited since they would need an accessible vehicle.

Coordination is key. Currently we are involved in two separate studies looking at ways that we can coordinate services. We are halfway through our CTAA technical assistance grant which will help us identify and implement strategies to coordinate and possibly consolidate services throughout the county. We are also involved in a Regional Transportation Study which will look at inter-county travel through the seven county area surrounding Tompkins County, but will address transportation to city centers such as Syracuse and Rochester as well.

If you would like to see what has been accomplished so far in these studies, here are two links:

CTAA

Regional Transportation Study

Jan

 

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